Royal Caribbean International today announced the cruise line’s 2010-11 Australia and Hawaii cruise and cruisetour season. Vacationers can choose among 17 sailings from September 2010 through March 2011aboard Rhapsody of the Seas, 14 of which depart from the iconic city of Sydney, Australia. The new season will offer 12 distinct itineraries, more variety in cruise lengths and itineraries than ever before, with a total of 50 unique ports of call in eight countries. Rhapsody of the Seas’ 2010-11 Australia and Hawaii season are now open for booking.

Guests can add depth and breadth to their vacation experience on an optional six- or seven-day escorted cruisetour to their cruises. The six-day Australia land package begins in Sydney, followed by a flight to Cairns and the beach resort destination of Port Douglas. Here guests will visit the Kuranda Rainforest and be treated to a full-day boating adventure exploring the outer Great Barrier Reef. Other highlights include a visit to the famed Ayers Rock in the country’s remote Northern Territory, where they can witness the sun rising over the world famous sandstone formation before returning to Sydney. Guests on the seven-day New Zealand package will visit a private sheep farm in Auckland; excursion to a winery, museum and wildlife reserve in Rotorua; and embark on a Milford South cruise to soak in the magnificent fjords before flying to Sydney and embarking on their Australia cruise.

Shore excursions also proffer up equal doses of adventure. In Dunedin, guests can embark on and 8 x 8-wheel-drive amphibious vehicle known as the Argo for a bird’s eye view of New Zealand fur seals, sea lions, cormorants and Yellow Eyed penguins on the “Otago’ Wild Wonders.” In Australia, options include an excursion via a catamaran from Airlie Beach for a snorkel adventure on the “Great Barrier Reef”; and steer four-wheel drive vehicles through spectacular mountains and rivers on steep, rugged trails once traveled by miners and their pack animals on Melbourne’s “Ghost Towns, Mines & Mountains.”

Rhapsody of the Seas will sail roundtrip from Sydney on a range of new itineraries for its 2010-11 Australia season. Vacationers can choose among two sailings of an 11-night Queensland itinerary that will depart on October 16, 2010, and March 24, 2011, which will feature a maiden call at Australia’s Newcastle. A 12-night Fiji itinerary will mark Royal Caribbean’s return to the island nation after a year’s absence and will depart on October 27, 2010, and February 5, 2011.

Five new South Pacific itineraries will range from seven to 12 nights, and feature a second maiden call of the season at Champagne Bay, Vanuatu on the November 8, 2010 sailing. Vacationers can also revel in the holiday spirit on a nine-night Christmas sailing on December 18, and herald in the New Year in the South Pacific on the 10-night sailing on December 27.

Vacationers also can combine two itineraries for a grand 29-night trans-Pacific crossing aboard Rhapsody of the Seas. A 12-night Vancouver to Honolulu cruise will depart on September 17, 2010, while the Sydney-bound sailing from Honolulu will depart on September 29.

With dramatic walls of glass and retractable canopy, guests sailing aboard Rhapsody of the Seas will be treated to panoramic vistas of the South Pacific. During days at sea, they can relax in the soothing Day Spa, swim in one of the two pools, enjoy a soothing whirlpool or savor their favorite drinks with friends in one of the ship’s eight lounges. Younger guests will be entertained and enlightened in the cruise line’s award-winning Adventure Ocean and teen programming, with scheduled activities led by a college-graduate counselor beginning as early as 9 a.m. and concluding at 2 a.m. Throughout their vacations, all guests enjoy Royal Caribbean’s friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service from every staff and crew.