With the 2002 cruise season well under way, Harwich International Port saw the inaugural call of Royal Caribbean International’s brand new Brilliance of the Seas on Monday 8th July 2002. The vessel was officially named at a ceremony in Harwich on the 13th July, prior to taking up service with the first of her six calls to the Port this year.
One of Royal Caribbean International’s ‘Radiance Class’ of cruise ships, the 292 metre long Brilliance of the Seas has an impressive 13 decks, capable of carrying a total of 2,501 passengers and 864 crew. With a gross tonnage of 90,090, a draft of 8 metres and a cruising speed of 25 knots, she is the largest ship to have berthed at Harwich International Port.
The Brilliance of the Seas offers a luxurious holiday, with a theatre, climate-controlled solarium with indoor/outdoor pool and bar area, spa massage room, fitness centre, lounge, coffee house, outdoor saltwater swimming pool, casino, children’s play area/computer room, dining room and a selection of restaurants and cafes. For that extra touch of elegance, there are glass elevators facing the sea, and a 9-storey glass-constructed Centrum. One of the more unusual features is a 200-foot rock-climbing wall, perfect for those missing the mountains!
Harwich International Port was re-confirmed as the homeport for Royal Caribbean International vessels in 1999, with a 5-year agreement. From Harwich, Brilliance of the Seas heads for Amsterdam and then onto a northern European itinerary.
Terry Davies, Divisional Manager for Harwich International Port, said that he was extremely pleased for the Port to be chosen, both for the naming ceremony and as the homeport for such a prestigious vessel. He went on to say that the ties between the two companies go back to 1993, when the first Royal Caribbean ship was the Song of Norway.
2003 will see the arrival of another Royal Caribbean ship in the Grandeur of the Seas.