Royal Caribbean International is to base a second ship in Southampton next summer to capitalise on growing numbers of ex-UK cruise passengers.
The 3,114-passenger Adventure of the Seas will be deployed alongside 3,634-passenger Independence of the Seas, which will based in Southampton for a fifth summer.
Adventure of the Seas will run a series of seven, 12, 13, 14 and 16-night cruises from May 24, 2013.
On board features include an in-line skating track, an ice skating rink, rock climbing wall, a street of shops and restaurants running through the center of the ship, extensive family facilities, and restaurants from fine Italian dining to casual burger bars.
An early booking discount of up to £500 per cabin applies to booking made before May 31. Bookings open on March 20.
A low deposit of £150 per person will secure the early booking price, and protects from any future price increases, according to the company. Free car parking in Southampton, free coach travel to UK departure ports, and low prices on regional flights to UK departure ports are being offered as options on cruises of 10 nights or more as part of the early booking deal.
Itineraries include seven-night France and Spain cruises starting at £599pp; 12-night Baltic sailings at £999 and 14-night Mediterranean voyages leading in at £1,199.
Independence of the Seas will arrive in Southampton on May 2, 2013, after a refurbishment to offer new itineraries, including an increased number of shorter cruises such as two- and three-night breaks to Le Havre for Paris and Zeebrugge for Bruges.
Independence of the Seas will also offer eight night cruises to Norway, 14-night Norway and Cork cruises, various 14-night Mediterranean cruises, and 12-night Canary Islands cruises.
Vice president and group managing director Dominic Paul said: “The UK cruise market has long been a success story for Royal Caribbean International and doubling the number of ships sailing from Southampton is another great milestone.
“Royal Caribbean International is fiercely proud to have changed the face of UK cruising with the introduction of activity-packed ships offering rock climbing, ice skating, surfing and much more.
“Not only does having both Adventure of the Seas and Independence of the Seas sailing from Southampton mean we can offer a greater variety of cruise holidays from the convenience of a UK port, but it also means we continue to demonstrate our commitment to the UK market, and the port of Southampton.”
The company first based a ship in Southampton in 2005 with the 2,435-passenger Legend of the Seas and this has since steadily increased with larger ships although Independence of the Seas will longer operate year round from the port.
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