Our History

Year 1968

Royal Caribbean International founded.

Year 1970

Industry’s first ship built for warm-weather cruising introduced.



Year 1985

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) organized on July 23.

Year 1988

We launch the world’s first “megaship,” Sovereign of the Seas, which boasts a five-deck Centrum with glass elevators, sweeping staircases and fountains in marble pools.


Year 1992

“Save the Waves” formal environmental program established.

Year 1993

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) traded on NYSE.

Year 1996

“Ocean Fund” launched, and Environmental Officers placed onboard every ship.

Year 1997

ISO 14001 Environmental and ISO 9001 Quality Certifications received.

Year 1998

Environmental Committee of the Board of Directors established (chaired by former U.S. EPA Administrator William K. Reilly).

Year 1999

Began installation of first generation Advanced Wastewater Purification systems, and launched fleet-wide Environmental Ship of the Year competition.

Year 2000

Ocean research partnerships with the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration established.

Year 2002

Celebrity completes launch of four new ships starting with the Celebrity Millennium in three years (now consistently recognized as a top 10 among large ships by Condé Nast Traveler).


Year 2003

World’s largest cruise ship launched (Voyager of the Seas) followed by her four sister ships, unveiling the world’s first ice-skating rink, rock-climbing wall and horizontal atrium on a cruise ship.


Year 2004

Installation of smokeless gas turbine engines of eight ships completed.

Year 2006

Galapagos Fund established to support conservation initiatives on the island.

Galapagos Fund established to support conservation initiatives on the island.

Year 2007

Partnerships with Conservation International and Sustainable Travel International launched.

Year 2008

Chief Environmental Officer, a corporate-officer-level position, established.

Solar panels and “green roof” added to the Celebrity Solstice.

Celebrity Eclipse, interior photos.

Year 2009

New Sustainable Marine Tour Operators Standard piloted.

Year 2010

Royal Caribbean International wins the Condé Nast Traveler World Savers Award, winning the top honors in the Cruise Lines category.

Year 2011

Celebrity Cruises wins the Condé Nast Traveler World Savers Award, receiving top honors in the Cruise Lines category.

Exhaust gas scrubbers tested on two Royal Caribbean International ships.

Year 2012

CocoCay, our private destination in the Bahamas, achieved the industry’s — and RCL’s — first Gold Level Eco-Certification for sustainable tourism.

First exhaust gas scrubber installed on Liberty of the Seas is certified to IMO standards.

Year 2013

Labadee, our private destination in Haiti, achieved the industry’s — and RCL’s — second Gold Level Eco-Certification for sustainable tourism.


Year 2014

Quantum of the Seas debuted (first ship to offer simulated skydiving and an observation capsule providing water views from 300 feet).



Year 2012

Celebrity Cruises completed a five-ship expansion with the launch of Celebrity Solstice and her four sister ships.

Year 2010

New generation of cruise ship innovations brought to market with inauguration of world’s largest cruise ships (Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas) featuring an open-air Central Park, Boardwalk carousel and AquaTheater.


Year 2008

World’s largest cruise ship launched (Freedom of the Seas) followed by her two sister ships, featuring industry’s first onboard surfing simulator.


Year 2007

Azamara brand introduced featuring exotic destinations in Antarctica and South America.


Year 2004

Mega-yacht begins cruising the Galapagos Islands with launch of Celebrity Xpedition.


Year 2000

Ventured on land with pre- and post-cruise land vacations through Royal Celebrity Tours in Alaska via glass-domed railcars to Denali National Park and the Talkeetna River Valley, have since expanded globally.


Year 1998

Royal Caribbean International’s six Vision Class “Ships of Light” vessels introduced (featuring nearly two acres of glass windows).


Year 1997

Celebrity Cruises fleet acquired featuring Celebrity Century, Celebrity Galaxy and Celebrity Mercury.


Year 2015

Anthem of the Seas, part of the Quantum class, features the RipCord by iFLY skydiving simulator, SeaPlex, an activities space that’s a real game changer, bumper cars, a roller rink, circus school and Quatum’s signature attraction, the North Star, an observation capsule providing water views from 300 feet.


Year 2016

Empress of the Seas rejoins the Royal Caribbean International fleet.


Year 2016

Splendour of the Seas departs the Royal Caribbean International fleet.



Year 2016

Royal Caribbean International launches world’s largest cruise ship Harmony of the Seas, featuring The Ultimate Abyss. Beginning on Deck 16 and ending on Deck 6, it’s a nine-deck drop (in a nod to the superstitious, there is no Deck 13 on Harmony). That makes it by far the tallest slide at sea. Filled with LED lights and graffiti artwork designed to create a starry night and twister effect, and spinning around on itself several times, it’s a first-of-its-kind for Royal Caribbean and the cruise industry.


Year 2016

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announce global partnership to support ocean conservation.


Year 2018

Royal Caribbean International launches Symphony of the Seas – its fourth Oasis-Class ship and 25th vessel in the Royal Caribbean International fleet.  She is the first in her class to feature the new Ultimate Family Suite: A two-level, 1,346-square-foot suite filled with awesome thrills. Features include an in-room slide, a private cinema with an 85-inch HD TV, a floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall, a 212-square-foot balcony complete with table tennis and a full-size whirlpool. Complete with a Royal Genie, who caters to every whim, there are many more surprises awaiting guests along the way.


Year 2018

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. officially completes its stake in Silversea Cruises, the industry leader for ultra-luxury cruising. Now, Royal Caribbean Cruises will call to over 1,000 destinations on all seven continents to bring its guests both luxury and added enhancements to their vacations.

Year 2018

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. acquires a 66.7% equity stake in privately-owned Silversea Cruises. Silversea, with its intimate, all-suite ships, offers sailings to more than 1,000 global destinations. The Monaco-based cruise line not only adds an ultra-luxury brand to RCL’s lineup, but also diversifies its portfolio and expedition offerings. Together, Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain and Manfredi Lefebvre Chairman of Silversea plan on bringing together bold, long-term visions for the cruise industry’s future.

Silversea Cruises' Executive Chairman, Manfredi Lefebvre, and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s Chairman and CEO, Richard D. Fain, ink RCL's investment in Silversea Cruises.