Royal Caribbean International has announced that its newest ship will come into service two weeks ahead of schedule.

Independence of the Seas will arrive in the UK on Friday, April 25 with UK celebrations taking place from April 26 – 30 in Southampton which will be attended by the trade and also for the first time, consumers.

The early launch date will allow the ship to offer two additional sailings in early May.

Royal Caribbean International, UK and Ireland managing director Jo Rzymowska said: “The extra couple of weeks provide our trade partners with further opportunities to earn commission, particularly over the peak booking period during the festive season and in the New Year. This complements our Turn Of Year campaign which has launched earlier than ever before.”

The two additional sailings include a four night Cork cruise that departs on May 2 and an 11 night Canary Island cruise that departs on May 6.

Guests who have already booked onto the inaugural sailing on the May 17 will have the option to move to the new maiden voyage on May 2 at no additional cost.

Any guest wanting to change to the new date should contact the cruise line by December 12 in order for their booked stateroom to be reserved on the new sailing date.

Royal Caribbean International is writing to all its trade partners to provide details on re-booking any client that wishes to switch to the earlier sailing. The new sailings are live for re-booking from Friday.