Royal Caribbean Group celebrates the final handover of its new cruise ship, which is also the largest cruise ship in the world. The fifth ship of the Oasis class, the wonder of the seas, departed Marseille, France on January 27 with her AIS indicating the vessel was heading for Cyprus ahead of a planned repositioning to Florida. Her maiden voyage is scheduled for March 4 from Port Everglades in the Caribbean.
the wonder of the seas was built at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, and after completion left the yard in early November 2021. While in Marseille, the vessel received some final touches to her passenger fittings , including the assembly of the large slides and other features.
At 236,857 gross tons, the new cruise ship is nearly five percent larger than the first Oasis-class cruise ship that Royal Caribbean introduced more than a decade ago and even slightly larger than the fourth ship in the class which was also built in France and introduced three years ago. the wonder of the seas is 1,188 feet long and has increased passenger capacity with a maximum of 6,988 passengers in addition to 2,300 crew.
Construction of the cruise ship had started with steel cutting in April 2019 and it was expected to be delivered in 2021. The cruise line intended to port the ship to Shanghai as part of its growth in the Chinese market. Construction was delayed by the pandemic, and in April 2021 they revised its rollout plan saying it would leave Shanghai between March and November 2022, before moving to Hong Kong.
However, with the Chinese market remaining closed to international cruises and much of Asia limiting cruise travel, Royal Caribbean now plans to sail her for a few weeks in the Caribbean, before returning to the Mediterranean for the summer and wear at home all year round from November. 2022 from Port Canaveral, Florida. In a related development, Royal Caribbean also announced this week that it will be repositioning its cruise ship the Spectrum of the Seas from Hong Kong to Singapore six months earlier than planned in part due to the COVID-19 restriction in China and the the anticipation that Singapore will soon open up the cruise market to international destinations.
Like all modern cruise ships, the wonder of the seas has a wide range of amenities for its passengers. As with previous ships in the class, it has different entertainment, accommodation and dining areas with features such as a waterslide, outdoor theater and zip line. New on the wonder of the seas is a Southern-style restaurant, cantilevered pool bar and a special area for suite passengers with a lounge, restaurant and private outdoor terrace.
In the coming weeks, Royal Caribbean should also take delivery to Chantiers de l’Atlantique of the third liner in the Epic series for Celebrity Cruises. The 140,600 gross tons Celebrity Beyond will enter service at the end of April 2022 sailing in the Mediterranean for the summer before repositioning to the Caribbean. Royal Caribbean also has a fourth Epic-class ship scheduled for delivery in late 2023 and a sixth Oasis-class ship on order with the French shipyard scheduled for delivery in mid-2024.