Richard Fain, the company’s chairman, speaking before the UK naming of the line’s biggest ship, Independence of the Seas on Wednesday, said he believed cruising was starting to reach “a critical mass” in Europe as more and more people recommend newcomers to the advantages of cruise holidays.
He denied that the US economic decline was influencing their decisions to send more vessels to Europe. He said: “The business decisions had to be made for the long term aspect of the company regardless of the financial climate.
He also said that interest in Europe would continue to grow due to the increase in cruise passengers from the region.
The company expect over 60,000 passengers to sail on the 3,600-passenger cruise liner Independence of the Seas in the first summer, the ship will depart from Southampton to the Mediterranean, Canary Islands and Ireland.
The port of Southampton is more than capable of handling over 900,000 passengers based on 280 cruise ships calling this year as total UK cruise numbers are predicted to hit 1.55 million.
Royal Caribbean is offering a range of fly-cruises within Europe across its brands this summer and is waiting to unveil further details of its joint voyage in Germany with TUI AG to reach German-speaking passengers.