Press Release

Royal Caribbean opens year-long Cuba cruises

In:
10May2017

Royal Caribbean has expanded its cruises to Cuba on Empress of the Seas with 58 cruises of 4- and 5-night itineraries from January 2018 through March 2019, more than half offering overnight stays.

Empress of the Seas will return to Tampa for summer 2018, offering a series of 4- and 5-night cruises, calling on Key West, Florida, and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, as well as Havana, Cuba on most sailings. The ship will reposition to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the winter 2018-2019 season, continuing short Caribbean adventures to the Caribbean destinations. Currently, Empress sails from Tampa through Nov. 4, 2017. The ship then returns to Miami for the winter 2017-2018 season, adding calls to Royal Caribbean’s private island destination CocoCay and Nassau in The Bahamas.

"Since arriving in Cuba for the first time last month, we’ve seen the excitement of our guests when sailing into Havana and the passion they have for the city at sail away – its people, its architecture, its food, its music. This is the enthusiasm we strive to bring to adventure-seekers who vacation with us," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "The positive reaction to our Cuba sailings is very encouraging, and we are thrilled to expand on the number of sailings for our 2018-2019 itineraries."

Royal Caribbean wraps up record breaking season in Australia

In:
24Apr2017

With the departure of Explorer of the Seas from Sydney on Saturday evening, Royal Caribbean has concluded a record breaking 2016/2017 summer seas in Australia.

The company’s three brands, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, based an unprecedented seven ships in the region – 15 percent of the global fleet – including two new ships; the newest and biggest Australia has ever seen, Ovation of the Seas, and the boutique, freshly revitalised Azamara Journey.

Adam Armstrong, managing director, RCL Australia & NZ, commented on the big year down under, “We increased capacity by 17 percent, introduced two new ships to the region, completely refreshed another, launched a brand new cruise port in Wollongong, and wowed Aussies, Kiwis and more than 50,000 guests from overseas on over 90 different itineraries around Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Asia. What’s more, Royal Caribbean International became Australia’s largest cruise line in terms of capacity over the summer season. It truly has been a record breaking seven months."

“Royal Caribbean changed the game for cruising down under when we introduced supercruising to Australia, with the incredible US$1 billion Ovation of the Seas,” Armstrong continued.

The spectacular vessel arrived in December to much fan-fare and was the first brand new ship to be based in Australian waters. 

Radiance of the Seas made waves this season opening up a new port for the industry, becoming the first cruise ship to bring passengers to the NSW coastal city of Wollongong and arriving to huge celebrations from locals of the Illawarra. The City of Wollongong also welcomed Voyager of the Seas twice during the season.

Radiance of the Seas also made maiden calls for Royal Caribbean to the beautiful South Pacific islands of Tonga, visiting Vava'u and Nuku’alofa in December. Meanwhile, identical sister ships Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas, known as the South Pacific sisters, made their mark with dedicated sailings all season to the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia.

The upcoming 2017/18 season will see four Royal Caribbean International ships return, including the ground-breaking Ovation of the Seas for a longer second season, along with South Pacific sisters Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean makes inaugural visit to Havana

In:
24Apr2017

Royal Caribbean made history yesterday with the cruise line's inaugural visit to Cuba with Empress of the Seas. Guests participated in curated excursions throughout Havana, including rides in 1950s classic American cars to the city’s most famous locales, including the old quarter and the Havana Club Museum.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of Cuba’s future, ushering in Royal Caribbean’s next big adventure with Empress of the Seas’ first visit to Havana. Vacationers will now be able to experience a destination like no other, with authentic and immersive experiences that bring to life the vibrancy of Havana and its traditions,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

The vibrant Cuban culture extends beyond land to the experience onboard Empress of the Seas. From cortaditos and café con leche in Café Royal to salsa music and dancing in Boleros Latin lounge, guests will enjoy a range of onboard activities developed to bring the spirit of the island to life throughout the entire journey.

After returning to Miami, Florida, Empress of the Seas will reposition to Tampa, Fla. for the summer season – the cruise line’s first ever summer program from the destination – offering a series of four, five and six-night sailings, including day and overnight visits to Havana, along with stops in Key West, Fla. and Belize City, Belize, as well as Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. Sailings from Tampa are available through Nov. 4, 2017 when Empress returns to Miami for the winter season, adding calls to CocoCay and Nassau in The Bahamas.               

Royal Caribbean announces partnership with Puerto Rico to improve San Juan pier

In:
06Apr2017

Governor Ricardo Rosselló, along with the executive director of the Ports Authority, Lic. Omar Marrero Díaz, announced Thursday improvements to San Juan's Pan American II Pier, in partnership with the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

The announcement comes as Royal Caribbean announced its intention to homeport Freedom of the Seas in San Juan in May 2018.  To do this, investments will be made in this port facility to optimize the infrastructure and in turn improve the experience of the passengers at the dock.

As part of the agreement between Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and the Ports Authority, a number of works will be carried out including: improvements to the boarding bridge, improvements and reconfiguration of safety checkpoints, adding passenger registration desks, The capacity of the baggage inspection area, improvements to the bathrooms, dredging to the dock area of ​​the Pan American Wharf II, improvements to the mooring structure of the ships and other miscellaneous improvements to the building.

The economic impact is expected to be momentous and have an increase in Ports Authority revenues of $2.8 million.

For fiscal year 2015-2016 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. brought a total of 574,140 passengers and is expected to increase to approximately 700,000 passengers by 2018.

Royal Caribbean holding contest to find world-trekking Instagram stars

In:
27Mar2017

Royal Caribbean is holding a contest to find Instagram adventure seekers who want to travel the world and compete for the title of "World's Most Adventurous Squad".

The new social media contest will challenge explorers and aspiring Instagram stars, with one group of up to four friends to be crowned the “World’s Most Adventurous Squad,” and win trips anywhere Royal Caribbean sails to help live up to their newly minted title.

Royal Caribbean will hold five adventure-themed Instagram challenges. From highlighting hidden gems in their travels to showcasing their most epic eats, each challenge will give participants the opportunity to share their most impressive photos for a chance to win. Each challenge will run for 72 hours on Royal Caribbean’s Instagram account starting on March 29 and through April 12. To take part in the challenge, adventurers simply post their photo to Instagram, tag three friends that will comprise their squad and use the hashtag #AdventureSquad and #Contest.

Upon completion of each challenge, Royal Caribbean will select one winning squad – based on their creativity and spirit of adventure in line with the theme of the day.

The winners will then set sail on the adventure of a lifetime onboard Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest and most adventurous ship taking over Royal Caribbean's social media channels as they go. The finalists will go head-to-head to capture and share adrenaline-pumping content both from the ship and exotic destinations, including Labadee, Haiti, Royal Caribbean’s private destination; Falmouth, Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico. At the end of their adventure, the squad that most embodies the spirit of adventure will be named the “World’s Most Adventurous Squad” and win trips anywhere Royal Caribbean sails. In addition, squads’ adventures also will be seen when they light up Royal Caribbean’s digital billboards in New York City in May.

Australian travel blogger Tyson Mayr (@tysontravel) will act as the contest host, announcing each 48-hour Instagram challenge. Mayr is no stranger to social media contests; he won one himself in 2014 and was paid to travel the globe for a year. Since then, he’s made a living as an adventurer and content creator, proving that Internet fame is within reach for social media contest winners.

Those back at home can watch the action unfold by following @RoyalCaribbean and #AdventureSquad on Instagram and Snapchat. For details on how to take part in the Adventure Squad challenge, as well as information on the winning squad, visit www.AdventureSquad.com.

Royal Caribbean parent company launching new site to help guests book land tours

In:
24Mar2017

Royal Caribbean International's parent company has launched a new site dedicated to offering private excursions and tours.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. launched GoBe this week and is the first non-cruise venture for the company. GoBe will allow travelers to book trips in 97 countries and 896 cities around the world. Excursions range from a $14 bus tour in Cape Town, South Africa, to a helicopter tour of Rome, starting at $3,785 per person.

The goal is simple: Royal Caribbean hopes to attract all travelers, instead of just those with a love for cruising.

GoBe is headed up by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chief Destination Officer. Larry Pimentel. He also serves as president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises, “Given our experience in working with tour and attraction operations around the world for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, the launch of a website that can bring this high-demand offering to all travelers was only natural for us."

On GoBe, users enter their destination and scroll through the different excursions, tours, and activities until they find something they like. Each option is accompanied by a full description, including languages spoken, duration and activity level. For an extra cost, customers can even call the GoBe customer care line to have a custom itinerary put together.

Royal Caribbean celebrates sustainable shore excursion milestone

In:
10Mar2017

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and 70 operators are celebrating the completion of a multi-year program aimed at increasing the number of sustainable tours available to the company’s five million annual guests.

Royal Caribbean's Save the Waves program has been an important part of the company's drive to raise awareness among its guests by designating tours whose operators have been verified to have adopted policies that align with international standards for sustainability developed by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) for tour operators.

RCL worked with Sustainable Travel International to develop the Sustainable Tourism Education Program’s (STEP) Sustainable Shore Excursion Standard, a subset of criteria and indicators from the GSTC standard selected by STI as being applicable to cruise tourism shore excursions.  The SSE standard is designed to help identify providers who offer high-quality shore excursions that also support local communities and conserve the environment.

Sustainable shore excursions are more than just nature tours – they encompass a broader category that includes tours that responsibly manage environmental impacts, preserve local history and cultures, protect the rights and resources of the local community and have properly trained employees committed to quality service.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) represents a diverse and global membership, including UN agencies, leading travel companies, hotels, country tourism boards, tour operators, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.  

Royal Caribbean becomes only cruise line to offer full range of PADI Scuba Diving offerings

In:
23Jan2017

Royal Caribbean announced today it is the only cruise line in the world with onboard PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors®) Five Star Dive Centers, which allows guests to become certified scuba divers as part of their vacation.

Royal Caribbean’s partnership with PADI offers plenty of options for guests, regardless of experience. Whether a newbie or experienced diver, Royal Caribbean offers a range of programs from a 30-minute Try Dive program, for those just wanting to get their feet wet, to PADI’s Reactivate™ Program for certified divers wanting a refresher; prices starting at $29 and $59 per person, respectively.

Those seeking the ultimate scuba dive vacation can enroll in PADI’s Open Water Diver course to earn their complete scuba diving certification, starting at $599 per person. The premiere scuba course begins at home with the online course using either the PADI Touch™ app for mobile devices or PADI eLearning® online for desktop and laptop computers, leaving more time for the fun of scuba diving while on vacation.

Once on the high seas, divers will test the waters in the ship’s pool before heading out to complete the four mandatory, open-water training dives in some of the world’s most spectacular underwater surroundings. The training dives will be split among two different ports of call, allowing for maximum sightseeing in the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean or South Pacific. Upon returning home, guests will be certified scuba divers able to plan and execute dives on their own and have the stories to share about the aquatic world they’ve recently discovered. 

Guests looking to immerse themselves in the beauty of the ocean and wonder of marine life can book their PADI course before boarding through the Cruise Planner, or while on board at one of the Royal Caribbean-exclusive PADI Five Star Dive Centers found on 10 ships across the fleet, including Oasis-, Freedom- and Voyager-class ships, as well as Quantum-class’ Anthem of the Seas.

"For the past 16 years Royal Caribbean has worked closely with PADI to develop our onboard dive program," said Roberta Jacoby, managing director, Global Tour Operations at Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. "No other cruise line offers the opportunity for guests to become PADI certified scuba divers as part of the cruise, making it an ultimate dive trip as well. When guests sign up for the PADI Open Water Diver Course, they receive first-rate training and diver certification, performing their own scuba dives amidst the beautiful and serene waters of multiple Caribbean destinations and the South Pacific."

A look at what's new in 2017 for Royal Caribbean

In:
09Jan2017

Each year, Royal Caribbean offers its guest new and interesting ways to see the world.  Like so many companies, they continuously look for new ways to innovate and capture the attention of the public in changes to their plans.  With 2017 here, Royal Caribbean is continuing with that tradition some new and notable itinerary and deployments this year.

Notable homeports in 2017

In 2017, the state of Florida will be home to the three largest cruise ships in the world year-round. Harmony of the Seas and Allure of the Seas will call Ft. Lauderdale home, and Oasis of the Seas in Port Canaveral, which is close to Orlando.

Royal Caribbean will also offer expanded Caribbean itineraries from the Northeast in 2017, with Rhapsody of the Seas joining Anthem of the Seas in Cape Liberty, New Jersey. This will be the first time that two Royal Caribbean ships will be sailing from Cape Liberty, offering guests in the New York more ways to explore the award-winning cruise line. 

The largest ship to sail to Cuba from the United States, Empress of the Seas will provide vacationers with the opportunity to discover the timeless sights, sounds and culture of this island nation. The newly revitalized Empress of the Seas will make history for the cruise line with its first visit to Cuba during a 5-night sailing departing Miami on April 19, 2017. 

New and notable itineraries in 2017

In 2017 Royal Caribbean will be offering several new itinerary options. 

  • Empress of the Seas will homeport in Tampa for the 2017 summer season – the cruise line’s first-ever summer program from the destination – offering a series of 4- and 5-night sailings, including port calls in Cuba. 
  • Explorer of the Seas will sail roundtrip from Seattle, and Radiance of the Seas will sail from Vancouver, BC to Seward, AK and then from Seward, AK to Vancouver, BC.
  • Freedom of the Seas will host guests on seven-night sailings through the Western Mediterranean, while Brilliance of the Seas will navigate eight European destinations with a 12-night itinerary, both departing from Barcelona, Spain.
  • Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas will sail the Mediterranean and the Spanish Canary Islands from Southampton, England with itineraries that extend from 7 to 14 nights.
  • Serenade of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will head to northern Europe with a checklist of ports that includes Copenhagen, Denmark, home to the 100 year old Tivoli Gardens amusement park.
  • Adventure of the Seas will sail from Puerto Rico to the most sought-after Southern Caribbean islands on 7-night itineraries, and Liberty of the Seas will remain in Galveston, Texas in 2017, offering a variety of 7-night escapes to the Western Caribbean.

Will you be sailing on any of these new itineraries? Tell us what you have booked for 2017 in the comments below!

Royal Caribbean releases new sustainability report

In:
19Dec2016

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. released today its Sustainability Report, which documents the Company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and showcases improved efficiencies across its fleet.

In the report, the company noted the expansion of its Advanced Emissions Purification program, as well as a new set of goals for the year 2020 that were established with input from the company's global conservation partner, World Wildlife Fund.

2015 marked the 10th-year of the Save the Waves program, which focused on emissions and waste reduction, as well as increasing the number of shore excursions that met an internationally recognized sustainability standard.

In line with these goals, over the past decade RCL built its most efficient cruise ships and reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 25 percent. In 2015, 17 ships reported 100 percent re-purposed waste on certain itineraries.  

"At Royal Caribbean, we are working to put sustainability into the heart of our business," said  Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We bring 5,000,000 guests to nearly 500 ports around the world every year, and we understand our responsibility to do so in a way that protects the oceans that we sail every day. Our mantra is continuous improvement, and that especially applies to our environmental performance."

Royal Caribbean also achieved a few other notable highlights during this year, including

The full Sustainability Report may be viewed at www.rclcorporate.com/environment.

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