Royal Caribbean To Base Ship Year-Round In UK

Royal Caribbean has announced it is to base the 160,000-GRT Independence of the Seas at Southampton in 2010. The ship is the first vessel from the cruise line to be deployed year-round in the UK and returns after sailing its inaugural summer season in 2008 from Southampton. With the deployment, Independence of the Seas will become the largest ship sailing in Europe.


From Southampton, Independence of the Seas will sail a series of voyages ranging from 3-/4-night short cruises to France and Ireland, to 14-night Mediterranean cruises. Ports of call for the ship include Ajaccio, Barcelona, Cadiz, Cagliari, Cannes, Cherbourg, Civitavecchia, Cork, Funchal, Gibraltar, Ibiza, Las Palmas, Lanzarote, Le Havre, Lisbon, Livorno, Malaga, Provence, Tenerife, Vigo and Villefranche.


The innovative ship features luxurious accomodation, themed restaurants and bars and a wide selection of recreation facilities onboard. Guests may choose from ice skating at the indoor ice rink and rock climbing to surfing at the ship’s surf simulator. Independence of the Seas also boasts the 4-storey high Royal Promenade, a shopping street hosting shops and performances, as well as the cruise line’s Casino Royale.


Royal Caribbean first based a ship from Southampton in 2005, when the 2,076-guest Legend of the Seas was homeported for 2 summer seasons. The cruise line then introduced the larger 3,114-guest Navigator of the Seas in 2007, before homeporting Independence of the Seas at the port in summer 2008.


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