There’s a new kid in town – Brilliance of the Seas!

Brilliance of the Seas steamed into Port this beautiful morning at around 6.30 am, under the watchful eye of a night heron, on her very first visit to Fremantle. And what a sight she was!

If you are finding your way into Freo by train, car, bike or foot, you won’t be able to miss her.

Brilliance has been on an 18-day-cruise from Sydney. She left on St Valentine’s Day, 14 February, then went north visiting Brisbane, Willis Island, Cairns, Darwin and Geraldton before arriving just off our coast in the wee hours of this morning.

She is 22 years old and was last refurbished in 2018. She is 292m long and 39m wide. The ship belongs to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, and is operated by RCL UK Ltd. She sails under the Flag of Bahamas.

On this trip she’s carrying 2021 passengers, along with 845 crew.

This is a ‘turnaround’ visit, which means Freo is an overnight, nearly 2 day visit, before the ship leaves tomorrow night at 5 pm. She has 1144 transit passengers leaving the ship to have a peep around. 237 are on pre-booked tours – so that leaves over 900 folk free to explore Fremantle. Free shuttle buses will run from 8am between the Port and central Freo.

Another 877 passengers will leave the ship in Fremantle and be replaced by 949 embarking guests before she departs on Friday for an 18-day, one-way cruise to Sydney, first port of call Albany.

Brilliance has been in the news – and a movie – over the years. In 2005, a 26-year-old American passenger, who was on his honeymoon, went missing under suspicious circumstances between Greece and Turkey. His story has been reported on American television and a television movie called ‘Deadly Honeymoon’ still airs. He was never found and is presumed dead. Following the incident, the Cruise Passenger Protection Bill was introduced into the US Congress. It’s designed to allow greater transparency when crimes are committed on cruise ships.

Then in 2010, on a cruise out of Rhodes, Greece in the eastern Mediterranean, wind gusts of 130km/h caused Brilliance to heel violently. Passengers were thrown out of beds and furniture and unsecured objects tossed about their staterooms. Two grand pianos broke free and were demolished. A reported 138 passengers required medical treatment. One passenger died of head injuries allegedly sustained during the incident.

So much excitement!

Here’s a gallery of Brilliance of the Seas arriving in Fremantle this morning, including the night heron!

In April, Brilliance heads to Honolulu and later does the northern hemisphere winter season cruises between Vancouver and Alaska.

Head on down to Victoria Quay to watch Brilliance of the Seas depart tomorrow at 5pm. As I say, she really is quite a sight!

* STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS by Jean Hudson @jeansodyssey. Jean is our Shipping Correspondent and also a regular feature writer and photographer here on the Shipping News. You may like to follow up her informative Places I Love stories, as well as other feature stories and Freo Today photographs, right here.


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