Cruise Line Expands Offering for Vacationers With Independence of the Seas
MIAMI, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Royal Caribbean International
today announced plans to deploy Independence of the Seas - the third in its
new Freedom class of ships - in the United Kingdom, when she debuts in May
2008. Sharing the title of the largest, most innovative cruise ship in the
world with sister ships, Freedom of the Seas and the soon-to-be-launched
Liberty of the Seas, Independence of the Seas will be the largest ship ever to
be home-ported in Europe.
"This significant step is part of the company's strategy of international
business development and expansion into emerging and high-growth cruise
markets," said Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal
Caribbean Cruises Ltd., at a press conference in London today. "We have
already seen tremendous growth of the cruise industry in Europe. This year, 21
percent of the capacity of our three brands combined - Royal Caribbean
International, Celebrity Cruises and Pullmantur - will be in this market.
Bringing this new generation of megaships to the United Kingdom will further
develop our global operations and reinforce cruising as an enticing vacation
option for travelers to the region."
Currently under construction in Aker Yards in Turku, Finland, Independence
of the Seas will be delivered to Royal Caribbean in May 2008 and will feature
the line's signature innovations including the FlowRider(R) surf simulator,
the H2O Zone water park, an ice-skating rink, a rock-climbing wall and a
boxing ring. The 3,634-guest cruise ship will sail the 2008 summer season from
Southampton, United Kingdom.
"Our decision to base the newest and most exciting ship in Southampton
will offer our guests an easy, convenient and affordable way to see several
legendary European landmarks and exotic destinations without having to
repeatedly unpack their suitcases," said Adam Goldstein, president, Royal
Caribbean International. "The amenities available onboard Independence of the
Seas will give a fresh face to cruising in the market providing guests with a
variety of options to create their own unique adventure."
Following a series of preview sailings in Oslo, Norway; Hamburg, Germany;
and Southampton, U.K., Independence will embark on her maiden voyage in mid-
May 2008, alternating 14-night 'Mediterranean Treasures' and 'Italian
Mediterranean' itineraries. Ports of call for the 'Mediterranean Treasures'
itinerary include Gibraltar, UK; Barcelona, Spain; Nice, France;
Florence/Pisa, Italy; Sardinia, Italy; Lisbon, Portugal; and Malaga and Vigo,
Spain. Guests on the 'Italian Mediterranean' cruises will experience the
destinations of Gibraltar; Cannes/Monte Carlo, France; Florence/Pisa, Rome and
Sardinia in Italy; Seville and Vigo, Spain; and Lisbon, Portugal.
Guests can also enjoy two four-night getaways from Southhampton to Cork,
Ireland and St. Peter Port in the Channel Islands. Three 11-night Canary
Islands itineraries, also roundtrip from Southampton, will round out the fall
season, calling in Madeira, Portugal; Tenerife, Canary Islands; Las Palmas,
Gran Canaria; Lanzarote, Canary Islands; and Vigo, Spain. Independence then
heads to the Americas for a series of warm weather Eastern and Western
Caribbean sailings, roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Bookings for the
European itineraries will be open for sale on March 14.
Independence of the Seas will join a long list of Royal Caribbean ships in
Europe. In the summer of 2007, six ships - the highest number ever for the
cruise line - will sail European itineraries stopping in 63 ports of call in
Europe alone. Navigator of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas will sail from
Southampton and Harwich, England, respectively. In Spain, Voyager of the Seas
and Brilliance of the Seas will be Barcelona-based. Legend of the Seas will
homeport in Rome and Splendour of the Seas will sail from Venice, Italy.
Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 20 ships
currently in service and three under construction. Liberty of the Seas, the
cruise line's newest ship which debuts in May 2007, will share the title of
largest cruise ship at sea with sister-ship Freedom of the Seas. At 160,000
GRT with a capacity of 3,634 guests double-occupancy, Liberty of the Seas will
sail alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami. The
line also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Canada, Europe,
Australia and New Zealand through its cruisetour division. For additional
information or to make reservations, go to www.royalcaribbean.com or call
(800) 562-7625. If you are a travel professional, go to www.cruisingpower.com
or call (800) 327-6700.
SOURCE Royal Caribbean International