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Royal Caribbean plans longer season
March 2011 573

ROYAL Caribbean Cruises Ltd, with its three global brands Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, reported that early indications for 2011 are encouraging.

Whilst early in the booking cycle, 2011 yields are trending positively in all four quarters, the company expects yield increases in 2011 comparable to 2010.  First quarter 2011 net yields are currently expected to improve by two to four per cent. 

In the Middle East, Royal Caribbean International has had a regional office since 1993 working successfully on outbound cruise sales. They started inbound bookings last year when the company deployed its first ship in the region with the homeporting of Brilliance of the Seas in Dubai. In addition to nine seven-night sailings from Dubai around the region, the plans for 2011 includes two longer 12 night sailings, calling in to three Indian ports – Mumbai, Goa and Cochin.

“For the first time we will call into India and we are very excited, because the market has great potential and we believe the interest from the GCC will be high,” says Lakshmi Durai, executive director for Royal Caribbean Cruises in the Middle East.

Due to Brilliance of the Sea’s successful first season and a very promising booking status for the second, the ship will return in November 2011 for an even longer season until April 2012.

While the majority of guests of the regional sailings come from UK followed by Germany, Mediterranean itineraries are highly favoured by Middle East guests.

“European sailings are very popular, over the last years we have had constant booking increases from both within the region and also from other parts of the world; which is why Royal Caribbean International deployed a record number of 11 ships sailing from 11 popular and historic European ports in summer 2011”, she explains.

The cruise line’s 2011 Europe cruise and cruise tour season is the biggest ever European deployment and will offer 109 unique itineraries, ranging from three to 15 nights and visiting 27 countries and 78 ports.

Dedicated to providing unique travel experiences, Royal Caribbean’s enhanced offerings will empower guests to create European cruise vacations that meet their individual style, needs and preferences. The cruise liner will also be expanding its shore excursion services by nearly doubling the number of “Easy” tours for accessible sight-seeing throughout the 57 unique itineraries currently available.

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