We announce the upcoming deployment of our ships throughout the first half of each calendar year. We typically state what they’re going to be doing from one year in the future until two years in the future. Sometimes we are so immersed in the period of time we’re about to announce that we know more about the dates and the holidays of the future period than the year in which we are actually living.
Sometimes the announcements are noteworthy and/or surprising. Rarely are they as significant as the three programs we revealed on August 16th: Quantum of the Seas to Shanghai, China for the summer of 2015, Liberty of the Seas to Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ for the summer of 2015 and Anthem of the Seas to Cape Liberty for the winter of 2015/2016.
The New York and Shanghai markets are both very important to the Royal Caribbean International brand. In New York, we have systematically built up our presence, from one small ship in the summer for the Bermuda program in the mid-1980’s to Quantum-class to the Caribbean in the winter and Freedom-class to Bermuda and the Caribbean in the summer as of 2014/15. We are very pleased to bring Liberty of the Seas into Bermuda service after the long and excellent run that Explorer of the Seas has had in the New York area. We also look forward to Anthem of the Seas’ arrival at Cape Liberty a year and a half from now after she completes her maiden season of cruises out of Southampton, U.K. to the Mediterranean. For those readers who had been asking for more variety in our New York area presence, we will now offer Explorer, Quantum, Liberty and Anthem before the end of 2015.
As for China, we have also been systematically building our presence there, starting with one Vision-class ship in 2008 and graduating to two Voyager-class ships in 2013 and again in 2014. With the addition of Quantum of the Seas in 2015 we are cementing our leadership position in the rapidly emerging China cruise market, or “cruise economy” as the Chinese say. While the Chinese tend to take vacations of less than 7 nights, we have scheduled a number of 7 and 8 night cruises for those who would like to travel to a fascinating part of the world and enjoy our newest Royal Caribbean ship class.
Anthem of the Seas was originally going to a winter home in Port Everglades following her initial season in Southampton. For our customers who prefer to take cruises from South Florida, we are sorry to have re-routed her to Cape Liberty. Of course, Port Everglades remains the home of Oasis-class and many other outstanding Royal Caribbean ships. While we haven’t said what our third Quantum-class ship or our third Oasis-class ship will do after we take delivery of both of them in the spring of 2016, at a minimum we will have more state of the art ships to place in more itineraries. That’s something to look forward to wherever our readers live.