|The interior area between the "twin superstructure design" known as "Central Park"|
Outsizing Allure by 2/1/2 tons, this will be the NEW world's largest cruise ship
Today, on September 23rd, 2013, Royal Caribbean cut the first steel on the third ship of the Oasis-class of ships. These are the largest cruise ships in the world, each one costing over $1-billion to build. When he first two ships in this class (the other being Allure of the Seas) were put on order the economy collapsed almost simultaneously. Hence, getting the financing, especially for the first ship proved to be particularly challenging.
This third ship has not yet been named. Furthermore, Royal Caribbean holds the option to build a fourth ship of this class - and although the option has not yet been exercised, it is very rare for any cruise line to lose (fail to exercise) the option to build a ship at a pre-set price.
Royal Caribbean International cut the first piece of steel today, marking the first construction milestone for this new vessel that is designed to come in at approximately 227,700 Gross Registered Tons - this is about two and a half tons larger than Oasis or Allure, sure to make this ship the new "largest cruise ship in the world." The ship is expected to be delivered in mid-2016.
Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.'s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Richard D. Fain and Royal Caribbean International President and CEO, Adam Goldstein together with Laurent Castaing, chief executive officer, STX France, attended the event at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, where the ship will be built. The two previous ships were built in Turku, Finland, but in this case the Finnish shipyard was not able to convince the same financial entities to assist in funding the project, and so the project was moved.
"The Oasis-class ships have fundamentally changed the cruising landscape with the cornucopia of amenities and innovations that can be found onboard," said Fain. "We are delighted to be offering a third Oasis-class vessel for our guests as well as to be back at STX France after such a long tradition of building amazing ships together."
"We are excited to once again partner with Royal Caribbean International," said Castaing, "We have built 12 ships for Royal Caribbean and are extremely proud of the strength of our relationship. Oasis 3 is one of the biggest challenges ever undertaken in the history of our company and our teams are excited and ready to make this a successful project."
Currently being called "Oasis 3," the ship joins her sister-ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas which took the cruise industry by storm with their introduction in 2009 and 2010, respectively, featuring a revolutionary design with a split superstructure and the cruise line's neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas. At 225,282 GRT and spanning 16 decks with 2,700 staterooms, the Oasis class ships also introduced extraordinary "firsts" at sea such as an 82 foot-long zip line, a handcrafted carousel, the Rising Tide elevating bar, the AquaTheater high-diving performance venue, and the Central Park with more than 12,000 live trees and plants. The Oasis class also offers amenities that can only be found on Royal Caribbean, such as twin FlowRider surf simulators, cantilevered whirlpools, an ice-skating rink, the H2O Zone kids aquapark, and the Royal Promenade, an interior boulevard that stretches nearly the length of the ship flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques, among many other attractions.
"Our Oasis-class ships have led the charge in delivering the WOW for which Royal Caribbean is known," said Goldstein. "We are delighted to get the building process underway and look forward to the next chapter of this amazing class of ships."
Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas sail weekly, alternating seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In October 2014, Oasis of the Seas will sail a short autumn season in Europe from Barcelona, Spain before entering drydock for routine maintenance at the Képpel Verolme shipyard in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Details of the third Oasis-class ship will be revealed in the coming months.