MIAMI, March 19, 2008 – Offering travelers more choices to experience multiple destinations throughout Europe, Royal Caribbean International today announced the planned deployment of a record eight ships to the region for the 2009 summer and fall seasons. Vacationers can select from itineraries ranging from four to 14 nights aboard some of the world’s most innovative cruise ships: Independence of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’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 will offer vacationers unprecedented choices throughout the Mediterranean Sea, Northern and Western Europe and a variety of transatlantic sailings in 2009. Bookings are available immediately for Royal Caribbean’s 2009 Europe cruises and cruisetours aboard all ships except for Vision, which will be opened in April 2008.
“Royal Caribbean’s Europe cruises offer great vacation value to see the continent’s most popular destinations and where guests need to unpack only once,” said Alice Norsworthy, senior vice president, Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “Vacationers can choose among twelve convenient European homeports to meet our ships – more than any other cruise line in the industry. In addition, guests can enhance their vacation by combining their cruise with a Royal Caribbean cruisetour and delve into Europe’s popular inland cosmopolitan centers.”
Cruisetours complement a Royal Caribbean International vacation in Europe by combining a cruise with land journeys, city tours and hotel stays ranging from three to five nights prior to embarkation. A tour director escorts each group on the itineraries, featuring the must-see landmarks and attractions in Europe’s popular cities, including Paris, London, Madrid, Barcelona, Stresa, Verona, Venice, Florence and Rome. Air and ground transfers, hotel reservations, tours and some meals are inclusive, and guests will have ample time for shopping and independent pursuits
In 2009, Independence of the Seas returns to Southampton, U.K., for her second Europe season, offering 14-night Western Mediterranean, 10- and 11-night Western Europe and Canary Islands, and four-night British Isles itineraries. Like no other cruise ship in Europe, Independence of the Seas exclusively features amenities that have revolutionized the industry, such as the FlowRider surf simulator, the H20 Zone water park, a boxing ring, cantilevered whirlpools, and the fourbedroom/four-bath Presidential Family Suite. With eight restaurants and more than 15 bars and lounges, Independence offers vacationers a unique onboard experience while cruising in Europe.
Navigator of the Seas will take guests on more varied itineraries from her homeports of Malaga, Spain, a new homeport for Royal Caribbean; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; and Barcelona. Voyager of the Seas – also homeporting through November 2009 in Barcelona – and Navigator will offer more opportunities for vacationers to experience a Europe cruise aboard a Voyager-class ship. Each ship offers guests an ice-skating rink, the line’s iconic rock-climbing wall, a nine-hole miniature golf course, and the Royal Promenade – a boulevard lined with shops, restaurants, bars and lounges that runs nearly the length of the ship.
Brilliance of the Seas will remain in Europe and continue offering year-round itineraries for a second consecutive year. In November and December, Brilliance will offer vacationers a new Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean itinerary sailing roundtrip from Barcelona, featuring the Greeks Isles and calls at Port Said, last called at by a Royal Caribbean ship in 2001, and Alexandria, Egypt.
Royal Caribbean also is expanding the line’s Northern Europe program with short Scandinavian itineraries aboard Vision of the Seas from her homeport of Copenhagen, Denmark, another new homeport for the cruise line; Oslo, Norway; and Stockholm, Sweden. Concurrently, Jewel of the Seas will specialize in 12-night Scandinavia and Baltic voyages, featuring an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia, Peter the Great’s “Window to the West.” Jewel will also sail one 12-night itinerary that combines the British Isles and Norwegian Fjords, which includes a call at Geiranger, Norway, one of the highest rated ports by previous guests.
Vacationers also can choose among very special 10- and 11-night Holy Land itineraries aboard Vision of the Seas. From the line’s new homeports of Athens and Istanbul, Vision’s ports of call will include Haifa and Ashdod, Israel, last called at by Royal Caribbean in 2000, and Port Said.
Onboard every Royal Caribbean ship, guests enjoy complimentary 24-hour room service, award-winning Broadway-style musical revues from Royal Caribbean Productions, top-rated Adventure Ocean kids programming with teen-only spaces fleetwide, and Royal Caribbean’s Gold Service Standard of friendly and engaging service from staff and crew.
New Deployment Resource for Travel Professionals
Royal Caribbean also has enhanced the CruisingPower.com website to give travel agents a central online repository for current and upcoming deployment openings. Travel professionals can visit the new deployment micro-site from any computer with an Internet connection, and view and download the latest deployment flyers and itineraries at www.cruisingpower.com/royalcaribbeandeployment. Agents can use drop-down menus based on product or ship, or click on a region on a world map for more information about Royal Caribbean’s cruises and itineraries.
About Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 20 ships currently in service and three under construction. The line also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, South America and New Zealand.