(Updated 5:51 p.m. EST) -- Royal Caribbean announced Wednesday it would redeploy its 1,992-passenger Grandeur of the Seas on a selection of new Southern Caribbean itineraries sailing roundtrip from Barbados during the winter of 2021-2022.
Operating from the Port of Bridgetown – a new homeport for Royal Caribbean -- Grandeur of the Seas will sail three different itineraries.
The 7-night Southern Caribbean Explorer voyages will call on Castries, St. Lucia; Port of Spain, Trinidad; Scarborough, Tobago; Kingstown, St. Vincent; Roseau, Dominica; and St. George's, Grenada.
Grandeur of the Seas will also operate a series of 7-night ABC Caribbean Adventure itineraries. So-named because they visit Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, these sailings will stop in St. George's, Grenada; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Willemstad, Curacao; Oranjestad, Aruba; and Port of Spain, Trinidad before returning to Bridgetown.
Royal Caribbean offers a longer 14-night Ultimate Caribbean Adventure aboard Grandeur of the Seas that sails as far west as Colon, Panama and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.
While Royal Caribbean has called on Bridgetown, Barbados in the past, these itineraries will mark the first time the line has offered homeported roundtrip cruises from the southern Caribbean nation.
Speaking during her weekly Coffee Chat with travel advisors Wednesday, Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean senior vice president of Sales, Trade Support and Service, stated that the new itineraries would be repeated in Winter 2022-2023, but not necessarily aboard Grandeur of the Seas.
Barbados offers a number of nonstop flights from destinations throughout North America and the UK, making it accessible directly to passengers from cities like Toronto, New York, Boston, Miami; as well as Manchester and London in the United Kingdom.
Grandeur of the Seas will sail at 10 p.m. from Bridgetown to accommodate more day-of flight arrivals into Grantley Adams International airport, approximately 30 minutes east of the port.
Flights to Bridgetown can also be booked through Royal Caribbean's Air2Sea program. Royal Caribbean has also partnered with six Barbados hotels to facilitate pre-and-post-cruise stays.
The weeklong voyages can be combined into a single 14-day journey, as the sailings fall outside the timeframe of the CDC's conditional framework that bars voyages over seven days in length, Freed and Jayne Halcomb, Director of Business Development, Destination Development, Caribbean & Americas Region with Royal Caribbean, noted. Barbados also falls outside of the CDC's jurisdiction.
The news is also welcomed for fans of Grandeur of the Seas. The 1996-built ship, affectionately referred to as "Lady G" by its loyal passenger base, had faced an uncertain future following the collapse of Spanish subsidiary Pullmantur, where it was scheduled to be transferred to.
Those plans were scrapped last summer.
“We are excited to grow our longstanding partnership with Barbados and introduce Bridgetown as Royal Caribbean’s newest home port," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Sailing from the heart of the Windward Islands unlocks new memorable vacations to share with family and friends in breathtaking places, such as Grenada, St. Lucia, and now St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago."
Voyages from Barbados aboard Grandeur of the Seas are now open for booking.