VENICE, Dec 9 — Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. will play a key role at â€œSeatrade Med 2008â€ and will confirm its increasing commitment to Europe and the Mediterranean.
With an unprecedented 22 ships sailing in Europe in 2009, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. will offer cruisers more choices than ever before.
â€œThe international markets show the greatest growth potential, with Europe and the Mediterranean representing the ideal center,â€ said Michael Bayley, senior vice president, International, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Bayley made his comments during his opening address at the Seatrade Med convention, being held in Venice, Italy, this week. â€œExtending our deployments and our seasons in Europe and the Mediterranean reflects our commitment to, and the importance of, the region as an integral part of our international growth strategy. We see strong development opportunities in Europe and the Mediterranean as a destination, as well as a source market, and we are making the necessary investments to further grow our market share in these key regions.â€
Royal Caribbean Intl has announced plans to deploy a record eight ships to the region for summer and fall of 2009. Vacationers can select from four- to 14-nights itineraries aboard some of the worldâ€™s most innovative cruise ships: Independence of the Seas, Royal Caribbeanâ€™s newest Freedom-class ship; two Voyager-class ships, Navigator of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas; as well as Brilliance of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Legend of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas, and Vision of the Seas. Totaling 70 distinct itineraries and 87 ports of call in 32 countries, Royal Caribbean International will offer vacationers unprecedented choices throughout the Mediterranean Sea, Northern and Western Europe and a variety of transatlantic sailings.
In May 2008, Royal Caribbean Intlâ€™s Brilliance of the Seas began sailing year-round in the Mediterranean, a first for the brand. Departing from Barcelona, Spain, the ship offers an array of cruise options and destinations.
With its largest European deployment ever slated, in 2009, Celebrity Cruises will be offering guests the opportunity to take the ideal cruise on a premium brand. For the first time in the line’s history, five ships will visit the region in a single European season. They will include the brandâ€™s two newest ships, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox. Joining them will be Celebrity Constellation, built in 2002; Celebrity Summit, launched in 2001; and Celebrity Century, which underwent a $55 million revitalization in 2006. The line will visit 76 ports in 29 countries, five of which are new to Celebrity Cruises. Celebrity’s ships will sail from six different homeports, and spend overnight port calls in eight different ports.
Azamara Cruises will offer deluxe cruise experiences onboard both their ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, in the Mediterranean between April and December 2009. No other deluxe brand offers the number of ports that Azamara Cruisesâ€™ ships will visit next year, nor matches the breadth of distinct itineraries. Azamaraâ€™s 7- to 15-night Europe itineraries will visit 91 ports in 36 countries, and depart from five different homeports. Overnight calls will be offered in seven ports and late-night departures (10 p.m. or after) will be offered in 10 ports, allowing guests to capture more of the flavor of each localeâ€™s nightlife and a more immersive destination experience.
Additionally, all six Pullmantur Cruisesâ€™ ships and CDF Croisieres de Franceâ€™s Bleu de France, both Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. brands, will operate in the Mediterranean in 2009.
â€œWith 22 ships deployed in Europe, 20 of which are in the Med, in 2009, we are clearly demonstrating our commitment to the region,â€ Bayley added. â€œWe are not only dedicating more ships, but some of our newest and the most innovative ships to Europe and the Mediterranean. We are also focusing on enhanced products and onboard options that will further increase the satisfaction of our growing number of international guests. These factors increase our confidence that the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. brands will continue to grow their market share in Europe and the Mediterranean in 2009.â€
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Cruises and CDF Croisieres de France. The company has a combined total of 38 ships in service and six under construction. Additional information can be found on www.royalcaribbean.com, www.celebrity.com, www.pullmantur.es, www.azamaracruises.com, www.cdfcroisieresdefrance.com or www.rclinvestor.com