Royal Caribbean International’s Europe chief Ben Bouldin has said he is “extremely confident” the line’s 2022 programme will operate uninterrupted.
Bouldin, Royal’s vice-president EMEA, said his team were “squarely focused on making sure 2022 is nailed perfectly”, while also being optimistic around the company’s 2021 itineraries.
“I’m very hopeful we can keep a good chunk and integrity of our plan for ’21,” he told TTG.
"We’re going to have to be patient and nimble and just see how things play out and we’ll continue to do everything we can to keep 2021 intact. That’s really the confidence and the guidance I’ve given the team, we can only do so much [for 2021] but let’s keep chipping away.”
He was speaking as Royal revealed its 2022 European deployment, which features seven ships in Europe with “really significant hardware” in the region.
This includes Royal’s newest vessel, Odyssey of the Seas, which was floated out in Germany in last week, returning to Rome after its scheduled maiden season in the Italian capital next summer.
Odyssey will be joined in the Med by Oasis-class vessel Allure of the Seas – sailing from Barcelona – while Anthem of the Seas will again homeport in Southampton after its planned 2021 programme.
Royal’s 2022 Europe season will go on general sale from Friday (4 December) with the line’s Crown & Anchor Society members able to book now.
“I think we’re extremely confident that our 2022 programme will happen in full and very unaffected,” said Bouldin. “We need to bounce back so ’22 needs to be a great year for everybody.
"It needs to be a great year for the travel industry because I think, with the best will in the world, and I’d love for ’21 to be a great year and I still want it to be, but I think the writing is on the wall, that it’s going to continue to be quite challenging. So ’22 is the year we have to be back all guns blazing.”