Royal Caribbean is preparing for its staycation season in the UK this summer; the cruise line will be sailing around the UK this summer with Anthem of the Seas, which arrived in the UK on June 29.
The cruise ship Anthem of the Seas is the first of the Royal Caribbean International ships to start sailing in Europe. The cruise line has already resumed operations out of Singapore with Quantum of the Seas, the Caribbean with Adventure of the Seas, and this week from the United States with the first test voyage for Freedom of the Seas.
The vessel will be sailing out of Southampton with British vacationers that have been fully vaccinated starting July 7, 2021.
First Return To The UK After Six Years
Anthem of the Seas sailing up the Solent on June 29 marked the first time the vessel has been in the UK in six years. The Royal Caribbean ship will offer guests a mix of different cruises this summer, including 4-night Ocean Getaways and 5- to 8-night British Isles cruises that feature visits to iconic destinations around the UK, such as Liverpool, England, and Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Whether visits to Scotland are still planned is unclear at the moment. The cruise line had scheduled visits to Kirkwall in its itineraries; however, the Scottish government banned cruise ship visits to the country for now.
On the cruises, guests will enjoy a range of activities such as the world’s tallest observation capsule at sea, the North Star; RipCord by iFly, a sky diving experience at sea; and surf simulator FlowRider. North Star will allow guests unprecedented views of the beautiful UK coastline as the ship sails along or docks in one of the ports of call.
Ben Bouldin, vice president, EMEA, Royal Caribbean, commented:
“Anthem of the Seas has always been a firm favourite for UK guests, and we have seen incredible demand for our sailings since announcing our return in March. With a jaw-dropping lineup of onboard activities, restaurants and entertainment, Anthem presents the perfect getaway this summer. We can’t wait to welcome families back on board one of the most revolutionary ships in our fleet for a summer of adventure.”
Anthem of the Seas’ itineraries are available to UK residents above 18 who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and passengers under 18 with negative test results.
The UK Gearing Up For Cruising
The return of Anthem of the Seas comes as the United Kingdom gears up for the start of sailing for more and more cruise ships. Last week P&O Britannia and Spirit of Discovery resumed sailings in the UK, joining MSC Virtuosa which has been sailing for several weeks.
More vessels will be joining these ships in the upcoming weeks as the UK plans to open up and release cruise lines from the majority of social distancing and other COVID measures on board.
Whether that will happen is another question. In recent weeks the UK has seen a surge of Delta-variant cases that has already forced the government to cancel the relaxation of rules scheduled under step four of the UK’s roadmap for June and pushed the date to July 19.
Step four would also remove the legal requirements for the number of guests onboard, meaning Anthem of the Seas would be able to sail with the 4,180 passengers (double occupancy) it was built for. As it stands, the 168,666 ton Anthem of the Seas is currently docked at the City Cruise Terminal in Southampton, from where it will depart on its first voyage next week.