Australia's biggest cruise ship set to arrive in Sydney

The largest cruise ship ever to call Australia home arrives in its new home port, Sydney, tonight.

Voyager of the Seas is the eighth largest ship in the world, weighing in at a hefty 137,270 tonnes and can carry up to 3800 passengers. At 310.9 metres long it would be taller than the Centrepoint Tower if raised vertically.

Passengers have a whole range of entertainment options. If you are not on the mini-golf course, you could be lying on a deck chair next to one of the ship's three swimming pools, watching a 3D movie, climbing on a rock wall, inline skating or trying your luck in the casino.

When it was built in 1999, Voyager of the Seas was rated the biggest cruise ship in the world and the shipbuilders presented the then captain with a scooter so he could get around the 15 decks more easily.

The ship will pass through Sydney Heads at 6.30pm this evening, before crossing paths with another cruise giant, the Celebrity Millenium, in Sydney Harbour at approximately 7pm and arriving at Circular Quay at 7.30pm.

Voyager will be based in Australia this summer for a series of cruises to the South Pacific and New Zealand.

There are currently 1694 Australians on board the ship as it completes its 18-day cruise from Fremantle to Sydney via New Zealand. Also prominent on the passenger list are 1000 Britons, and Americans, Europeans and Chinese.

Keeping everyone fed is executive chef Andrew Norman, who is responsible for turning out 20,000 meals a day.

The former Melbourne chef manages $US1 million of food a month and there are eight kitchens, 125 cooks and chefs, and 70 kitchen hands.

"We use 400 dozen eggs and 300 kilograms of bacon a day, and during a cruise we will use up 4000 kilograms of bananas," he said.

The ship's captain, Charles Tiege, says the advantage of a ship as big as Voyager of the Seas is the breadth of its offering.

"This ship was built with guests in mind. We asked guests what they wanted and then the Voyager was built around their feedback. We have everything from an ice-skating rink, to golf, basketball, movies, and kids' programs from three months to 19 years old.

"We have a lot of three-generation families travelling with us. So you can see there is something for everybody. If you want to sit on a balcony and read a book and look at the horizon you can do that, if you want to play in the casino you can do that. There are 700 or 800 activities. It is just like a floating city."


Voyager of the Seas can carry 3800 passengers plus about 1200 crew.

At 137,000 GRT (a measure of volume rather than weight), she weighs more than 30,000 elephants. She is 42,000 tons larger than the US navy's biggest aircraft carrier.

18,000 pieces of pizza are served on each cruise.

There are 10 dining options from cafes to restaurants and 14 bars.

There are 1557 cabins, eclipsing Melbourne's Crown Metropol with 658 rooms.