Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has announced plans to sell Splendour of the Seas to TUI Cruises. The Vision Class vessel will set sail on her final voyage for Royal Caribbean on April 4, 2016, then be transferred to TUI Cruises. TUI plans to sub-lease the vessel to Thomson Cruises.

According to the company, “Splendour of the Seas will complete all scheduled open deployment, and no sailings will be altered or disrupted due to the sale. “Splendour of the Seas has been a treasured member of the Royal Caribbean International family since she entered service,” said Michael Bayley, president and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean International. “She has offered countless guests memorable vacation experiences and we look forward to continuing to provide the same Gold Anchor Service our brand is known for right up to the last sailing.” Her final sailing will commence on April 4, 2016, and all officers and crew will remain with the company and will be transferred to other vessels worldwide after the ship leaves the Royal Caribbean International fleet.” (Image courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

Splendour of the Seas, Royal Caribbean, selling

Sign of the Times

As the cruise line with the largest and most action-packed ships afloat, Splendour is not likely to be the last ship to leave the fleet as the company takes delivery of newer, larger ships. The bigger ships offer more economies of scale, more amenities for vacationers, and a different kind of cruising experience. There is no schedule for further reductions in the Vision Class fleet, which currently numbers six ships, so there are still many opportunities for a more traditional cruising experience within the Royal Caribbean fleet, including the Radiance Class vessels as well. In the end, like a lot of things in life, it’s all about the “Benjamins” and the larger ships are more profitable in many markets.

-MJ, March 3, 2015