Royal Caribbean International has announced that Independence of Seas will be based in the Caribbean for the 2012-13 winter season and return to the UK for the summer season in April 2013.
Independence of the Seas will depart on its trans-Atlantic voyage from Southampton on 22 November 2012, and arrive at Port Everglades on 5 December 2012.
The hugely popular ship is re-locating to the Caribbean for the winter season, offering UK & Irish guests six and eight night sailings in Eastern and Western Caribbean. Since its launch in April 2008, Independence of the Seas remains the largest and most innovative cruise ship in Europe and is a real game-changer for the industry.
Dominic Paul, vice president and group managing director, UK, Ireland and Northern Europe, Royal Caribbean International explains:
“Our guests are passionate about Independence of the Seas and the winter deployment presents a great opportunity to introduce sailings on Independence of the Seas in the Caribbean to our loyal guests and introduce new guests to the ship.”
“Independence of the Seas has been an instant hit with British guests and homeporting it out of Southampton has played a significant role in growing our market share and building brand awareness. We continue to gain great support from our trade partners and know that they will support Independence of the Seas during her winter season in the Caribbean. We also look forward to the ship returning to Southampton in April 2013 for what is set to be another extremely successful summer season.”
Independence of the Seas’ winter 2012-13 is now open for sale. The ship will offer a three-night Bahamas cruise, before alternating eight-night Eastern Caribbean and six-night Western Caribbean itineraries. In the Eastern Caribbean, guests will enjoy calls at San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach destination on the northern coast of Haiti. Independence of the Seas will call at Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Labadee in the Western Caribbean. Additionally, a special six-night Western Caribbean itinerary, calling at Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico, will sail on January 13, 2013.
Independence of the Seas will join sister ships Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas for the winter season before returning to Southampton in April 2013 to offer Mediterranean and European cruises throughout the summer.
At 154,407 gross register tons and a capacity of 3,634 guests, double-occupancy, Independence of the Seas features all of the industry-first amenities which are trademarks of the Freedom-class ships, such as a FlowRider surf simulator; the H20 Zone kids’ aqua park with sprinklers, water cannons and a pool for toddlers; cantilevered whirlpools suspended 112 ft. above the ocean in the adults-only Solarium pool zone; a full-size boxing ring and the 4-bedroom, 4-bath, and 14-guest Presidential Family Suite. Independence of the Seas also features exclusive Royal Caribbean International facilities such as an ice-skating rink; a rock-climbing wall; the award-winning Adventure Ocean kids’ programme; 10 fine to casual dining options; Broadway-style entertainment; and the Royal Promenade – a boulevard that stretches nearly the length of the ship flanked by boutiques, restaurants, and bars and lounges.
Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.
Royal Caribbean provides a world-class vacation experience with a wide range of signature onboard amenities, entertainment, and award-winning family programming. The cruise line has a 40-year history of giving guests the Royal Advantage – the most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service.