By Michael Coleman
Eight Royal Caribbean cruise ships will be deployed to Europe in 2010 featuring four to 14 night sailings in the Mediterranean, Northern and Western Europe.
The line will position Independence of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas and Vision of the Seas in Europe next year.
In all, look for 57 Europe itineraries, visiting 22 countries and 55 ports.
The 2010 season will debut Adventure of the Seas’ seven-night sailings from Malaga, Spain, and Vision of the Seas’ 12-night Holy Land voyages from Venice, Italy. Also brand new for Royal Caribbean in 2010 will be maiden port calls at Akureyri, Iceland, and Gothenburg, Sweden.
Guests also can combine their cruise with three-, four- and five-night escorted land tours to some of Europe’s more inland and culturally rich cities. Four cruise tour options feature packages to Madrid and Barcelona; Venice, Florence and Rome; Italian Lakes featuring Lake Como, Stresa and Venice; and Paris and London.
Shore excursions, too, will be as diverse as each Royal Caribbean ship. Look for an exclusive after-hours tour of St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum; a hike of Italy’s Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii (beginning at a height of 3,000 feet); and a trek that blends four miles of hiking and walking along Corfu’s beaches and coastal villages.
Sailing from Southampton, U.K., Independence of Seas will launch a third season in Europe with 14-night alternating Eastern and Western Mediterranean itineraries and 10- and 11-night Canary Island voyages. Onboard features include a FlowRider surf simulator, the H20 Zone water park, a boxing ring, cantilevered whirlpools, and the four-bedroom/four-bath Presidential Family Suite. The ship also boasts some 15 bars and lounges.
Adventure, Navigator and Voyager vessels — each of which offer guests ice-skating rinks, the line’s iconic rock-climbing wall, a nine-hole miniature golf course, and the Royal Promenade boulevard with shops, restaurants, bars and lounges that run nearly the length of each ship — will ply Mediterranean waters on a wide-ranging slate of voyages next year.
Adventure of the Seas’ inaugural season in Europe will feature voyages departing from either Barcelona or Malaga, Spain.
Navigator of the Seas will feature seven-night sailings, alternating between the Eastern and Western Mediterranean roundtrip from Rome (Civitavecchia) during the summer. From April to May and September to October, she will sail from the “Eternal City” on 12-night Eastern Mediterranean cruises, the highlight of which will be a full two days-stay in Alexandria, Egypt.Â
Voyager of the Seas will feature seven-night voyages to Rome, Naples, Florence, and France’s Nice (Villefranche) and Marseilles, from her home port of Barcelona.
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Splendour of the Seas will sail seven-night voyages roundtrip from Venice; Brilliance of the Seas will sail from Barcelona; Jewel of the Seas will be in Northern Europe.