Royal Caribbean International has utilised the return to service, following a multi-million dollar refurbishment of Independence of the Seas, to host the trade to a two-day exclusive cruise to experience the range of new features onboard.
Known as ‘the ultimate family ship’, Independence of the Seas has an array of stunning new features to delight children and adults alike. For the first time ever, guests can hop into the Sky Pad, an out-of-this-world new virtual reality bungee trampoline experience, and splash away their days at an interactive aqua park, Splashaway Bay, which is bigger and better than ever before.
The icing on the cake is that all this can now be enjoyed by Irish holiday makers with the added convenience of sailing from Southampton.
It was also the occasion to present RCI’s Trade Partner Awards and eTravel was the winner of the Best Agency from Ireland (Southern). David O’Grady told Irish Travel Trade News that he was delighted to win this award as it was a great tribute to his dedicated staff.
A real gem in Royal Caribbean International’s fleet of 25 ships, her return will not only add innovation, but also investment to the area, as each ship visit is worth an estimated £2 million to the local economy – totalling £44 million a year.
Ben Bouldin, Managing Director, Royal Caribbean International UK and Ireland, said: “Holiday time is precious, and travellers today have higher expectations and more options than ever before. We don’t just want to meet these expectations, but smash them and redefine how to holiday. From our largest yet hibachi restaurant to a virtual reality bungee trampoline experience, Independence of the Seas is set to be the most spectacular ship sailing out of Southampton this coming season.”
Guests will be welcomed onboard for her first new sailing when she will embark on a two-night cruise to Paris from Southampton. Guests can dabble in modern art at the fabulous Musée d’Orsay, explore the Normandy coast, visit glorious Versailles, or take in iconic sights such as the Paris Opera, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.
Following her inaugural sailing, Independence of the Seas will call at destinations across Europe and the Mediterranean until November 2018.
Independence spans 15 decks, encompasses 154,407 gross registered tons, and carries 3,858 guests at double occupancy.