Royal Caribbean International has refused to comment on a report that its latest mega-ship Independence of the Seas will sail from Southampton next year.


The company would neither confirm nor deny reports that the 3,600 passenger ship will sail from the UK port stopping in Madeira en route to Tenerife next summer. The ship is also said to be making nine calls in Gibraltar between June and September as part of its itineraries, which are yet to be revealed.


Royal Caribbean’s chairman and chief executive Richard Fain will be in London next week to make a major announcement “regarding a major increase in its European deployment and new-ship builds”.


If true, the deployment would be a further boost to both the UK and European markets by Royal Caribbean following what is believed to have been a disappointing Caribbean winter season for all the major cruiselines.