Royal Caribbean International’s European cruises for 2008 go on sale next Wednesday – the earliest-ever programme launch for the operator.
Royal Caribbean hopes to repeat the success it had expanding the US market with taster cruises in the Caribbean.
UK sales and marketing director Jo Rzymowska said short duration cruises have been included in the programme to tempt new cruise customers with sailings in the UK holiday strongholds of Spain, France, Italy and the Balearics.
Navigator of the Seas, which will sail out of Southampton this summer, will remain in Europe based in Barcelona as the cruiseline’s newest shipIndependence of the Seasreplaces it in the UK. European capacity in 2008 will be up 34% on this year, which was up 50% on 2006.
Rzymowska said the decision to release product early was a balance between the need to shift availability for this year and driving early sales.
“Just 1.6% of the population has cruised before and more and more people are saying they will do in the next five years,” Rzymowska said.