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Cruises record for Norwegians in the Mediterranean

04 Jul 2011

Royal Caribbean General Manager of Nordic and Baltic region, Roar Meidal,  reports that 86 percent more Nordic tourists go on Mediterranean Sea cruises this year, of which 58 per cent more Norwegians

"We are very pleased that the Nordic people finally seem to realize the great benefits of the cruise has to offer as a holiday. We like to think that cruise offers the best of two worlds: on the one hand, an all-inclusive, relaxing holiday in the sun, on the other hand, a cultural experience with stops at ports such as Rome, Sicily, Athens, Santorini, Rhodes, Istanbul and Jerusalem," says Meidal.

Statistics show that Norwegian passengers account for the largest increase, by as much as 58 percent of the total increase.  Swedes are in second place with 23 percent increase, while both the Danes and the Finns can boast of a 10 percent increase. The preferred holiday is a 7-day cruise with some of Royal Caribbean's largest and most innovative ships, such as the Liberty of the Seas. 

Royal Caribbean hopeful for growth in eastern Mediterannean

01 Jun 2011

Royal Caribbean will be taking part in the Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum, scheduled to take place 21-22 June 2011 at the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens.  In preparation for the event, Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President Craig Milan spoke a little about the company's view on the Eastern Mediterannean region.

“The Eastern Mediterranean has become increasingly popular for all three of RCI’s brands, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara, prior to the political upheaval in many of the countries of North Africa this year, and we had been shifting more capacity to the region. However, these events have impacted on the demand for all sailings in the East Mediterranean, not only those which had scheduled calls in Egypt. We are hopeful that the demand improves as we move into 2012 and as such, we did not proceed with any changes in our planning for the next season. Looking towards the future, we have seen opportunity to develop some of the newer and smaller ports to enhance our itineraries in this area, especially in connection with the overcrowding that we are experiencing in Santorini and Mykonos. "

"The Black Sea is also interesting and we see opportunities for growth. Azamara at present has a limited number of sailings which are doing well. We would like to add some sailings for Royal and or Celebrity for 2013.”

Royal Caribbean Vice President John Tercek also commented by adding, "As we move forward, we are also keen to develop source markets for our products, with Greece and Turkey playing a leading role as operational hubs”.

Seven Royal Caribbean ships to visit Venice in 2011

22 Apr 2011

A positive start to the season for Splendour of the Seas, her first year season cruising from Venice and she is ready to go. Splendour of the Seas is the first ship of Royal Caribbean's fleet to dock at the port of Venice in 2011 and opened a major new cruise season for the brand.

At Movimenterà alone, nearly 60,000 passengers embarked from the port of Venice 29 times for 10 and 11-night cruises to Greece and Croatia until November 2011. Voyager of the Seas arrives on May 21, Brilliance of the Seas May 25. From April to November, there will be seven ships of Royal Caribbean that pass through the capital of Veneto, for a total of 113 airports and handling over 320,000 passengers.

"Year after year, Venice increasingly consolidates its leading role in planning for Royal Caribbean - says Lina Mazucco, CEO Cruises Ltd RCL Italy -. 2011 in particular will be a golden year for the former Maritime Republic, which will nearly double the flow of Royal Caribbean cruise: from about 170,000 last year, we expect to reach over 320,000 this year. "

Mariner of the Seas debuts in Italy

28 Mar 2011

Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Sea arrived for her new Mediterranean itineraries for the first time in Italy.  The ship arrived in the early hours of the morning to Civitavecchia, where she will be home for the entire 2011 season, until the end of October.

During the "Italian baptism," the ribbon-cutting ceremony has been entrusted to champion Fiona May. Mariner of the Seas was also the scene of a unique event, "Run for Royal", the first 3km never sailed on a cruise ship, which involved five runners.

Yesterday in Civitavecchia, in the presence of a large group of journalists, travel agents, port authorities and sports stars and entertainers, there was an Italian baptism of Mariner of the Seas, the new queen of the Royal Caribbean's Mediterranean Fleet, for the first time in the Mare Nostrum.

The ship's godmother of the event was Fiona May, an Italian athlete, twice world champion of long jump, welcomed on his arrival the ship was established in 2003.

Lina Mazzucco, general manager Royal Caribbean Italy, explains the choice: " In a lively and passionate character and style of Fiona, we recognized the spirit of Mariner of the Seas, a ship full of character, dedicated to the Italians, lovers of sport and a holiday at the same time dynamic and healthy, which makes the wishes of the family. Its elegance, femininity and perseverance in life as in sport, we did see in her the perfect spokesperson for this amazing ship . "

For the first time ever in the history of the company, the ship will depart from Genoa Royal - apart from Civitavecchia - and will offer seven-night cruises to the guests that will touch Cannes, Ajaccio, Barcelona, ​​Palma de Mallorca.

Liberty of the Seas ready to kick off Mediterranean cruise season

16 Mar 2011

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. 

Royal Caribbean enters passengers transfer deal with Norwegian Air Shuttle

02 Feb 2011

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.

Royal Caribbean kicks off the Mediterranean cruise season

19 Jan 2011

The 2011 Mediterranean cruise season in Naples is underway with Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas, the third and final ship in the Freedom-class (160,000 tons) and Royal Caribbean International's flagship for the Mediterranean.  The ship arrived yesterday in the port of Naples.

Following Independence of the Seas,  other Royal Caribbean ships will call on the capital of Campania including Mariner of the Seas on April 4, Celebrity Solstice May 18, Celebrity Equinox May 26, Liberty of the Seas June 2, Silhouette Celebrity, Celebrity Cruises' new flagship recently opened, August 8, Voyager of the Seas October 25, Splendour of the Seas November 21.

Campania is, however, the primary destination for the Royal Caribbean group with other strategic ports depending on itinerary.

Royal Caribbean is sending 11 vessels to Italian ports for the 2011 season, for a total of 104 calls and a handle over 335,000 passengers. Independence of the Seas will call 6 times a year in Naples, for a total of approximately 26,220 passenger movements.

Royal Caribbean's Director General for cruises in Italy is happy about Royal Caribbean's role in Italy, "For years, Naples has a strategic role in the planning of Royal Caribbean, and increasingly consolidated his lead role.  Choosing the Campanian capital as the primary port is aligned perfectly with the European development project and especially the Italian company. As further proof of our happy synergy with the port of Naples also boast a partnership established in the management of Terminal Napoli, a sign of a common desire to work constructively with local institutions and key stakeholders. It 'just been to Naples to start this great policy terminals management and we are honored to have first shared this philosophy that we think of great success. "

Royal Caribbean's presence in Italy is growing

03 Aug 2010

Royal Caribbean Vice President Michael Bayley visited the new Royal Caribbean headquarters in Italy, the second largest in the world, that had opened in 2010 to announce that Royal Caribbean will handle 60% more passengers in 2011.  Next year will see 2.5 million passengers, airports will grow by 35% to a total of 671 calls at 17 ports.

With Royal Caribbean's addition of 3 Voyager class ships to Italy, about 3,300 passengers will now sail in and out of Italy. Navigator of the Seas docks at Civitavecchia, Voyager of the Seas for the first time in Venice and Mariner of the Seas for the first time will dock in Genoa.

Royal Caribbean is planning on its ships visiting a number of Italian ports, including Civitavecchia, Venice, Livorno, Naples, Messina, Ravenna, Bari, Cagliari, Palermo, La Spezia, Sorrento Salerno, Portofino, Genoa, Portoferraio, Santa Margherita and Trieste.

Adventure of the Seas move to Europe required onboard changes

03 Aug 2010

Royal Caribbean has moved a lot of its ships to Europe, primarily from the Caribbean, and in a recent Royal Caribbean blog post, there was an interesting tidbit about what changes Royal Caribbean made to it's Voyager class Adventure of the Seas ship to be more accommodating for the European clientèle.

Adventure of the Seas had spent nine years in Puerto Rico, serving the south Caribbean since 2001 but was moved to Europe and the Mediterranean to help with greater demand in the area.  Because the ship was going from the Caribbean, where its customers spoke primarily English, to the Mediterranean, where a greater variety of languages were spoken, changes were necessary.  The biggest changes included ensuring Adventure of the Seas had "the appropriate language skills".

Other changes were made as well, such as changing the entertainment so it was less about language and more about the visual story being presented.  This ensured a greater percentage of guests onboard the ship could enjoy the entertainment.  To accomodate guests even further, dining times were adjust to allow for the greater demand for later dinner seatings.

Mediterranean cruise aboard Voyager of the Seas

17 Jul 2010

In terms of cruise lines going to Europe, there is no bigger player right now than Royal Caribbean.  Royal is increasing its European presence from eight to 11 ships next year and will cover 27 countries and 78 ports. Ann Tatko-Pterson of the Times-Colonist tried out a seven day, 12 city cruise aboard Voyager of the Seas to get a sense of what a Mediterranean cruise is like and shared highlights from her cruise in a recent article.

From ports like Barcelona, Rome, Pisa, and Genoa, Ann took time to do a lot of different excursions that were available to her.  She seemed especially intrigued by the customizable half or full day plans made available by Royal Caribbean, "For our first port of call, we joined a small private tour, one of three excursion options offered on Royal Caribbean's European cruises. These tours allow guests to design customized half- or full-day excursions for up to 10 people."

For our third day in Italy, we opted for an On Your Own excursion -- transportation is provided but visitors determine their own itinerary.

First up: Pisa, or more specifically, Piazza del Duomo. I was charmed by a scene straight out of a storybook. The walled square had lush green grass and a cathedral, baptistery and the Leaning Tower constructed of mostly grey marble, white stone and coloured marble accents. All three looked surreal. No wonder Italian writer Gabriele d'Annunzio dubbed the square the Field of Miracles.

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