Royal Caribbean International’s Ultimate World Cruise is adjusting sailing routes and dates for the coveted visit to Antarctica due to rough weather across the Drake Passage in the next few days.
Guests onboard have been notified that the upcoming portion of the itinerary has been reversed in order to have the smoothest, safest cruising.
Itinerary Change for Ultimate World Cruise
Guests currently onboard Serenade of the Seas for the “Ultimate South America and Antarctica” portion of the famed Ultimate World Cruise have been notified of an itinerary change in the coming days as the ship heads for Antarctica.
“As announced by our Captain, we have decided to reverse the Antarctic part of our itinerary due to the weather conditions in the Drake Passage,” the notification read.
This will ensure the ship can still manage the scenic cruising in Antarctica as well as scheduled time ashore as permitted, while minimizing the effects of poor weather.
Instead of heading to Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands after a stop in Puerto Madryn, Argentina, the ship’s itinerary now has Serenade of the Seas crossing the Drake Passage early and enjoying time in Antarctica – Gerlache Strait, Paradise Bay, Schollart Channel, and Dalhan Bay through the rest of this week and weekend, arriving in Port Stanley on Monday, January 15, 2024.
The call to Port Stanley was originally scheduled on Thursday, January 11, ahead of the Antarctica portion of the voyage. The time in port, however, has not changed, and will still be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., just on a different day.
This itinerary change will also allow Serenade of the Seas to take a more sheltered route if necessary, skirting around the worst weather for a more comfortable voyage.
The Drake Passage – the body of water separating Cape Horn, South America from Antarctica – can be some of the most hazardous ocean water on the planet, with strong currents, fierce winds, and heavy swells.
At the time when Serenade of the Seas was scheduled to be leaving Port Stanley and crossing the Passage, winds are forecast to reach approximately 30-32 knots (35-37 miles per hour / 55-59 kilometers per hour) along her planned route. Now, the ship will remain in a calmer region.
More Itinerary Changes Likely
The type of change now made for Serenade of the Seas is not uncommon. Cruise lines regularly change itineraries to avoid potentially dangerous weather, from simple squall lines to hurricanes.
These changes may take the form of shortened or cancelled ports of call, substitutions of alternate destinations, reversals of itinerary routes, swapping port days with days at sea, or even completely changing sailing regions – such as sailing to Canada instead of the Bahamas due to a storm system – if necessary.
Serenade of the Seas is just one month into her 274-night Ultimate World Cruise, having left Miami, Florida on December 10, 2023.
While the ship’s full itinerary and route has been carefully planned not only to visit amazing destinations – more than 150 ports of call in 65 countries on all seven continents – the schedule has undoubtedly been planned with regional weather patterns in mind as well.
Storms and severe weather can happen anywhere at any time, however, and it is likely that Serenade of the Seas will see various itinerary changes throughout the epic voyage. Hopefully, ports of call will be able to preserved, even if they must be rearranged.
Ultimately, the first priority of the ship is the safety and well-being of all guests and crew aboard, even if changes are necessary to ensure that safety.
The 90,090-gross-ton, Radiance-class Serenade of the Seas can welcome 2,490 guests aboard, and is also home to approximately 900 international crew members.
Not all guests aboard are staying for the entire 274-night Ultimate World Cruise – travelers could opt for different sections and segments as preferred – but for however long anyone is sailing on the ship, their experience will certainly be a safe and sensational one.