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Royal Caribbean “pulls Independence of the Seas out of the UK next summer”

Royal Caribbean has scrapped Independence of the Seas' 2020 UK summer season of cruises of Southampton, according to Travel Weekly.

The ship was due to operate cruises to Europe, alongside Anthem of the Seas, from May 2020 but has reportedly been switched to Fort Lauderdale in Florida to sail to the Caribbean instead.

Independence of the Seas has been switched to cruise the Caribbean instead of Europe

Royal Caribbean claims that the move is in response to “phenomenal demand” from North America but it is not known how many UK passengers are affected by the ship’s change of plans.

Ben Bouldin, associate vice president and managing director, Royal Caribbean International UK & Ireland, told Travel Weekly that guests affected by the itinerary change will be offered full refunds, and a ‘Future Cruise Credit’ for use on alternative sailings – valued at 25% of the cruise fare paid on their cancelled sailing.

Guests booked on the transatlantic sailings will be offered an alternative sailing on Anthem of the Seas, which is also sailing ex-UK to Europe in summer 2020, along with onboard credit based on their stateroom category and sailing length.

Non-refundable airline charges will be reimbursed, and full refunds given to those who wish to cancel.

Royal Caribbean was understood to have already sent letters to affected passengers to let them know of the decision and to outline their alternative options.

Bouldin stressed: “This is not a reflection on the UK market but rather a response to the phenomenal demand we’re seeing in North America.

“Ex-UK 2020 sales have been buoyant since our ‘on sale now’ campaign back in November 2018 and we are also seeing strong demand from UK guests for sailings outside of Europe, particularly in the Caribbean and Asia-Pacific regions.

“The UK continues to be an important market for Royal Caribbean.”

Posted on 9th May 2019 at 04:29 pm in Cruise News | Cruise Lines | Royal Caribbean |

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