Royal Caribbean Announces Independence Itineraries

February 26, 2007
Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas, currently in the dry dock phase of construction at Aker Yards in Finland, will begin service in mid-May (that's 2008, by the way; Liberty of the Seas, its Freedom-class sibling, launches this May) -- and will be based in Southampton, sharing space with the likes of Cunard's Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2.

The 158,000-ton, 3,634-passenger ship will be the largest ever to be based in England by Royal Caribbean. Independence of the Seas will, in its maiden season, offer two main itineraries. The 14-night "Mediterranean Treasures" features ports of call such as Gibraltar, U.K.; Barcelona, Spain; Nice, France; Florence/Pisa, Italy; Sardinia, Italy; Lisbon, Portugal; and Malaga and Vigo, Spain. The "Italian Mediterranean" cruises, also two-weeks long, will call at Gibraltar; Cannes/Monte Carlo, France; Florence/Pisa; Rome and Sardinia, Italy; Seville and Vigo, Spain; and Lisbon, Portugal.

There will also be a handful of Canary Islands trips. Offered in late fall, these cruises will be 11 nights long.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor