Royal Caribbean International has unveiled its 2012 Europe cruise and cruisetour season, upping the ante with 12 ships in the region for 2012. This will include two Freedom-class ships, the largest and most groundbreaking in the line’s fleet to sail European waters.
Highlights for the 2012 Europe season include:
Independence of the Seas will be positioned year-round from Southampton.
New for 2012, Amsterdam will debut as a home port.
New for 2012, Serenade of the Seas will make its European debut from Barcelona.
Brilliance of the Seas will operate a brand new series of Northern Europe itineraries out of the new homeport of Amsterdam and Copenhagen.
Mariner of the Seas will add new Holy Land cruises and seven-night Western Mediterranean cruises from Rome.
Liberty of the Seas will offer new five-night Western Mediterranean itineraries.
Maiden calls will be made at Arhus (Denmark), Klaksvik (Faroe Islands) and Leknes (Lofoten, Norway).
Itineraries as short as three nights or as long as 16 are available.
For the third consecutive year, Independence of the Seas will be positioned year-round in Southampton, primarily operating on an alternating series of 14-night “Mediterranean Treasures” and “Italian Mediterranean” programmes. Three 10 and 11-night Canary Islands itineraries will be available in October and November. Independence of the Seas will also offer one three-night sailing, overnighting in Paris (LeHavre, France) in May; and a four-night cruise spending the night in Cork (Ireland).
Liberty of the Seas and Independence of the Seas will offer guests onboard features such as the FlowRider surf simulator, the H20 Zone water park, a boxing ring, whirlpools, and the four-bedroom, four-bathroom Presidential Family Suite that sleeps up to 14.
In addition to the 12 homeports, Royal Caribbean International is also offering eight “interports” – where guests can board itineraries en route – creating 20 options for embarkation and disembarkation, including Toulon, Marseille and LeHavre, France; Genoa, Messina (Sicily), and Bari, Italy; Valencia, Spain; and Kusadasi (Ephesus) Turkey.
Further highlights include:
Serenade of the Seas’ European debut with 12-night alternating cruises from Barcelona (Spain).
Brilliance of the Seas’ new sailings include a mix of 12-night Norwegian Fjord and Arctic Circle sailings.
Mariner of the Seas will return to Europe for its second season with new 12-night Holy Land sailings from Rome (Italy), available in May, September and October.
Liberty of the Seas’ new five-night spring sailings from Barcelona will call at Cannes /Monte Carlo (France), Rome (Italy) and Palma de Mallorca (Spain).
Vision of the Seas, will add two new six-night Norwegian Fjord cruises from Oslo. The ship will sail Northern European waters from 29 April to 7 September, itineraries will range from four to 12 nights. Plus a 12-night Arctic Circle sailing on August 9 from Copenhagen.
From May to September, Adventure of the Seas will continue its seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries from Malaga (Spain). At the end of the season the ship will offer a series of five seven-night Canary Islands sailings, also from Malaga.
Navigator of the Seas begins its European season with an eight-night itinerary on 14 April from Barcelona (Spain), where, until 18 November, it will offer seven-night Mediterranean sailings.
Grandeur of the Seas’ cruise schedule will include seven-night Western Mediterranean sailings from Palma de Mallorca (Spain).
Voyager of the Seas will spend the bulk of its Europe season sailing out of Venice (Italy), offering 10 and 11-night cruises, with itineraries including overnight call in Istanbul (Turkey).
Splendour of the Seas will return to its schedule of seven-night “Greek Isles and Turkey” and “Greek Isles” sailings for the majority of its season, sailing from Venice from late April to early November.
Jewel of the Seas will continue to operate its 12-night “Scandinavia & Russia” cruises from 15 May to 19 August from Harwich. It will also feature one new cruise on 20 June, a “Fjords & Iceland” itinerary from Harwich.
Royal Caribbean International is offering six cruisetours, which enable guests to couple sailings with escorted land tour options.
Options include four nights in Madrid and Barcelona, available on Serenade of the Seas; five nights in Venice, Florence and Rome, available on Mariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas; three nights in Lake Como and Venice, available on Voyager of the Seas; four nights in Paris and London, available on Jewel of the Seas; and four nights in Istanbul and Cappadocia, available on Vision of the Seas.