Considering that transatlantic voyages sailed with a few thousand people onboard at most just a hundred years ago, it is pretty remarkable that Symphony of the Seas just arrived in Europe carrying more than 7,000 people onboard.
After completing a transatlantic voyage that departed Miami on March 9, the Oasis-class cruise ship became the ship carrying the most people onboard during a completed transatlantic voyage in peacetime.
Symphony of the Seas Breaks Atlantic Crossing Record
With 7,604 people on board, which includes 5,350 passengers and 2,224 crew members, Symphony of the Seas arrived in Malaga, Spain, on March 19, completing a voyage across the Atlantic that will enter the history books.
The Oasis-class cruise ship is now the world record holder for the vessel carrying more people across the Atlantic Ocean than any other vessel in history in peacetime. After visiting Malaga on March 19 and Valencia today, March 20, Symphony of the Seas is scheduled to complete the 12-day cruise and arrive in Barcelona, Spain, on March 21.
The 228,081 gross tons Symphony of the Seas, built in 2018, was the world’s largest cruise ship between 2018 and 2022. She will go into dry dock in Cadiz and undergo routine maintenance and class work at the shipyard.
Symphony of the Seas will resume operations on April 16 with a series of seven-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean, departing from Barcelona every Sunday. Ports of call include Palma De Mallorca, Marseille, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, and Naples.
The season in Europe will be relatively long for Symphony of the Seas. The cruise ship will be sailing in the western Mediterranean through October 29 this year.
Symphony of the Seas isn’t the All-Time Record Holder
While impressive, the transatlantic record set by Symphony of the Seas is not the all-time record for a cruise ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean. In July 1943, the Cunard Line ocean liner Queen Mary set the record for a crossing of the Atlantic carrying 16,683 crew members and troops on a single passage.
During the second world war, Queen Mary sailed a massive 765,429 military personnel between the United States and the United Kingdom. Due to her tremendous efforts, it was later noted by Sir Winston Churchill that Queen Mary and her sister Queen Elizabeth had shortened the war efforts considerably:
Sir Winston Churchill: “Built for the arts of peace and to link the old world with the new, the queens challenged the fury of Hitlerism in the battle of the Atlantic. Without their aid, the day of final victory must unquestionably have been postponed.”
Nine Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships in Europe in 2023
Royal Caribbean is placing a lot of importance on Europe this summer, with no less than nine of its cruise ships based in the Mediterranean, the UK, and Western Europe this summer.
Besides Symphony of the Seas, this will be Anthem of the Seas, Odyssey of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, and Jewel of the Seas.
Anthem of the Seas will be based in Southampton, England, offering seven-night cruises to Spain and France, or the Norwegian Fjords.
Odyssey of the Seas returns to Rome, Italy, offering seven- to nine-night cruises from Rome to Naples, the Greek islands, and Turkey, as well as 12-night Holy Land sailings, which includes calls in Limassol, Cyprus; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; and Jerusalem, Israel.
Serenade of the Seas will sail 8-night itineraries to the Western Mediterranean, 12-night cruises to the Greek Isles, and 5-night sailings to Italy and France from Barcelona. Explorer of the Seas sails from Ravenna, Italy, on seven-night cruises to Olympia, Greece; Kotor, Montenegro, and Chania, Crete.
Brilliance of the Seas sails from Rome, Ravenna, Athens, and Barcelona on a variety of itineraries. Rhapsody of the Seas will operate from Haifa, Israel, and Limassol, Cyprus, on a series of cruises between four and seven nights to Turkey, Israel, and Greece.
Sailing on cruises around Western and Northern Europe are Jewel of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Stockholm, Sweden.