Independence of the Seas returns to the UK for its second season based from Southampton, England on April 25. Owner Royal Caribbean International announced that the ship will be based year-round from the port in 2010. The development will see Royal Caribbean International generate a massive £50 million in terms of knock-on economic impact on the Southampton area.
Independence of the Seas will be the first ever Royal Caribbean International ship to be based year-round from the UK and will remain the largest ship sailing in Europe.
Robin Shaw, vice president and managing director, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, UK and Ireland explained: “Royal Caribbean International is committed to continuing to grow its presence in the British and Irish markets. When Independence of the Seas first sailed from the UK it was one of the best performing ships in the fleet. The 2009 return of the ship has been equally successful due to the fantastic array of activity, entertainment and facilities onboard, and the enormous support we receive from our trade partners. It is great news that Independence of the Seas will call Southampton home for the long term and means that we firmly cement our position as one of the leading players in the UK cruise industry.”
The first-ever winter 2010 season of Royal Caribbean International’s Independence of the Seas will go on sale June 1. Royal Caribbean International will be supporting the push with a major trade and consumer marketing campaign, as well as dedicated point of sale materials for agents.
Winter cruises in 2010 and 2011 will include romantic destinations along the Italian Riviera, island visits in the Sorrentine Peninsula on the south side of the Gulf of Naples, as well as the Balearic Islands, these cruises range from 11-to 18-nights in duration.