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COVID-19 Trade Update Page

Royal Caribbean Ireland

9th October 2020 - 12:00pm

Michelle Ryan, Jennifer Callister and Holly Wilkinson team RCI Ireland

Michelle Ryan, Jennifer Callister and Holly Wilkinson team RCI Ireland

Don Shearer ( Interviews head of Royal Caribbean Ireland Jennifer Callister.


Travel Is Freedom

Jennifer, Michelle and the team are humbled by the level of support and demand for 2021 with a large percentage of loyal guests choosing a future cruise credit over a refund. With a fantastic line up of 2021 itineraries and ships in Europe the guys are really hopeful that we can enjoy a resurgence of cruising through you, their valued trade partners, as now it’s more important than ever that customers engage and convert through the people who are the experts.



We are humbled by the demand for 2021 which remains strong. We are also pleased to see how many of our loyal guests have chosen a Future Cruise Credit over a refund.

We are hopeful for a strong 2021 with a fantastic line up of ships and itineraries in Europe next year

Our trade partners are more important than ever because of their expertise: people really want to hear from those who know.


What we have been doing

Our industry, along with many others has had to pause because of the pandemic

We are learning more and more about the virus every day and we know a lot more now than we did six months ago

We have been using this time wisely to prepare for our return to sailing and learn how we can adapt and sail safely in the new world in which we operate

Our Healthy Sail Panel of experts has been a key part of our journey and we hope that their recommendations will help guide not just us, but the wider cruise industry and beyond when it comes to operating in this new environment

We will get back to cruising as soon as we feel we can do so safely whilst offering incredible holidays, we won’t rush. When we return to sailing we will have the necessary protocols in place. We hope this will come together very soon and we can return in the right way.


The Healthy Sail Panel

The Healthy Sail Panel, a group of experts assembled by Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., has provided a 60+ page report with over 70 detailed best practices which will be used to inform future public health guidance and preventative measures relating to travel on cruise ships. The Panel submitted these recommendations to the U.S. CDC.


The Panel comprises an impressive group of globally recognized experts with diverse backgrounds, including public health, infectious disease, biosecurity, hospitality and maritime operations and is co-chaired by Governor Mike Leavitt, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


The Panel identified five areas of focus to improve health and safety for guests and crew and reduce the risk of infection and spread of COVID-19 on board cruise ships. These include:

Testing, Screening & Exposure Reduction

Sanitation and Ventilation

Response, Contingency Planning & Execution

Destination & Excursion Planning

Mitigating Risks for Crew Members


The Healthy Sail Panel recommendations are informing our company-specific health and safety protocols. We have developed a robust, thoughtful and comprehensive company-specific return to service plan with the Panel’s recommendations forming the backbone of this effort. We are not yet prepared to publicly share details of this plan, and will do so when our plan has been approved and finalized.

The Healthy Sail Panel’s work has been rigorous and comprehensive. We have the highest degree of confidence in these recommendations. We are committed to implementing the recommendations and focused on flawless execution and continuous innovation.

Royal Caribbean Group has submitted its health and safety protocols to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Healthy Sail Panel’s recommendations, comprising 74 detailed best practices to protect the public health and safety of guests, crew and our communities, are the foundation for our robust set of operating protocols to help achieve readiness to resume sailing. The CDC will review our health and safety protocols, and we will share details once the CDC approves them.

Regarding what our onboard protocols will be and what the new cruise experience will look like, we will be announcing this in due course, but we’re keen to get it right. While we finalise the new health and safety protocols, we do not want to speculate on what those might be.

These could take the form of many things, including enhanced embarkation screening, temperature screenings, enhanced sanitisation and disinfection protocols, social distancing, reduced occupancy, changes to dining, and other initiatives. Testing was also one of the recommendations of our Healthy Sail Panel.

Once we fully understand what our guests will need to safely return to cruising, we will proactively communicate directly with our guests and travel partners.


Cruise with confidence extended to bookings made before end of November 2020.

We have implemented actions to provide guests with some flexibility and peace of mind as they look forward to resuming their travel.

Our Cruise with Confidence program gives guests the flexibility to cancel their cruises up to 48 hours prior to sailing and receive a full credit on the cruise fare for a future cruise. We also introduced new rebooking options to give you even more flexibility. This includes our “Best Price Guarantee” giving our guests the opportunity to change the price and promotional offer on their reservation up to 48 hours prior to their cruise, and “Lift and Shift,” which gives guests the chance to simply lift and shift their reservation to the same itinerary departing next year.


A really exciting line up of ships and itineraries for summer 2021

First Quantum Ultra Class ship to homeport in Rome and sail through the Eastern Mediterranean for the summer season.

Royal Caribbean’s game-changing ship will be the first to tout a combination of longer stays in every destination and overnights across some of the Mediterranean’s most luring cities and famed beach destinations.

Debuting in April 2021, the highly anticipated ship will sail from Rome for its first season

Anthem of the Seas will sail from Southampton offering a variety of cruises, ranging from the 7-night Norwegian Fjords to 14-night Mediterranean cities that include new ports of call in Denmark, France and Norway

Harmony of the Seas, will be heading back to Europe for the first time since her inaugural season in 2016, with 7-night sailings to the Western Mediterranean from Barcelona.


2021 Redeployment:

Adventure of the Seas will now sail from Barcelona with a mix of 4- and 5-night short Mediterranean itineraries with a line of top destinations including La Spezia and Rome, Italy; Ajaccio, Nice and Marseille, France; and Palma and Ibiza, Spain.

Jewel of the Seas, originally planned to homeport in Amsterdam and Barcelona, will now sail from Stockholm and Copenhagen


RCL Cares:

We are here for our trade partners to ensure they have access to the tools and assistance necessary to keep their businesses moving forward. Here they can access all our latest news and updates, training, wellbeing tips and government advice.

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