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Royal Caribbean announces health protocols for UK cruises

19 Apr 2022

Royal Caribbean has shared the health protocols for summer 2022 cruises out of Southampton.

The newly released protocols apply to ships sailing from Southampton, England through May 31, 2022.

Keep in mind these protocols are subject to change.

Here's a look at what Royal Caribbean has planned for protocols.

Vaccine & booster requirement

All guests 12 years and older must be fully vaccinated, having received their final dose no less than 14 days prior to sailing.

Additionally, for the purpose of these sailings from Southampton, to be considered up-to-date, guests must have received all doses in their vaccine series and have received their booster if the second vaccine was administered over 270 days (9 months) ago.

Children aged 5 to 11 years are not required to be vaccinated.

Royal Caribbean will not accept a Certificate of Recovery in the place of a vaccination record.

All crew onboard the ship and at our private destinations are fully vaccinated and receive a booster dose as they become eligible.

Entry into the UK


Guests traveling into England do not have any entry requirements at this time. This applies whether you are vaccinated or not. 

Royal Caribbean advises guests traveling into England from another country to look into any requirements of their own home country may have for exiting or re-entering its borders.


Anthem of the Seas docked in Southampton


Guests who are up-to-date with their vaccines will be required to present a negative test result for a COVID-19 test taken no more than 2 days before sailing.

Guests 2 years and older who are not up-to-date with their vaccines, or who are unvaccinated, will be required to present a negative test result for a COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before sailing. 

The test must be conducted at a certified testing location or supervised by a healthcare telemedicine professional.


Depending on the itinerary, guests 12 years and older who are considered unvaccinated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or who are not up-to-date with their vaccines will require additional testing during UK sailings.

This test is at the guest's expense if they are ages 12 years and up and considered unvaccinated or if they are not up-to-date at the price of $55 USD per test.

Guests under 2 years of age will not be tested. 

Return home

Guests may be required to complete testing before flying home at their own expense. 

  • Guests can take advantage of testing offered via ExpressTest at Heathrow and Gatwick airports by registering ahead of time here
  • Some local testing options include The Regenerative Clinic or Randox Health. 
  • Vaccinated North American guests can travel with tele-health testing kits such as eMed for U.S. guests and Switch Health tests for Canadian guests.

Shore Excursion

Fully vaccinated guests and unvaccinated kids can visit ports of call freely.

Additional testing requirements may exist in some countries for guests who are unvaccinated.

For sailings visiting France, guests who are from an Orange List country will not be allowed to visit the port, per French government regulations. Learn which countries are on the Orange List


Masks are optional for fully vaccinated guests.

Unvaccinated children are expected to continue wearing masks indoors and in crowded settings.

Masks will be required in Adventure Ocean, in the cruise terminal, and may be required at various destinations.

Guests under 2 years do not have to wear a mask at any time.

Full protocols

Royal Caribbean arrives in Southampton to begin summer cruise season

13 May 2018

Following a multi-million dollar renovation, Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas arrived in Southampton yesterday to begin offering cruises this summer season.

Photo by SBW Photos

Independence of the Seas received upgrades all over the ship that the cruise line believes with delight kids and adults alike.  

The changes to Independence of the Seas include:

  • Sky Pad, an out-of-this-world new virtual reality bungee trampoline experience
  • Splashaway Bay, interactive aqua park
  • The Perfect Storm, a duo of racing waterslides called Cyclone and Typhoon
  • “Battle for Planet Z, ”glow-in-the-dark laser tag, an experience in Studio B
  • Escape Room: The Observatorium, a new escape room experience where competitors can put their minds to the test, working together to find hidden clues and solve a series of high-tech riddles to unravel a mystery. With only 60 minutes of play, the excitement builds with each tick of the clock. (Surcharge applies to this experience)
  • New lounges and Panoramic Oceanview staterooms 
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade
  • Izumi Hibachi & Sushi
  • Fish & Ships, a poolside eatery where guests can grab quintessentially British seaside treats
  • Sugar Beach candy shop, a wondrous world of delicious delights, along with a few exciting surprises

Photos by SBW Photos

Royal Caribbean estimates Independence of the Seas will bring £44million a year into the local economy of Southampton.

Managing Director, Royal Caribbean International UK and Ireland, Ben Bouldin said “Holiday time is precious, and travellers today have higher expectations and more options than ever before. We don’t just want to meet these expectations, but smash them and redefine how to holiday. From our largest yet hibachi restaurant to a virtual reality bungee trampoline experience, Independence of the Seas is set to be the most spectacular ship sailing out of Southampton this coming season.”

Guests will be welcomed onboard for her first new sailing on 15th May 2018 where she will embark on a two-night cruise to Paris from Southampton. Guests can dabble in modern art at the fabulous Musée d’Orsay, explore the Normandy coast, visit glorious Versailles or take in iconic sights such as the Paris Opera, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.

Following her inaugural sailing, Independence of the Seas will call at destinations across Europe and the Mediterranean until November 2018.


First look at Europe Phase II: Summer 2019 sailings

07 Mar 2018

Royal Caribbean released new information about summer 2019 European cruises.

The newly released sailings include:

These new sailings are also being shown as available for booking via Royal Caribbean's web site.

Royal Caribbean previously announced European sailings for summer 2019 on these ships as well.

Royal Caribbean CEO confirms a Quantum Class ship is coming to Southampton

07 Feb 2018

Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley indicated a Quantum Class ship will sail from Southampton in 2020.

TTG is reporting Bayley confirmed the change, saying either Anthem of the Seas or Quantum of the Seas will call Southampton home in 2020.  Ovation of the Seas will not be the ship, since she is scheduled to be redeployed from China to Alaska in 2019. It will be replaced in China by the new Quantum Ultra-class ship Spectrum of the Seas, which launches in the spring of 2019.

Anthem of the Seas called Southampton home when she first debuted, offering cruises from there in the summer of 2015 prior to her arrival at Bayonne, New Jersey, where she has remained since.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas arrives in Southampton

17 May 2016

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas arrived among a throng of onlookers into Southampton, U.K. this morning.

“Harmony of the Seas is redefining vacations and intriguing a new generation of travellers with a bold and unexpected line-up of first at sea innovations, while enticing them to explore the world from a new perspective,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “From thrilling onboard activities and experiences to visiting awe-inspiring destinations across the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, Harmony places guests at the forefront and encourages them to create their own adventures onboard and at every destination.”

Harmony of the Seas will sail from Southampton, U.K. on a series of short getaways to Northern Europe before embarking on her maiden cruise on May 29, arriving in Barcelona, Spain on June 5.

Harmony of the Seas will officially launch her inaugural summer season with the first of 34 seven-night western Mediterranean sailings on June 7.

In November 2016, Harmony will arrive at her homeport of Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., from where she will offer seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings. 

Southampton welcomes back Independence and Adventure of the Seas

13 May 2014

Southampton, England is welcoming back two Royal Caribbean ships for the summer 2014 season, Independence of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas.  Their arrival kicks off the 2014 summer seasons for the second year in a row.

Adventure of the Seas arrived back on May 4th while Independence of the Seas will return on May 17.

Adventure of the Seas returns with new upgrades and features, including flat screen TVs in every stateroom. Giovanni's Table, Wi-Fi throughout the ship, a new Concierge Lounge for suite guests, a Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society members and digital signage throughout the ship.

Adventure of the Seas will offer 7 to 16-night cruises around the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, in addition to shorter sailings closer to home.

Independence of the Seas will offer new itineraries, including more, shorter sailings such as  three-night cruises to Le Havre for Paris and four night cruises to Le Havre for Paris and Zeebrugge for Bruges.

The ship will also offer six night cruises to France and Spain, an eight-night cruise to Norway, various 14-night Mediterranean cruises, plus 11 and 12-night Canary Islands cruises as part of its 2014 summer season.

Southampton, England booming with cruise business

22 Jun 2010

Southampton, England is called the cruise capital of the United Kingdom and for good reason.  The BBC is reporting that business here is booming with lots of cruise ships calling the port home as well as making stops here.  Royal Caribbean is no different, having Independence of the Seas and Vision of the Seas call this port home.  With steady business from Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines, the people of Southampton are reaping the benefits of having so many cruisers come through their city.

"Every cruise ship brings in the average of £1.2m per ship, so you're talking in terms of £350m benefit to the local economy."

It's no secret that Royal Caribbean has been favoring sending their ships from North America to Europe to help quench the demand for cruises that many Europeans have been seeking.  This seems to be just one of many popular ports in Europe that is benefiting from an upswing in Europeans' desire to go on a cruise vacation.

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