Royal Caribbean International will bring out a European preview brochure this month following the announcement that the largest ship ever to be based in the UK will sail out of Southampton next summer.

From May 2008 the 3,634-passenger Independence of the Seas will sail two alternating 14-night Mediterranean itineraries. It is one of three Freedom-class ships, which are the largest in the world.

Itineraries will go on sale on March 14 before a full worldwide brochure is launched in June.

Royal Caribbean sales and marketing director Jo Rzymowska said the clientele on board will be 95% British.

She said: “It is in the UK for the UK. It is great news for the industry as a whole and great for the travel trade.”

P&O Cruises head of brand marketing Philip Price denied the move will overshadow the launch of its slightly smaller super-liner Ventura.

The cruiseline recently launched an online tour of Ventura in anticipation of the ship’s debut in April 2008.