It may be planning ahead, but it has been announced that summer 2013 will see Royal Caribbean International deploy nine cruise ships in Europe, including three ships based from UK ports, giving plenty of choice for people looking to take a cruise holiday.
With more than 40 per cent of British passengers choosing to begin their cruise from a UK port, according to research from the Passenger Shipping Association, Royal Caribbean International is subsequently increasing its capacity for summer 2013 for people put off by airports.
In addition to Independence of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas sailing from UK ports, Barcelona-based Liberty of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas, and Italy-based Navigator of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas, Royal Caribbean has now completed its 2013 European deployment with the addition of Legend of the Seas sailing from Venice and Rome, with Vision of the Seas homeporting in Copenhagen and Stockholm.
In total Royal Caribbean International will offer 276 sailings to 88 culture-rich ports on 58 exciting European itineraries for 2013.
By summer 2013 seven of the nine Europe-based ships will have completed a multi-million dollar re-fit and re-design ensuring that the summer cruises on offer will be on the industry’s newest and most innovative fleet.
Royal Caribbean International’s summer 2013 Europe portfolio highlights:
Independence of the Seas will offer a series of new itineraries including more taster cruises with an increase in two- and three night cruises. Independence of the Seas will also offer eight night cruises to Norway, 14-night Norway and Cork cruises, various 14-night Mediterranean cruises, and 12 night Canary Islands cruises.
Adventure of the Seas will offer a series of seven, 12, 13, 14 and 16-night cruises to Norway, France & Spain, Baltics and the Mediterranean.
Brilliance of the Seas will sail to Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea on 11 and 12-night cruises.
Legend of the Seas – from May until August, the ship will sail seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries, calling at Genoa, Italy; Provence (Marseilles), France; and Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, and Valencia, Spain. A nine-night circumnavigation of the Italian peninsula, departing 31 August will bring Legend of the Seas to Venice, where the ship will offer holidaymakers a pair 10-night Greek Isles and 11-night Greece and Turkey itineraries in September and October.
Vision of the Seas will alternate seven-night Norwegian Fjords and Scandinavia & Russia itineraries from Copenhagen, Denmark in May and August. The ship also will offer seven-night Scandinavia and Russia sailings from Stockholm in July. Two Ultimate Scandinavia and Russia itineraries each feature two overnights in St. Petersburg, one sailing on 19 June 2013 from Copenhagen on an 11-night itinerary that concludes with an overnight at Stockholm, and the second on 28 July 2013 from Stockholm on a 10-night itinerary that concludes with an overnight at Copenhagen. Additionally, holidaymakers can select a 10-night British Isles cruise departing Copenhagen on 7 August 2013, or an 11-night sailing on 8 June 2013 that sails up the Norwegian Coast and beyond Latitude 66 North into the Arctic Circle.
Navigator of the Seas will offer seven-night Eastern Mediterranean and Greek Isles cruises.
Serenade of the Seas will offer a selection of 12-night Mediterranean Greek Isles and Mediterranean Venice itineraries.
Splendour of the Seas will offer a selection seven-night Adriatic and Greek Isles sailings.
Liberty of the Seas will offer a selection of five- and seven-night Western Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona.
Royal Caribbean is a very casual, modern style cruise company and holidays are all about fun. From onboard surf simulators, shopping malls, live entertainment and an array of bars and restaurants, calling it a floating resort is probably more apt.
If you don’t like the crowds watch out, as some of the ships as huge and cater for thousands of passengers. But you’ll be surprised at how spacious the public areas are and once you get your bearings you’ll always find a favourite spot to read, relax and take in the sunshine.
The fact you can drive to your port in the UK and don’t have to worry about airports is a major bonus and you can also budget for your holiday knowing that you meals and entertainment are covered. You can of course choose to pay extra in one of the speciality restaurants if you wish.
And you get to see lots of places in short space of time knowing that you only unpack the once. How about a cruise holiday in 2013?