Where are Royal Caribbean's cruise ships right now? February 2021
While there are not going to be any Royal Caribbean cruise ships operating outside of Singapore, you might be wondering where the rest of the cruise ships are located.
Royal Caribbean's cruise ships are in a state of warm layup around the world in strategically located areas to be near resupply ports.
This allows the ships to easily get into port to offload waste, bring on new supplies, and sometimes exchange out the skeleton crew working onboard.
During this period of no cruises, the ships primarily stay in place, but a few have changed locations from time to time.
This information was gathered, and accurate, as of February 25, 2021.
Map courtesy of cruisemapper.com
- Symphony of the Seas
- Harmony of the Seas
- Oasis of the Seas
- Independence of the Seas
- Liberty of the Seas
- Allure of the Seas
- Explorer of the Seas
- Navigator of the Seas
- Mariner of the Seas
- Vision of the Seas
- Grandeur of the Seas
- Rhapsody of the Seas
- Enchantment of the Seas
- Brilliance of the Seas
- Adventure of the Seas
- Freedom of the Seas
- Serenade of the Seas
- Jewel of the Seas
Le Havre, France
- Anthem of the Seas
- Odyssey of the Seas
- Quantum of the Seas
- Radiance of the Seas
- Ovation of the Seas
- Voyager of the Seas
What do cruise ships do while there aren't any cruises?
Quantum of the Seas is the only Royal Caribbean cruise ship operating right now, but the rest of the fleet is being manned by a skeleton crew while they wait to restart sailings.
This is referred to as "warm lay up", and it means the ship is operational and ready to quickly resume cruises again once they are given the go-ahead to do so.
By keeping the ships in warm lay up instead of cold lay up, they can more quickly get back into service when the time is right. The downside to warm lay up is it costs Royal Caribbean more money to keep the ships operating in this state.
Most of the time, the ships remain in place. More recently, many ships departed Europe for the Caribbean.
If you track cruise ships on the internet, you might see one ship occasionally come into port to receive new supplies and unload waste. In the United States, PortMiami has been the most commonly used destination for ships nearby to resupply.
When will Royal Caribbean ships sail again?
In the short term, only Quantum of the Seas is able to sail right now.
Quantum of the Seas has restarted cruises from Singapore in December 2020, where she has been offering 3- and 4-night "cruises to nowhere" that are open only to Singapore residents.
The rest of the fleet is shutdown through the end of April 2021, although more cancellations are likely.
Royal Caribbean is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to receive permission to start cruises again.
During Royal Caribbean Group's fourth quarter 2020 earnings call with investors, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley reported Royal Caribbean has been in "regular communication" with the CDC and expects to get technical instructions on what each ship needs to do in order to prepare itself for test cruises.
Test cruises will be the opportunity for cruise lines to demonstrate they can operate in a safe manner through a variety of new protocols.
The reality is no one really know when exactly cruises will start, and that means Royal Caribbean's ships will remain idle around the world until the company is ready to start operations up.
When they do start cruising again, do not expect all 26 ships to resume sailings immediately. Royal Caribbean has said repeatedly it expects to start with a few ships that can sail to its private destinations first, and then expand operations from there.
Royal Caribbean Group CFO Jason Liberty noted the company could add a second ship outside of the U.S. soon, "We are already operating Quantum of the Seas in Singapore, and our second ship in the water could also be outside of the US."
The best expectation is for a handful of ships beginning at first, with a phased approach to bringing the entire fleet back.