BY TIM HEDGLEY, GROUP TRAVEL EDITOR
THIS week Royal Caribbean International is setting a spectacular soundtrack this summer with its return to the UK. The cruise line has announced that Anthem of the Seas, a firm favourite in the region, will begin sailing from Southampton, England as soon as this 7th July.
UK families can choose from a combination of 4-night Ocean Getaways in early July and 5- to 8-night British Isles cruises, starting 15th July, that feature visits to destinations such as Liverpool, England, Kirkwall in Scotland, and Belfast, Northern Ireland.
- Anthem of the Seas will be the Family Holiday of Choice to set Sail from Southampton, England Beginning in July
- 999 Free Sailings to be Offered to Those Working in the Emergency Services, NHS, Social Care Sector and Armed Forces
Plus, in recognition of the tremendous efforts of the emergency services, National Health Service (NHS), social care sector, and armed forces over the last year, Royal Caribbean will offer 999 free staterooms on its first Ocean Getaways to those UK residents in these professions.
The new summer itineraries open for bookings on 7th April. Sailing with fully vaccinated crew, the cruises – at this time – will be available to UK residents above the age of 18 who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and those under the age of 18 with negative test results.
These current health and safety measures, like others, may evolve as they are evaluated on an ongoing basis. Pre-registration for guests eligible for one of the 999 free staterooms open on 13th April and final names will be drawn from a ballot by the end of April.
“The UK is a place we hold near and dear to our heart at Royal Caribbean. We miss our UK guests and are as eager as they are to get back to cruising from Southampton,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.
“We are delighted with the UK government’s recent announcements regarding cruising and excited to set sail again with a phenomenal ship and favourite such as Anthem of the Seas. After a tough year, we all need a holiday, but no one more so than the emergency services, NHS, social care sector and armed forces who will have the long-awaited opportunity to get away and relax with total peace of mind.”
Welcoming guests of all ages, each and every aspect of Anthem of the Seas has been designed to repeatedly make this ship a top hit and favourite in the UK.
From globally renowned entertainment and high-adrenaline activities to a variety of cuisines from around the world, the award-winning ship makes for the perfect high-tech playground and relaxing getaway that will consistently wow and delight from bow to stern. Top highlights onboard include:
- Thrill-seekers can get their adrenaline pumping in no time, thanks to the RipCord by iFly skydiving experience, FlowRider, the cruise line’s popular surf simulator; and SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity space at sea, complete with bumper cars, roller skating, and more.
- Signature productions fuse art, multimedia, and game-changing technology in Two70, while the Tony Award-winning West End production of We Will Rock Youtakes center stage in the Royal Theater. As night falls, guests can dance the night away at Music Hall,the hottest live music venue at sea, andgrab their signature drink mixed by a pair of robotic bartenders at the Bionic Bar.
- A haven for teens and tweens, there are teens-only activities and games galore. The youngest of guests can also enjoy an abundance of fun at the award-winning Adventure Ocean, where there are dedicated activities designed for their age group.
- Parents and grandparents can recharge in The Solarium, a tranquil adults-only lounge area, that offers a swimming pool, whirlpools and a crystal canopy overlooking the Not forgetting, further breathtaking panoramic views of the British coastline can be seen from 300 feet above sea level in the iconic North Star all-glass viewing capsule.
- The wide selection of complimentary and speciality dining venues will please palates of all kinds. The culinary lineup includes Wonderland, where diners will be wowed by imaginative cuisine; Chops Grille for classic American steakhouse perfection; and Izumi, where guests can sample Far East flavours and fresh sushi.
On land, there is adventure to be had in Liverpool, Scotland, and Belfast.
Liverpool is not only the birthplace of The Beatles and home to Premier League football clubs but also a vibrant, cosmopolitan city that boasts a wealth of maritime history and modern art. Plus in Kirkwall, on north Scotland’s enchanting Orkney Islands, guests have in store some of the most picturesque landscapes in the UK and the opportunity to discover and learn about the Viking heritage of this ancient Norse town.
Belfast presents the perfect gateway to exploring Northern Ireland, known for its historic landmarks, ancient Irish castles and stunning natural terrain.
Guests can rest assured their well-being and that of the crew members and communities visited are Royal Caribbean’s top priorities.
Details on the health and safety measures to be implemented for the summer cruises in the UK will be announced at a later date.
The comprehensive, multilayered health and safety measures will continue to be led by science and leverage expert guidance from the Healthy Sail Panel, Royal Caribbean Group’s Head of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer, and local government and health authorities.
Royal Caribbean’s new UK sailings continue the cruise line’s measured and safe return to cruising the world once again.
They follow months of successful cruises in Singapore, with more than 50,000 guests to date who have sailed aboard Quantum of the Seas, as well as the recently announced plans for the highly anticipated Odyssey of the Seasto cruise from Haifa, Israel, and cruises from The Bahamas with Adventure of the Seas, Bermuda with Vision of the Seas and Cyprus with Jewel of the Seas. For more information on Anthem’s limited series of summer cruises, visitRoyalCaribbean.uk.
To be eligible for one of the free sailings, UK residents must be able to show proof of an official Blue Light Card, which is available to those working in the emergency services, NHS, social care sector and armed forces. Free sailings can be secured by pre-registering through the Royal Caribbean International website starting 13th April 2021.
Pre-registrations will be entered into a ballot to be drawn by the end of April. Further terms, conditions and information on how to pre-register for the free sailings will be available from 7th April on the Royal Caribbean website.
Royal Caribbean International has been delivering innovation at sea for more than 50 years. Each successive class of ships is an architectural marvel featuring the latest technology and guest experiences for today’s adventurous holidaymaker.
The cruise line continues to revolutionise vacations with itineraries to more than 270 destinations in 72 countries on six continents, including Royal Caribbean’s private island destination in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, the first in the Perfect Day Island Collection. Royal Caribbean has also been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 18 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards.