The European invasion of American cruise ships
CruiseLineFans posted an article that is looking at the effects of cruising on Europe and the overall trend that cruise lines are experiencing to move their ships to Europe to meet the growing demand there. In the article, there's a mention about Royal Caribbean's strategy of increasing their presence in Europe and competing against not only their traditional counterparts (NCL, Carnival) but also stalwarts of European cruising such as P&O, Thomson and others.
Royal Caribbean International will have eleven ships in Europe in 2011, with the latest addition being Mariner of the Seas, having left Los Angeles for Rome. Mariner will sail from March to November 2011, while the Liberty of the Seas will be based in Barcelona and the Independence of the Seas now will sail year-round from Southampton, England.
Royal Caribbean will also base a ship in Palma, the traditional base for tour operator ships (such as TUI/Thomson, with whom they halve a half interest in TUI Cruises) and also to take on Aida Cruises.