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Mariner of the Seas to sail around South America

There will be no shortcuts for [% 15420 | | Royal Caribbean’s %] Mariner of the Seas. When the ship leaves its Orlando homeport in 2009 to take up residence in Los Angeles, it will sail around the tip of South America, rather than cutting through the Panama Canal.

The Mariner will be the first Voyager-class ship to sail around Cape Horn, though other Royal Caribbean ships have made the trek. The ship’s 46-night voyage will be broken into three distinct itineraries. On January 4, 2009, the Mariner will depart Port Canaveral and call at several Caribbean islands on its way to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. On January 19, the ship will visit both coasts of South America as it makes its way around Cape Horn to Valparaiso. Finally, on February 3, the Mariner will continue up South America’s west coast, stopping in Central America before reaching California.

For long South America voyages that often include several sea days, guests will appreciate the Voyager-class amenities, such as a rock-climbing wall, ice skating rink, more than 15 bars and lounges, and seven restaurants. However, you will have to share these spaces with 3,114 passengers for each 15- to 16-night journey.

If you book a cabin for the entire 46-night voyage by December 15, 2007, you’ll pay only half the usual deposit and receive a $500 onboard credit. That seems like a small perk for giving Royal Caribbean a hefty chunk of change, but, hey, every little bit counts.

Editor’s note: Erica Silverstein will be on vacation through the middle of next week. Look for her next blog posting on Thursday, September 6.

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