An agreement between the Canaveral Port Authority and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is expected to be finalized in the next few months to homeport Freedom of the Seas at Port Canaveral. Royal Caribbean today submitted a letter of intent to deploy the 160,000 grossregistered-ton vessel to Canaveral in May 2009.

“The Freedom of the Seas will be the largest cruise vessel homeported here,” says Port Canaveral CEO Stan Payne. “And the agreement represents the longest commitment of Royal Caribbean to Port Canaveral.”

“Bringing a Freedom-class ship to Port Canaveral will give vacationers another homeport choice to experience the most innovative cruise ship at sea,” said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “Based on the popularity of Mariner of the Seas at Port Canaveral, we look forward to and anticipate similar success for Freedom of the Seas.”

The 3,634 guest capacity, double-occupancy, Freedom-class ships revolutionized the cruise industry when Freedom of the Seas first was launched in 2006. With Liberty of the Seas, launched in 2007, and the soonto-be launched Independence of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s Freedom-class ships feature exclusive onboard amenities, such as the FlowRider surf simulator, the H2O Zone water park, a boxing ring for Power-Box conditioning classes, an ice-skating rink, 10-route rock-climbing wall, a full-size basketball court, and the Royal Promenade, a boulevard of restaurants, bars, lounge and shops that runs nearly the length of the ship.

“We are delighted that Royal Caribbean continues to offer those traveling from Port Canaveral with the best the cruise line has to offer,” says Joe Matheny, Chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners.