Radiance of the Seas returns to Newcastle for repairs

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800 visitors as cruise ship berths in Newcastle for repairs Radiance of the Seas back into Newcastle for some much needed TLC. 7 April, 2018Picture: Ray Kelly, Newcastle
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Radiance of the Seas back into Newcastle for some much needed TLC. 7 April, 2018Picture: Ray Kelly, Newcastle

Radiance of the Seas back into Newcastle for some much needed TLC. 7 April, 2018Picture: Ray Kelly, Newcastle

TweetFacebook Radiant of the Seas leaves NewcastleThe ship’s Thursday departure was due to end the Hunter cruise season. Pictures: Jonathan CarrollA ROYAL Caribbean cruise ship will become a floating hotel for hundreds of visitors in the Port of Newcastle over the next week as the city plays host to urgent repairs on the luxury vessel.

The eighth cruise to visit the Hunter, the Radiance of the Seas had left at twilight on Thursday in a long, slow goodbye to the Newcastle cruise season supposed to mark the end of the monolithic white visitors until October.

Instead, it is now expected back around dawn to start a week-long stay in the city with its more than 800 crew living aboard.

Newcastle Tourism Industry Group’s Gus Maher said the crew’s arrival on a weekend boasting Newcastle Beer Fest, Knights and Jets fixtures, the Newcastle Writer’s Festival and more was a rare opportunity despite the adverse circumstances.

“Perhaps of even greater importance is that these 800 staff will experience Newcastle in much more depth than they would in a stopover, and they can share that on their next trips,” Mr Maher said.

Read more: Tightrope salute as the Radiance departs Newcastle on Thursday, April 5

Royal Caribbean confirmed specialist technicians will fly out to meet the from Finland to undertake repairs on the 293-metre-long ship’s propulsion system that are expected to take until April 17.

One of two Azipods, essentially the ship’s propellers,broke down aboard the Radiance of the Seas onTuesday, limiting its speed during the cruise that concluded in Sydney on Thursday.

Safety and services aboard were not affected.

While the lower speeds allowed it to complete its Queensland coastal run that brought its scheduled visit to the Hunter this week, the Radiance of the Seas’reduced power ruled out forging ahead onto its next journey.

That trip, a 11-night trip to New Zealand originally due to depart on Friday, was cancelled on Tuesday.Passengers who were booked on that voyage received a full refund and future cruise credits.

A Royal Caribbean spokesman said that itinerary’s requirement oftwo quickdays across the Tasman would have been unachievable without the maintenance work.

The workers repairing the propulsion system are specialists from its manufacturer, the spokesman said.

Newcastle was chosen due to its proximity to Sydney, the ship’s last stop, and theavailability of a berth.

The ship will remain in the water during the Newcastle stay, believed to be the first time a major cruise ship has undergone lengthy repairs in the harbour.

The Port of Newcastle’s cruise ship schedule lists Caledonian Sky’s October 25 visit as the region’s next from a liner, with Celebrity Solstice, Norwegian Jewel and Viking Orion expected before the end of the year. Another 13 are duein 2019.

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