When Celebrity Cruises announced they’d be sending Celebrity Century to Hawaii in 2011 and 2012, we wondered if parent company Royal Caribbean would follow suit. 

They have.

Starting in September 2011, Radiance of the Seas will join fleetmate Rhapsody of the Seas in offering a series of Hawaiian cruise options before and after the ships reposition to Alaska.  While Rhapsody of the Seas has done this run both this year and last, it has been two years since a Radiance-class ship (or any other ship, for that matter) sailed to Hawaii.

Regulations brought in at the request of NCLA, which operates the only American-flagged cruise ship, Pride of America, had exerted their political influence both in Hawaii and on the mainland in an effort to stop foreign-flagged cruise ships from calling in Hawaii as easily.

Foreign-flagged cruise ships make up every cruise ship except Pride of America, with many cruise ships registered in The Bahamas, the Netherlands, England, and Italy.

Since then, many lines found it easier to eliminate or reduce their Hawaii sailings altogether, though notably Princess and Holland America Line still continue to offer 14-and-15-day cruises from the mainland, sailing either from Los Angeles or San Diego.

Royal Caribbean’s foray back into Hawaiian waters marks something of a resurgence not just for Hawaii, but for West Coast cruising, which has seen declining numbers in both Alaska and the Mexican Riviera. 

Sailings aboard both Radiance and Rhapsody of the Seas are now available for booking from 2011 to 2012 on Royal Caribbean’s website.  Be sure to check it out if you’re at all interested; the prime cabins on these sailings are likely to sell out quickly.


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