Yet another option for European cruise passengers opens up next year, with the announcement that Royal Caribbean will be basing Adventure of the Seas in Malaga for five months from June 2010.
The 138,000-ton ship, which carries 3,100 passengers, has been sailing week-long Caribbean voyages from San Juan, Puerto Rico since it was launched in 2001.
When it arrives in Malaga – a convenient flight away from the UK, it will offer seven night cruises to Sardinia, Rome, Corsica and Majorca, and a choice of five-night voyages to Tenerife and Funchal, or to Corsica and Villefranche.
Adventure will join seven of Royal Caribbean’s 21-strong fleet which spend some or all of the year in Europe.
Brilliance of the Seas currently sails year-round from Barcelona, although she is to be re-deployed to Dubai next year. Independence of the Seas, is based in Southampton from April to November; Jewel of the Seas sails from Harwich to the Baltic from May to August.
Legend of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas are in the Mediterranean at various times between April and November, and Vision of the Seas sails Northern Europe from May to November.
Royal Caribbean have pumped money into the development of new terminal facilities at Malaga, and Navigator will be trying them out from October this year.
The company will still have plenty of ships plying the warm waters of the Caribbean throughout the year.
Last month they announced that they were pulling one of their ships out of the Alaska summer season, and by the end of this year the Oasis of the Seas, new holder of the largest cruise ship in the world title, will be making regular cruises round the West Indies.
There’s one slightly worrying aspect to the story in that a major reason for pulling out of San Juan is the negative feedback from passengers using this port – which I shall be visiting on March 3 on board Holland America’s Eurodam.
At least I will be there only for a day, and not having to fly in or out of its inadequate airport, which appears to be one of the main causes of complaint.