Royal Caribbean International will have a Quantum-class ship sailing out of Southampton in 2020, its president and chief executive has confirmed to TTG.
Michael Bayley admitted that the strengthening of the pound against the dollar, which reached $1.41 last week, had encouraged the line to “re-evaluate” its positioning of ships.
“We’re delighted the pound is doing so well. It’s great news, and when the rate is at that level or better, it causes us to re-evaluate the deployment of ships into the UK market,” he said.
“We look at all markets and their performance relevant to price, so when sterling fell [after the EU referendum] the value of the business in the UK was stripped.
“A week after the Brexit vote our projected revenue from the UK dropped by $50 million on conversion. But now it is back, and it’s improved substantially – the exchange rate is a 15% change from what it was.”
Asked if the change was enough to justify placing a new ship in the UK market, Bayley replied: “There is going to be a ship in the UK market in 2020 – there is a Quantum-class ship coming to the UK market, and it will be sailing out of Southampton and homeporting there for a season.”
He suggested the vessel would likely be either Anthem or Quantum of the Seas, given that the other Quantum-class ship, Ovation of the Seas, will be redeployed from China to Alaska in 2019. It will be replaced in China by the new Quantum Ultra-class ship Spectrum of the Seas, which launches in the spring of 2019.