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Royal Caribbean swings more to the west Med in 2017

Navigator of the Seas returns to Tenerife (pictured) on 2017 Canary Islands cruises (Photo: Royal Caribbean)
A stronger western Mediterranean emphasis than this year characterizes Royal Caribbean International's newly announced 2017 Europe season. The line will again deploy eight ships, and added a homeport, for a total of seven: Southampton, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Barcelona, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Venice.

Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas return to Southampton and will offer a wide variety of cruises including short getaways to Paris and Bruges, seven- and eight-night sailings to France, Spain and Portugal, eight-night 'Norwegian Escapes' and 10-, 12- and 14-night Canary Islands voyages. A 14-night 'Canaries and North Africa' cruise on Navigator of the Seas features Agadir, Morocco.

Sailing from Copenhagen or Stockholm, Serenade of the Seas will visit the Norwegian Fjords or Scandinavia/Russia in seven nights, plus longer 'Ultimate Scandinavia/Russia' programs in 11 or 13 nights from Copenhagen and Stockholm, respectively, and an 11-night Arctic Circle voyage from the Danish capital.

From Barcelona, Brilliance of the Seas will operate 12- and 14-night Mediterranean, Mediterranean Greek Isles and Mediterranean Venice cruises. At Kotor, Montenegro, the line's new 'Budva Riviera and Beach' experience will take passengers to coastal towns and villages, with a stop at Montenegro’s award-winning Becici Beach. Freedom of the Seas will sail mostly seven-night western Mediterranean cruises.

From Civitavecchia, Jewel of the Seas will offer extra departures of seven-night western Mediterranean itineraries to France, Spain and Italy, and nine-night cruises that visit Greece and Turkey.

Legend of the Seas will sail from Venice on seven- and eight-night cruises to Greece, Turkey and Croatia or seven-night cruises to the Greek Isles. Vision of the Seas will also sail from Venice, on longer itineraries such as 10-night Greece and Adriatic and 11-night Italy, Malta and Spain or Greece, Turkey and Croatia.

In addition, Vision of the Seas will operate 10- and 11-night cruises from Barcelona. Plus, from Amsterdam, the ship will offer 10-, 11- or 12-night Baltic or 12-night British Isles routes, and a 14-night western Europe voyage from Copenhagen.