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Royal Caribbean releases plans for 2013 European cruises


Royal Caribbean has outlined its plans for cruises to Europe in 2013 and it will include sending Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas, among other ships, to Europe for the season.

Royal Caribbean calls for stopping in 30 ports and features 121 sailings over 25 itineraries.

Royal Caribbean had previously announced Independence of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas were being deployed to Southampton, England, and now there are more ships that will be sent as well. Royal Caribbean plans to have these five ships ready for bookings with additional deployments in the region that will be announced later this month.

Royal Caribbean vice president Dominic Paul commented on the plans, "Royal Caribbean International is the perfect choice for couples and families to experience and share all the wonders, flavours and colours of Europe. Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, and Serenade of the Seas already offer holidaymakers so many things that other operators do not, such as the DreamWorks Experience onboard Liberty of the Seas, or a real ice-skating rink featuring breath-taking shows onboard Navigator of the Seas and even self-levelling pool tables onboard Serenade of the Seas."

Royal Caribbean will invest in Greek port of Heraklion


Greece has been hampered by bad economic news for months now, but Royal Caribbean is doing its part to help the nation out a little.  Royal Caribbean announced it will invest in the port of Heraklion by spending money on port infrastructure upgrades, construction of a hotel and a conference center.

Royal Caribbean's strategy in Greece is to target six ports: Piraeus, Heraklion, Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Kos and Mykonos.  The plan is to transform one of these ports into a cruise hub, which will bring in thousands of visitors each day.

Currently, Heraklion and Rhodes are the leading candidates for that distinction.

The plan includes port infrastructure and construction of a 4-star hotel, a conference center of 1,000 square meters, a shopping centre of 3,000 suare meters and a marina for 120 yachts.

Royal Caribbean estimates over a 5-year span that 800,000 passengers per year could visit Heraklion, which would bring an annual revenue of over €3 million.

Bari, Italy will be new port of embarkation for Royal Caribbean in 2012


Voyager of the Seas made her last stop in Bari, Italy this season before she heads west to Caribbean.  In 2012, however, Bari will become the new port of embarkation for Royal Caribbean, according to Royal Caribbean Italy's General Manager John Rotondo.

"To confirm the growing interest in Royal Caribbean towards the Italian market and the role very strategic city of Bari, it has been announced that next year Bari will become the port of embarkation for ships of the group, with significant benefits for tourism in the city, natural gateway to discover the beauty and culture of Puglia. "

Voyager of the Seas ends Adriatic cruise season


Voyager of the Seas' Adriatic cruise season has come to a close after her stop in Ravenna, Italy. Voyager of the Seas has wrapped up its inaugural season in the region, after debuting in the city of Ravenna back on May 30, culminating in 20 stops to Ravenna from May to October, for a total of nearly 77,000 passengers.

For the winter season, Voyager of the Seas will move back  to the Caribbean from November to March 2012, where she will do 7-night itineraries.

Royal Caribbean will also debut another ship in 2012, Serenade of the Seas between May to October 2012 and will stop in Ravenna five times during her  12-night itineraries in Spain, Italy and Croatia.

Royal Caribbean expects Spain to become a more popular cruise market


Spain is the fourth largest cruise market in Europe, but Royal Caribbean expects soon to occupy the third place.

With 1.186 million passengers, Spain is the fourth source of business for Royal Caribbean in Europe, but will climb to third place (ahead is Germany, where he entered 2.306 million). Barcelona and Malaga are the main markets in the country, to who now has joined Valencia to take advantage of the AVE and attract tourists to the center.

Royal Caribbean, which has 22 ships and 290 visiting ports around the world, has spread in the new season their destinations from Spain to Eastern Europe and Northern Africa. This will include managing flight for departures from Venice, Rome, Istanbul, Amsterdam, Harwich (UK) and Copenhagen.

Royal Caribbean enters agreement with ports of Yalta and Sevastopol


The Ministry of Infrastructure in the Ukraine agreed on Friday with Royal Caribbean to enter into a joint modernization of the passenger port of Yalta and Sevastopol, according to the deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Borys Kolesnikov.

"Tuesday will start a joint working group. We plan to implement a project to lengthen the quay walls in order to enter the ports to vessels travel the highest class of the largest size" - Kolesnikov said in Yalta, where the deputy prime minister came to participate in the Black Sea Economic Forum.

According to him, held talks on Friday were the first to the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine shall, within 30 days to develop a "detailed roadmap" for further cooperation with Royal Caribbean.

"The interest of Ukraine in the fact that tourists had a lot to all of the Yalta tourist facilities - restaurants, cafes and shops - was filled with" - he said.

Royal Caribbean committed to presence in Mediterranean


Royal Caribbean is betting on the Mediterranean by announcing that they plan on expanding their presence in the region.  Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein on a trip to Milan, Italy talked about the cruise line's plans,  "In 2012 we will double our presence in Italy, France and Spain. The economic crisis is certainly not hurting our industry, but the margins for growth in the Mediterranean are still sensitive and so we want to be players to play this game. "

Just to support the development plans, Royal Caribbean is upgrading its fleet. Two new ships are scheduled to start operation in the coming years, being built in German shipyards instead of the Italian Fincantieri Meyer Wert shipyards. Goldstein, however, ultimately did not not close the door to future ships being built in Italy, "We know the value and experience of Fincantieri .  So, as we say, we are 'open minded' and will reevaluate when the opportunity for new orders we will certainly take into account also the opportunities that may come from Italy. "

What seemed like a gamble, when Royal Caribbean ordered and built two ships 220 thousand gross tons, but has been a success. "But this is our strategy," Goldstein says "The customer has any kind of offer to choose independently. So it is the same with ships, with a range of very different size."

Royal Caribbean to offer flight packages in Italy in 2012


Royal Caribbean Italy is planning on rolling out a new program that packages flights with their cruises, which will be called "Flight + Cruise" for the 2012-2013 cruise season.

Roberto Pirrera, marketing manager for Royal Caribbean Italy explained the new program, "In addition to new promotions and strengthening assistance in Italian, we propose, for the first time, cruise packages that include flights and which will enable us to meet the growing demand for this type of formula. "

Royal Caribbean also promises promotions and offers for families, those over 55 and married. A separate chapter is devoted to the Royal services, in particular Italian and assistance to the Crown & Anchor customer loyalty program which rewards loyal customers with discounts and exclusive services.

Outlook for European cruise demand looks weak


Investment Firm Raymond James surveyed travel agents to gauge cruise interest and European cruises look the weakest, which is bad news for Royal Caribbean.

In a note today, Raymond James said that Europe is likely to continue underperforming through the end of the year compared to other regions.  Contributing to the weakness is the dollar's relative weakness to the euro as well as higher air fares, all of which has resulted in much less demand by consumers in the United States to take a cruise to Europe.  Cruise passengers frequently have to take planes to connect with ships and to return home. European cruises tend to be more expensive than those in other areas.

In addition, recent political unrest was also cited by a few travel agents as another reason for less demand in cruising.

Raymond James is skeptical about cruise demand rebounding in the Mediterranean region until the end of the year. And consumers' economic anxiety is holding down cruise demand.

Royal Caribbean launches marketing campaigns in France and Italy


Royal Caribbean has launched two new marketing campaigns in Europe.  

In France, Royal Caribbean has published brochures advertising cruise departures from France.  Royal Caribbean released two new brochures "Cruise in Europe 2012" and "International Cruises 2012".  Available at all the tourism partners or on request, they include for the first time cruises from three French ports (Marseille, Toulon and Le Havre). 

In Italy, starting September 18, Royal Caribbean's new TV campaign will start,  "A vacation or a cruise any Royal?" planned for the TV networks of Mec La7 and the main Sky channels and Discovery.

It 'the first time that Royal Caribbean plans to run a TV campaign during the fall.

"After a successful summer campaign, back on TV in order to consolidate our brand awarenss has been increasing steadily, and push not only the next departures of winter, but summer 2012, the company will open the banner of novelties, with the opening of the home port of Bari and Messina, in addition to strengthening those of Genoa, Venice and Civitavecchia - Pirrera" says Roberto, marketing manager for Royal Caribbean Italy, "The campaign gives a nod to the typical customer of Royal Caribbean, the so-called active Socializer, or a person aged between 25 and 55 years of age, attentive to new, living life in an active and loves to socialize with people from other nationalities. "