Royal Caribbean has announced that Wonder of the Seas will debut in Europe and North America instead of Asia due to ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions in the region.
The cancellation of her Asian season means that Wonder of the Seas will not cruise from Dubai on her way to the region from her shipyard in Europe.
Wonder of the Seas had been due to homeport in China, cruising to various countries in the region, but ongoing testing and quarantine requirements make these plans unfeasible.
Royal Caribbean did not specify its reason for pulling Wonder of the Seas out of China, but the move mirrors that made by TUI Cruises with its ship Mein Schiff 5.
Royal Caribbean instead suggested the re-deployment of Wonder of the Seas was a result of booking momentum for itineraries in Europe and North America.
“The momentum taking off across bookings and our returning ships in the U.S. and Europe is significant,” said Michael Bayley, President & CEO, Royal Caribbean International.
“With half of our fleet sailing again, we are encouraged by what we’re seeing. These regions are in the position to welcome a brand-new, innovative ship like Wonder of the Seas,” Bayley added.
“What’s in store is the ultimate vacation experience that highlights the very best of Royal Caribbean, [the ship] reimagines renowned favorites and introduces new adventures every guest, no matter their age, can enjoy,” he said.
Wonder of the Seas will now debut in Fort Lauderdale, sailing Caribbean itineraries from March, 2022, with her first cruise due to depart on March 4th.
She’ll spend several months sailing to the Caribbean, before crossing the Atlantic to sail a series of voyages from Barcelona and Rome in the summer.
Royal Caribbean has not confirmed any cruise itineraries following her European summer season, leaving open the possibility of a China deployment and her much-delayed Dubai cruise departure.
Wonder of the Seas brings a range of new features to the cruise line across her eight distinct neighborhoods.
For the first time on any Oasis-class cruise ship there’ll be a Suite Neighborhood, a cantilevered pool bar named The Vue, and Wonder Playscape – an interactive, open-air kids’ play area with sweeping oceanviews.
The ship will also feature Oasis-class favourites, such as The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea; Central Park, the neighborhood filled with real plants from end to end; and a vibrant Caribbean-inspired pool deck experience.