As Royal Caribbean prepares to return to cruising from its coronavirus-driven suspension, the cruise line is already planning to add new routes later this year.
The cruise line is adding a home port in Barbados next winter and is offering 7- and 14-night itineraries out of Bridgetown, it announced this week.
Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas will make the sailings begin in December, the cruise line said. The ship will visit new ports of call in the islands of Tobago, Trinidad and St. Vincent, as well as destinations in Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao during week-long cruises.
Longer routes will also include visits to Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.
Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, said in a press release that the new home port “unlocks new memorable vacations to share with family and friends in breathtaking places.”
“The pink-sand beaches and unexpected adventures across Barbados also make it an ideal destination for our guests to experience even more of the Caribbean charm and culture before or after their cruise,” Bayley said.
The new itineraries all depart on Sundays. They include a 7-night southern Caribbean “island hop,” a 7-night southern Caribbean “adventure” and a 14-night “ultimate” Caribbean voyage.
Earlier this week, Royal Caribbean said it was extending its cruise suspension for most of its ships through April 30.
Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines are working to meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requirements in order for them to return their ships to service. The cruise lines need to show that they can conduct normal operations with COVID-19 protections in place in order to avoid having the coronavirus spread among passengers and crew.
In order to show that they’re ready, the cruise lines will need to run mock voyages with volunteer passengers. As of last month, Royal Caribbean said that more than 150,000 people had offered to volunteer as passengers for any trial cruises.