Independence of the Seas will make six stops in Alicante, Spain in 2012


The Alicante Port Authority announced today that Royal Caribbean has agreed to have Independence of the Seas make six stops at Alicante, Spain in 2012 after an agreement was reached between the two entities.

This agreement has been announced in the course of the exhibition "Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention, which since yesterday and tomorrow is held in Miami, and where the APA participated as part of the Spanish delegation.

Through this collaboration, the Independence of the Sea will arrive at the port of Alicante on six occasions between the months of June, July and August 2012.

Independence of the Seas was considered the world's largest until the construction of "Oasis of the Seas" in November 2009.

Liberty of the Seas ready to kick off Mediterranean cruise season


With a maximum number of passengers by 3436 guests, Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas will arrive for the first time in Europe and will add another large cruise ship to that side of the Atlantic. Between April and October of this year, Liberty of the Seas will offer a selection of cruises with a length of four to seven nights in the western Mediterranean from its homeport of Barcelona, Spain.

At the beginning of the season is a series of short cruises on the program. On April 16, 2011 the first route leads to a 5-night trip to Villefranche (Nice), Civitavecchia (Rome) and Cagliari on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. This route is booked for other departure dates between April 2011 and May 2011 from 479 EUR per person in twin inside cabin. 

Caribbean worried about more ships going to Europe


With another Royal Caribbean ship moving from the Caribbean to Europe in the summer of 2012, the Caribbean Tourism Organization has expressed concern over the growing momentum to take business away from their region of the world.

Royal Caribbean announced earlier than Serenade of the Seas would be leaving the Caribbean in favor of a European itinerary and the CTO is taking steps to develop alternative strategies, with the goal of becoming more competitive in the cruise line business during the summer period.

The Caribbean is still an in-demand place to visit and remains highly rather and Caribbean cruises form a significant part of tourism in general.  Supporting this data is the fact that arrivals increased by 6% in 2010, which continues to build upon strong tourist figures that have been steadily accumulating over the past four decades.

Of particular concern is the Southern Caribbean, which experiences good demand in the winter but the summer season is disadvantaged by the geographic factor and the high cost of fuel.

Royal Caribbean confirms its commitment to Livorno, Italy


Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas, the sister ship of the third and final Freedom class ship, is calling the port of Livorno, Italy home for the second time during the 2011 cruise season.  Independence will alternate eastern and western Mediterranean cruises, sailing from Southampton in the UK.

In the 2011 season, there are 12 ships calling at Livorno. After Independence of the Seas, will support in the Tuscan port the other ships of the fleet, the first stop will be to Liberty of the Seas April 27, will then be the turn of Brilliance of the Seas May 9, Voyager of the Seas 17 May, Adventure of the Seas May 18, Grandeur of the Seas July 27, and Navigator of the Seas November 7 and Navigator of the Seas November 7. 

"Always the port of Livorno, the company has for a role of primary importance - says Lina Mazzucco, general manager of Royal Caribbean Italy. "We were able to significantly increase the scale of the fleet which become 91 against 79 last year. Similarly, increases the flow of passengers, who went from 227,000 in 2010 to over 323,000 in 2011. "

Royal Caribbean enters passengers transfer deal with Norwegian Air Shuttle


Royal Caribbean has struck a deal with European low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle to fly about 8,000 Royal Caribbean guests to a number of destinations in the Mediterranean during the upcoming summer season.

As part of the deal, Norwegian Air Shuttle will transport cruise passengers from Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo to Malaga, Barcelona, Palma, Rome and Venice.

"We are very happy with the contract with RCCL. Cruise passengers have high requirements for comfort, which we can satisfy with our many new planes," Norwegian Air Shuttle sales director Lars Sande said.

Extra Royal Caribbean ships in Europe boosts sales


No other American cruise line has been targeting the European cruise market as aggressively as Royal Caribbean and it sounds like its efforts are paying off with sales spiking upwards.  Royal Caribbean says the increase in its ships in Europe and the Mediterranean has resulted in boosting its sales for the United Kingdom and Ireland segment of the business.

How much higher are sales? Royal Caribbean says early bookings from its "wave" booking window show Royal Caribbean European sales are up more than 50% from the same time in 2010.

Royal Caribbean Vice President and Managing Director for UK and Ireland Dominic Paul said, "Our decision to continue to invest in the marketplace shows all signs of paying off. This summer we will have 11 ships based close to the UK around Europe, offering a huge variety of great value holidays, and this is driving a significant increase in sales. Our new “What you see is what you get” campaign is resonating well with both consumers and trade partners, and we are delighted with the support we’re receiving from the trade. We remain cautiously confident that the positive start to the year will set us in good stead for the remainder of 2011."

Royal Caribbean moves towards simpler pricing


In the United Kingdom, Royal Caribbean is trying to make pricing a cruise easier for its customers. Royal Caribbean will now adopt a "what you see is what you get" approach to pricing its cruises in an attempt to foster earlier bookings.

Mark Walter, Head of field sales for Royal Caribbean, thinks this move is a step in the right direction, "he new ‘what you see is what you get’ campaign from Royal Caribbean International marks a step-change in the promotion of cruising.  All the prices and campaign elements are aimed towards making it easy for first-timer cruisers who will be comparing a holiday at sea with traditional land resorts options. We’ve scraped the traditional cruise jargon and focused on the incredible value that a cruise represents."

Royal Caribbean will send more ships to Europe


Royal Caribbean is planning on sending in the summer of 2011 as many cruise ships to Europe as ever before. Eleven ships will be in operation in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, the company said in Frankfurt, Germany.

That's three more ships than in the current summer season 2010. Also announced, the Brilliance of the Seas in the winter season 2011/12  will be reinstated in the Persian Gulf. The first tour to/from Dubai begins in November 2011 and that two months earlier than in the coming winter season.
For the first time this side of the Atlantic, Liberty of the Seas with space for up to 3634 guests, will be traveling in the summer of 2011 the 339 meters long, . It belongs to the second largest class of ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet and will travel from Barcelona to the western Mediterranean. Also for the first time in Europe is Grandeur of the Seas (279 meters, 2446 passengers), with a base port in the Palma de Mallorca. In Genoa, Mariner of the Seas begins the third Euro-novice their travels.

More than 44,000 passengers pass through Malaga


The port authority in Malaga, Spain reported in the months of June, July and August this year, a total of 44,030 passengers disembarked in the port, representing an increase of 9,169 percent over the same period last year.  Additionally, a total of 45,717 people embarked on a cruise ship from the port, a 11,105 percent increase over the same period of 2009.

Cruise companies like Royal Caribbean have been responsible for the increase in traffic to the city.

Is a drop in European demand cause for concern?


If there's one cruise company that has placed the most resources in the idea that European cruise demand is what will drive profits, it's been Royal Caribbean.  Over the past couple of years, Royal Caribbean has been moving more and more of their ships to Europe to meet the perceived demand for cruise ships as well as the strong Euro.  Yesterday, cruise stock prices fell on the New York Stock Exchange on concerns about demand in Europe and on a drop in the broader stock market.

Royal Caribbean stock dropped 4.9 percent to $26.74 after trading on Wednesday and competitor cruise line stocks followed as well. The reason for the drop in price was a day earlier, Europe's biggest travel company, TUI Travel, said strong booking patterns seen in early May were not sustained during the early summer period.

"TUI Travel (Plc's) cautionary comments coupled (with) recent comments from European-based consumer staple companies of slowing demand cannot be dismissed and will bear ongoing close monitoring," Wells Fargo analyst Timothy Conder said in a research note Wednesday.

All isn't lost quite yet, as Wells Fargo Analyst Timothy Conder also said that booking and pricing trends for European-based cruises remained "encouraging."