As Royal Caribbean International this week began construction on their fifth Oasis-class ship, the big question was whether the newest addition to their fleet will, upon completion, claim the World’s Biggest title currently held by sister ship Symphony Of The Seas.
What We Know About The New Ship
The steel cutting which represents the first step in a cruise ship’s construction took place at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. As for when the new ship will make her debut, it’s expected that the as-yet-unnamed vessel will begin sailing in 2021.
Although specific details regarding the new ship are scant, each of the previous ships in the class has been built slightly larger than the one which preceded it, allowing Royal Caribbean to make sure the new arrivals are able to claim the “World’s Largest” title. This is, of course, a great way to generate additional publicity for the new ships.
While the ship’s size and name are still unknown, Royal Caribbean says that it “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.”
As of now, Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas is the largest ship in the world, coming in at 228,081 gross tons and carrying 6,680 passengers at maximum capacity. Sister ship Harmony of the Seas comes in second place at 226,693 gross tons. Look at those numbers carefully, and you’ll see just how slim the margin between them is. (Interestingly, the slightly-smaller ship carries slightly more passengers — 6,687 at maximum capacity.)
These two are followed by two other Royal Caribbean vessels, Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas. The first non-Royal ship to make the list is MSC’s Meraviglia, which comes in at 171,598 gross tons and 5,714 passengers, followed by the Norwegian Bliss at 168,028 gross tons and 4,004 passengers.
In Other Royal Caribbean News…
Royal Caribbean International’s fleet will continue to expand in the coming years. They have two Icon-class ships on order, each of which will carry around 5,000 passengers. The first is due in 2022, with a second following in 2024. They also have a sixth Oasis-class ship on order and expected to be delivered in 2023.
Meanwhile, Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island, is approaching the final stages of its $200 million refurbishment. The Orlando Sentinel reports that many of the newly-upgraded features will be operational by May, with the rest expected to be available by December. The island’s new diversions will be a mix of complimentary and for-fee attractions. Various packages will be for sale for those wishing to experience the zip-lines and waterslides, including both a full- and half-day pass. At least six of their ships are expected to make regular stops there beginning this summer.