Inside Symphony of the Seas’ Debut Europe Season

Barcelona (Gatsi/ iStock / Getty Images Plus/ Getty Images)
The new ship will sail for the first time from Barcelona. // Photo by Gatsi/ iStock / Getty Images Plus/ Getty Images

Royal Caribbean just announced its 2018 Europe deployment, which will mark the debut season of its newest ship, the Oasis-class Symphony of the Seas.

The ship will sail for the first time from Barcelona, Spain, in April 2018, offering summer itineraries in the western Mediterranean. Starting April 21, the ship will sail seven-night itineraries from Barcelona to Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence, France; Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples/Capri, Italy. Highlights will include visits to Barcelona's La Sagrada Familia Cathedral and tours of the museums of Florence. Roundtrip sailings from Rome will also be available.

The new Symphony of the Seas, which Royal Caribbean officially announced earlier this month, will break the line’s previous record for “world’s largest cruise ship” with 28 more staterooms than previous record holder Harmony of the Seas. In addition to the Oasis class’ seven-neighborhood design concept, with areas like the BoardwalkCentral Park, and more, the ship will also incorporate amenities from the line’s Quantum class, like Bionic Bar robot bartenders, a waterfront Aqua Theater and the Ultimate Abyss, billed as the tallest waterslide at sea. (You can watch a video of a ride on the Ultimate Abyss here.)

Following its debut season in Europe Symphony of the Seas will sail from a newly redesigned Terminal A in PortMiami starting November 17, 2018, offering seven-night eastern and western Caribbean itineraries. Sailings will include calls at ports visited by the line’s other Oasis-class ships, as well as new ports Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis.

Royal Caribbean’s 2018 Europe Itineraries

What else is new for the summer 2018 season? Vision of the Seas will join Symphony, offering 12-night sailings from Barcelona with ports of call in Rome, Italy; Nice, France; Santorini and Athens, Greece. In northern Europe, Brilliance of the Seas will sail new 12-night itineraries from Amsterdam visiting countries throughout the Baltics, Norway and the British Isles, including Holyhead, Wales

Holyhead on the Isle of Anglesey, Wales, will be a maiden call for Royal Caribbean this season. The destination is famous for its landscape dominated by peaks, lakes and waterfalls. The line will also call at European destinations that had previously been on hiatus: Flam, Molde, and Skjolden in Norway and Isafjordur, Iceland.

In the United Kingdom, Independence of the Seas will return to Southampton, offering three- to 14-night voyages to the Mediterranean and a 14-night itinerary to the Canary Islands, all from Southampton. Navigator of the Seas will join Independence, sailing five- to 14- night itineraries.

Farther north, Serenade of the Seas will offer seven-night sailings to the Norwegian Fjords, plus a Scandinavia and Russia itinerary with departures from Copenhagen, Denmark and Stockholm, Sweden.

In Italy, following a $30 million makeover in 2016, Jewel of the Seas will sail seven- and nine-night sailings though the Greek Isles and western Mediterranean. Rhapsody of the Seas will return to Venice, with seven-night excursions to the Greek Isles, and Greece and Croatia.

All itineraries are available to book as of March 23, 2017, with bookings opening one day earlier for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members.