Royal Caribbean International today announced the cruise line’s 2011 Europe cruise and cruisetour season, the cruise line’s biggest ever European deployment with 10 ships slated to sail Baltic and Mediterranean waters. The 2011 European deployment will be an increase from eight ships in 2010 and offer 109 unique itineraries, ranging from three to 15 nights and visiting 27 countries and 78 ports. Two ships, Liberty of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas,will sail their maiden Europe seasons from Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain, respectively. Independence of the Seas will continue its year-round service from Southampton, U.K. and, with Liberty of the Seas, make two Freedom-class ships to sail European waters as the largest and most innovative cruise ships. Navigator of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, and Splendour of the Seas will sail a variety of Mediterranean itineraries, while Jewel of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will ply the Baltic and North seas. Most 2011 Royal Caribbean International Europe cruises and cruisetours are now open for booking.
“Vacationers will have the widest selection of Europe’s largest and most innovative cruise ships with Royal Caribbean in 2011,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “With four classes of ships in the region, Royal Caribbean is offering a 2011 Europe cruise lineup that will appeal to a wide range of vacationers from couples seeking the romance of Europe to multigenerational family vacations. And all of our guests receive the Royal treatment from our friendly and engaging staff and crew.”
Vacationers also can choose a Royal Caribbean Europe cruisetour, providing a more comprehensive vacation experience. A cruisetour allows guests to choose from packages that combine a Europe cruise aboard one of seven Royal Caribbean ships with a three-night Italian Lakes and Venice, four-night Paris and London, four-night Madrid and Barcelona, five-night Venice, Florence and Rome, or a four-night Istanbul and Cappadocia land tour itinerary. Each land tour is escorted by a Tour Director, and ground transfers, hotel reservations, city tours and some meals are inclusive.
Guests can enhance their Europe cruise vacation with a panoply of excursion options for an additional charge, including overland options such as one featuring a comprehensive overview of the Holy Land with a stay in Jerusalem on “Grand Overland,” and another which includes both Cairo and Luxor and the Valley of the Kings on "Grand Egypt Tour." Guests also can choose from a long roster of day excursions, from visits to the ruins of Athens’ Acropolis on “Athens Sightseeing and Acropolis,” trips that explore the craters of Italy’s Mt. Etna on “Taste of Sicily: Mt. Etna & Taormina,” and an overview of Russia’s St. Petersburg, visiting the famed Hermitage Museum, Catherine’s Palace and Peterhof Palace on “The Grand St. Petersburg with Hermitage.”
For its part, Liberty of the Seas will begin its very first Europe season at Barcelona with nine short roundtrip sailings, four- and five-night Western Mediterranean itineraries. Then, Liberty of the Seas will offer a repeating seven-night Western Mediterranean itinerary for the remainder of the season. Sister-ship Independence of the Seas will offer year-round Europe itineraries for the second consecutive year, beginning with alternating 14-night roundtrip Eastern and Western Mediterranean sailings from Southampton, U.K. The ship will then sail 11-night Canary Islands itineraries in autumn and 18-night Ultimate Mediterranean itineraries during the winter months. Liberty of the Seas and Independence of the Seas will be the only vessels in Europe exclusively featuring amenities that have revolutionized the cruise industry, such as the FlowRider surf simulator, the H20 Zone water park, a boxing ring, cantilevered whirlpools, and the four-bedroom, four-bathroom Presidential Family Suite that sleeps up to 14. With eight restaurants and more than 15 bars and lounges, each of the two ships offer guests one-of-kind vacation experiences found on no other ship in Europe.
In 2011, Voyager of the Seas will mark the first ever arrival of a Voyager-class cruise ship to Venice and offer new seven-night roundtrip itineraries from the City of Canals, opening for booking at a later date. Sister-ship Adventure of the Seas will homeport for a second year in Malaga, Spain, offering a seven-night Western Mediterranean itinerary through early autumn, followed by six five-night sailings alternating a Mediterranean with Canary Islands itinerary. Navigator of the Seas, meanwhile, will offer a seven-night roundtrip Eastern Mediterranean itinerary from Rome, which includes a call at Chania (Souda), Greece, a new port for Royal Caribbean. All three Voyager-class ships are equipped with ice-skating rinks, the line’s iconic rock-climbing walls, nine-hole miniature golf courses, and the Royal Promenade, a boulevard, lined with shops, restaurants, bars and lounges running nearly the length of the ship.
Grandeur of the Seas will offer vacationers two brand-new alternating seven-night itineraries, Western Mediterranean and Italian Mediterranean, sailing roundtrip from Palma de Mallorca, a new homeport for the cruise line. Brilliance of the Seas will return to Barcelona on alternating 12-night roundtrip Mediterranean sailings, which feature maiden calls at Italy’s Naples (Salerno) and Ravenna, a new port offering more choices of tours to Milan and Florence.
From Istanbul, Turkey, Vision of the Seas will offer six roundtrip sailings in autumn 2011 on new 10- and 11-night Holy Land itineraries. Splendour of the Seas will be homeported at Rome (Civitavecchia) and offer a variety of itineraries, including new 12-night roundtrip Mediterranean Holy Land and Mediterranean Egypt cruises. The Egypt itinerary features a two-day overnight call in Alexandria Egypt.
The 2011 summer Baltic season for Jewel of the Seas will offer vacationers a range of 12-night roundtrip itineraries from Harwich, England, to Scandinavia and Russia. Ports of call include Copenhagen; Stockholm; Tallinn, Estonia; and an overnight at St. Petersburg, Russia. Vision of the Seas, meanwhile, will offer a range of three- to seven-night Baltic and Scandinavia itineraries sailing from Copenhagen, Oslo, or Stockholm. On the June 11, 2011 sailing, Vision of the Seas will make a maiden call at Liverpool, England.