Last updated: 01:30 PM ET, Thu March 12 2015

Harmony of the Seas to Sail from Barcelona

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Royal Caribbean International | Theresa Norton | March 12, 2015

Harmony of the Seas to Sail from Barcelona

PHOTO: This rendering shows the water slides on Harmony of the Seas. (Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

Royal Caribbean International’s third Oasis-class ship — and the likely biggest ship in the world when it enters service next May — will operate its inaugural season in the Mediterranean.

The Harmony of the Seas will operate seven-night Western Mediterranean roundtrips from Barcelona in summer 2016 but also will let passengers embark at Civitavecchia, Italy, for seven-night round-trips from the port for Rome.

The Harmony of the Seas is expected to be about 227,000 gross registered tons, which would make it slightly larger than its 225,282-ton sister ships, Oasis and Allure of the Seas, which now share the world’s largest title.

In summer 2016, eight Royal Caribbean ships will operate from six European homeports. Here’s a summary of the program.

From Barcelona, Brilliance of the Seas will alternate 12-night “Italian Mediterranean” and “Greek & Italian Mediterranean” cruises.

The Independence of the Seas will return to Southampton in summer 2016 to operate mostly 10- to 14-night Mediterranean or Canary Island cruises. It will be joined by Navigator of the Seas, which will offer a range of new six- to 14-night cruises to the Norwegian fjords, the Baltic, the Mediterranean and Canary Islands.

Serenade of the Seas will sail seven-night Norwegian fjords and seven- to 13-night Scandinavia and Russia itineraries round-trip from Copenhagen, Denmark, in early summer and August, and from Stockholm, Sweden, in June and July.

Two ships will operate from Venice. Jewel of the Seas will alternate new 10-night “Greece & Adriatic” and 11-night “Greece, Turkey & Croatia” itineraries, while Vision of the Seas will alternate seven-night Greek Isles and “Greek Isles & Turkey” cruises.

Rhapsody of the Seas will homeport at Civitavecchia and sail nine-night Greek Isles cruises in early summer and autumn months. From late June through August, the ship will alternate seven-night cruises to the Greek Isles or Greece and Turkey.

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean will operate two ships in Alaska for the 2016 season. The 137,308-ton, 3,114-passenger Explorer of the Seas will become the largest cruise ship to ever sail the region, joining Radiance of the Seas for the line’s 27th consecutive season in Alaska.

Explorer of the Seas will operate seven-night round-trips from Seattle, up Tracy Arm Fjords to Sawyer Glacier. In September, the ship will sail three seven-night Pacific Coastal cruises with an overnight in San Francisco.

Radiance of the Seas will alternate seven-night northbound and southbound cruises between Vancouver and Seward. These cruises will venture into Disenchantment Bay for close-up views of Hubbard Glacier.

Royal Caribbean’s 2016 Europe itineraries will open for booking on March 19 while 2016 Alaska reservations will open March 26.

As part of all the new deployment openings, Royal Caribbean is offering a new BOGO50 early-booking offer. Vacationers can save 50 percent on the cruise fare of a second guest in the same stateroom with a full-fare guest when making a new booking on departures on or after May 15, 2015.

The promotion also offers an additional 50 percent savings on the fare of third and fourth guests in staterooms on nearly all 2016-17 itineraries. The line also offers a buy-one, get-one-half-off the second Premium Beverage Package by using promo code BOGOBEV.

BOGO50 is valid for new bookings made between March 11 and April 30, 2015, in ocean-view and higher-category staterooms on five-night or longer itineraries. The offer does not include bookings on Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, and trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific, and China sailings.


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