Royal Caribbean starts building next world's largest cruise ship

Royal Caribbean has cut steel on the fifth Oasis-class cruise ship that will take the title of world’s largest cruise ship when it debuts in 2021.

The yet-to-be-named ship will be a sister ship to the current title holder, Symphony of the Seas, which debuted in 2018.

That one comes in at 228,081 gross tons, 1,188 feet long and has a maximum capacity of 6,680 guests with 2,200 crew. At double capacity, though, the guest count is 5,518 from 2,759 staterooms.

Each Oasis-class ship is slightly larger than the previous. Symphony of the Seas nudged out 2016’s Harmony of the Seas for world’s largest. Harmony took the title from 2009’s Allure of the Seas, and Allure took it from original Oasis of the Seas, which debuted in 2008.

Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley said previously that this fifth ship in the family would continue to follow suit, being a little bit larger than its four existing sisters.

Steel cutting ceremony Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Royal Caribbean officials pose for a photo during the steel cutting ceremony for the fifth Oasis-class cruise ship at the French shipyard on April 24, 2019. (Bernard Biger/Chantiers de l’Atlantique) The steel cutting ceremony, marking the official beginning of ship construction, took place Wednesday at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

This will be the third Oasis-class ship built at the shipyard, previously known as STX France. The first two ships were built at what was then STX Finland.

A sixth Oasis-class ship is slated to be built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique as well for a debut in 2023.

Just like the other Oasis-class ships, this new one will feature the seven distinct neighborhoods such as the Central Park, the open-air green space in the middle of the ship. The latest two Oasis-class ships feature the 10-deck dry slide, The Ultimate Abyss, as well as the Perfect Storm water park.

A press release for the steel cutting said the new ship “will combine the iconic seven-neighborhood concept that her sister ships feature with a bold and unexpected lineup of thrilling experiences, imaginative dining, unparalleled entertainment and the latest technology.”

Royal Caribbean takes delivery of Spectrum of the Seas The cruise line currently sails 26 ships including the new Quantum Ultra-class Spectrum of the Seas that debuted earlier this month. It has three ships on order with one more Quantum Ultra and two Oasis ships. The oldest is 48,563-gross-ton Empress of the Seas which debuted in 1990.

The Oasis-class ships have a limited number of home ports, but the line has since last fall sailed two ships out of its new terminal at PortMiami, one out of Port Everglades and one in Port Canaveral.

Royal Caribbean’s upgraded Bahamas island CocoCay about to open Next month, Symphony of the Seas will remain in Miami, Allure of the Seas in Fort Lauderdale while Harmony of the Seas will make its new home at Port Canaveral as Oasis of the Seas travels to Europe. Both Symphony of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas will be among the six ships to begin calling on the line’s upgraded private Bahamas island dubbed Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Allure of the Seas will begin visits to CocoCay this November from Port Everglades while Oasis of the Seas will begin visits when it migrates to Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey in 2020.

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