Sailors first created the line-crossing ceremony as a way to see if their shipmates were worth their salt on long voyages. Nowadays, the tradition is still celebrated onboard cruise ships and cargo vessels when they cross the equator and the international date line.
As Carnival Splendor crossed the international date line on Wednesday, guests onboard celebrated the special occasion for themselves. As she crossed, the Carnival cruise ship skipped a full day, turning Wednesday to Friday.
Carnival Splendor on Transpacific Sailing
Carnival Splendor recently concluded her season in Alaska on September 6, where she spent the summer sailing in colder climates from Seattle, showing guests everything the state has to offer. Now, she is on her way to warmer temperatures as she sails to Australia.
Wednesday, September 21, marked a special occasion for guests and crew onboard as the Concordia-class cruise ship crossed the International Date Line. The vessel is sailing westward in the Southern Ocean after visiting Hawaii between September 12 and 15, where she visited Honolulu, Kona, Hilo, and Maui.
Crossing the internationally recognized calendar boundary means the 113,300 gross tons Carnival Splendor skipped a full day of the week – turning Wednesday into Friday for all on board.
“This is a special voyage, and crossing the International Dateline is a fun milestone to share along the way with our guests and crew as we make a truly momentous return trip to beautiful Sydney,” said Captain Francesco La Fauci.
“Sydney is my favorite city, and embarking soon on my 40th year at Carnival Cruise Line, I am so happy to be sailing there with Carnival Splendor and her crew family so we can continue serving one of the most spectacular ports in the world.”
Guests onboard celebrated the fun-filled ceremony on the open decks. They are now part of the “Order of Neptune” and can officially call themselves Golden Shellbacks, sailors that crossed the International Date Line.
Homeporting Year-Round In Australia
As Carnival Splendor continues her voyage to Australia, before she arrives down under, the ship will call in Fiji, with stops in Suva and Port Denarau. She will then arrive in Sydney on September 30, marking the first time in 1000 days that a Carnival cruise ship makes a call in the country.
From Sydney, Carnival Splendor will be sailing a series of cruises varying in length from 3-to 11-day long. This includes a 10-day cruise to the Great Barrier Reef, which will call in Airlie Beach, Cairns, Port Douglas, Willis Island, and Moreton Island, Australia.
On November 21, Carnival Splendor will be one of the first cruise ships to return to New Zealand on a ten-night cruise to Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, and Fjordland National.
Two Carnival cruise ships will be based in Australia this year. On November 6, Carnival Cruise Line’s newest cruise ship, Carnival Luminosa, will arrive in Brisbane, Australia, for a series of cruises in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.
Currently, Carnival Luminosa is still in dry dock as she is transformed from a Costa cruise ship to a Carnival Cruise Line ship. She has already received her new livery, and Carnival registered the vessel in the Bahamas in preparation for her repositioning in the coming weeks.