As Royal Caribbean International restarts sailings from the UK this week, the line’s vice-president EMEA Ben Bouldin assesses how he believes "the tides are turning" in the cruise sector – and wider travel industry’s – favour.
As those of us in the travel industry know, the past 15 months have been extremely challenging. However, it has demonstrated our industry’s resilience and innovation.
There is now more room for optimism than ever since the pandemic began.
The Prime Minister has confirmed the lifting of restrictions on 19 July and the travel industry is beginning to open up with some Brits already experiencing holidays in Europe.
This week, Royal Caribbean began sailing again in the UK with the long awaited return of Anthem of the Seas to Southampton. We were excited to welcome loyal and new guests as we took to the seas again and we are proud to be part of the UK’s return to tourism this summer – long may it continue!
Getting to this stage has been a monumental effort from the whole team at Royal Caribbean. We are sailing again because we know we are ready.
As a holiday company, an employer and a leader in the cruise industry, we have a responsibility to our guests, crew and destination partners to deliver holidays that are as safe as they are memorable.
Throughout the pandemic, we have worked with our fellow cruise lines, governments around the globe and travel authorities to take a measured approach to return to service. This approach has been vital to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew.
Since we have announced our return, we have experienced great demand from holidaymakers.
It is clear people are eager to be back out there, seeking out new experiences and catching up on missed travel time. After a year of staying home, paired with missing moments and occasions with family, friends and loved ones, we are seeing and feeling hope and optimism.
Anthem’s return this summer not only marks its return to the UK but also represents a sense of normality returning. Following demand, we’re bringing this epic ship back to Southampton for the first time in six years and it will be like nothing else you can experience from the UK.
With a jaw-dropping lineup of onboard activities, restaurants and entertainment, Anthem presents all that is great about holidaying.
This year, more than any, people are longing for a sense of escape and relaxation, and we at Royal Caribbean cannot wait to deliver that for them.
Ben Bouldin is vice-president EMEA of Royal Caribbean International