If winter isn’t your thing and you crave the sun and warmth, Royal Caribbean has today released its deployment and opened reservations for the 2017 European summer season, declaring seven different ships will ply waters across the continent. Here is our rundown of the season listed by home port.
Rome – Jewel of the Seas
By the time the 2017 summer rolls around in Europe, Jewel of the Seas will boast deck after deck of refurbishments and improvements as it heads to Italy to base itself for the season at the Civitavecchia port in Rome.
In an extended season catering to demand, the ship will venture to the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, sailing seven and nine-night itineraries to Greece (Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Katakolon) and Turkey (Kusadasi) and week-long cruises to France, Monte Carlo, Corsica, Spain (Barcalona, Palma de Mallorca and Ibiza) and other ports in Italy (Sardinia, Naples, Venice and Sicily).
Barcelona – Freedom of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas
Beginning from June and running through August, the 3,634-passenger Freedom of the Seas will begin a seven-day loop of the Western Mediterranean visiting France (Marseille and Nice), Florence, Rome and Naples before returning to Barcelona.
If you’re looking for a longer voyage with more ports, the slightly smaller Brilliance of the Seas will offer 12-night mixtures of the East and West Mediterranean which visit eight ports per cruise including either the Greek Islands or Northern Italy. These will include France (Nice and Florence), Italy (Rome, Naples, Venice and Ravenna) and Montenegro (Kotor) or alternatively Monte Carlo, France (Florence), Italy (Rome), Greece (Athens and Santorini), Turkey (Kusadasi) and Malta (Valletta).
Southampton – Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas
Based from the South-West English port, both ships will run a mixture of short six and seven-night sailings to France and Spain through to longer 12 and 14-night voyages into the Mediterranean. Depending on the length of the sailing, cruises will call in the French ports of Normandy (the closest port to Paris), Nice & Cherbourg while Spanish ports lined up include Bilbao, Gijon, La Coruna, Vigo, Malaga, Barcelona, Palma De Mallorca, Seville, Valencia and Cartagena.
Italy will also feature with some sailings calling in Rome, Florence, Genoa, Sardinia and Corsica and will a number of ports in Portugal and the Canary Islands.
At different stages of the summer, both ships will take a change of course and occasionally head into Northern Europe. Independence of the Seas will sail an eight-night ‘Norwegian Escapes’ cruise, stopping in Norway (Oslo and Stavanger) and Denmark (Copenhagen and Skagen). Other voyages will visit Belgium (Brussels), Germany (Hamburg), Finland (Helsinki), Russia (St Petersburg) and Estonia (Tallinn).
Copenhagen – Serenade of the Seas
Known for their spectacular natural beauty, especially during summer, voyages to the Norwegian Fjords will sail from the Danish capital onboard the 2,490-passenger Serenade of the Seas. Along with the Norwegian ports of Stavanger, Bergen, Alesund and Geiranger, seven-night cruises will visit Sweden (Stockholm), Russia (St Petersburg), Estonia (Tallinn) and Finland (Helsinki).
Slightly longer 10 and 11-night sailings will visit many of the same ports in addition to Latvia (Riga), Lithuania (Klaipeda), Germany (Berlin) and another Danish port in Fredericia. Perhaps the highlight of the season in this part of Europe will be an 11-night Arctic Circle cruise which will feature a day of scenic cruising in the frozen region along with stops in Honningsvag, Tromso and Olden in Norway. At the end of the summer season, Serenade will relocate back to the US port of Boston in a voyage which will also include a stop in Iceland (Reykjavik).
Amsterdam – Vision of the Seas
The sixth of Royal Caribbean’s ships calling Europe home during the 2017 summer is the 2,435-passenger Vision of the Seas, which will be based in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam and offer another season of exciting voyages. Specialising in the Baltic and British Isles, this ship will venture into many of the same ports in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and beyond on 11 and 12-night Baltic cruises.
The only variation from this loop will be a single journey west and into the British Isles, calling in England (Dover), Scotland (Edinburgh, Inverness and Glasgow), Ireland (Dublin) and the Channel Islands (St Peter Port). This 12-night sailing will depart on 22 May 2017.
Along with a plethora of natural highlights and inspiring landscapes, each voyage will offer a variety of shore excursions to immerse guests in each destination. The range is bound to offer an option for all tastes, appreciations and cultural palates.