With the big launch only a day away, we look at the maiden voyage the Anthem of the Seas is about to undertake. Tomorrow’s maiden trip to France and Spain will represent a huge occasion for Royal Caribbean and cruise fans in general who have been waiting more than three years for this day since the ship was first announced in February 2012. Originally known by the covert name ‘Project Sunshine II’, the ship becomes the second smartship in the world to enter into service.
Sailing from Southampton in the later afternoon, the ship will spend a full day at sea before commencing on a busy Spanish itinerary – visiting the cities of Vigo, Gijon and Bilbao in three consecutive days. The Anthem of the Seas will then spend two days at sea before arriving in Paris for a full day before making the short trip back to Southampton, concluding the cruise.
To celebrate the occasion as the ship’s first ever cruise, we have compiled the first thing you should do when arrive in each of the cities.
The Parque Monte del Castro is a beautiful, open park with stunning views across the bay. Perfect for visitors of all ages, the park offers an authentic insight into Spanish life with locals regularly visiting the park to spend time with loved ones, read the newspaper or even play the harp.
Upon arriving in Bilbao on Saturday, avoid the Playa de San Lorenzo beach as it will almost certainly be packed, and head instead for the Jardin Botanico – the botanical gardens which offers stunning plant life and beautiful views.
The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is one of the world’s best-loved museums featuring striking pieces including Jeff Koons’ massive flower puppy.
With just one day in the French capital, you may be deciding whether to rush to the Louvre, Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe first. However, we’d recommend ditching the crowds and going for something to eat and beautiful glass of red at Las Maison Des Frigos – a converted ice factory in the heart of a regenerated section of the city (19 rue des Frigos, 75013 Paris) which has become a huge favourite with local artists.
Images sourced via Royal Caribbean Press Center and Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: juantiagues