Categorized | Cruises

Royal Caribbean drops year-round cruises from England…

Posted on 27 October 2011


Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas during construction in 2007.

Royal Caribbean’s experiment with year-round cruising out England is coming to an end.


The world’s second largest cruise line on Wednesday announced the 3,634-passenger Independence of the Seas will return to the Caribbean for the winter of 2012/13 after two years of sailing year-round out of Southampton, England.


At 154,407 tons, the three-year-old cruise ship is the largest ever to sail regularly out of the port.


Royal Caribbean says Independence of the Seas will sail alternating eight-night Eastern Caribbean and six-night Western Caribbean itineraries out of Fort Lauderdale starting in December 2012. The Eastern Caribbean route features stops in San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Maarten; St. Kitts; and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach destination in Haiti. The Western Caribbean route offers stops in Falmouth, Jamaica; Grand Cayman; and Labadee.


Independence of the Seas won’t be leaving the UK entirely. The line says the ship will continue to sail out of Southampton during warmer months, returning to the port in April 2013 for a summer of Europe sailings.


Royal Caribbean’s decision to end winter sailings out of Southampton in 2012 comes just six months after the line abruptly canceled upcoming winter sailings out of Barcelona.


In April, the line announced that the 3,114-passenger Navigator of the Seas would reposition in November from the Mediterranean, where it had been scheduled to spend the coming winter, to the Caribbean.


Since moving year-round to Southampton in 2010, Independence of the Seas has catered heavily to the UK market

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