Royal Caribbean International is going tokeepbeating its own big-ship record.
The Miami-based cruise operator announced Wednesday that its next new ship, Symphony of the Seas, will be the largest ship in the world just by a bit.
Its a familiar refrain. Royal Caribbean, the worlds largest cruise line measured by passenger capacity, launched the largest cruise ship ever in 2009. That ship, the 225,282-ton Oasis by the Seas, was followed by the slightly longer Allure of the Seas in 2010. Both carry5,400 passengers at double occupancy.
Lastyear, sister ship Harmony of the Seas become the biggest, encompassing 226,963 gross registered tons and holding 5,494 passengers. It will have to cede the title to Symphony of the Seas in April of 2018: At 230,000 tons, the new ship will have 28 more rooms than Harmony.
In a call with reporters, Royal Caribbean International president and CEO Michael Bayley called the new ship the latest, greatest, newest, most beautiful baby thats coming soon.
Bayley would not reveal many details about the upcomingship, but said there were some new features and a different design for the solarium area.
After making its debut in Europe and spending several months there,Symphony of the Seas will be based in Miami along with Allure of the Seas. Both will use a new terminal that isbeing built to handle the immense crowds that board and depart the megashipsin a matter of hours.
The other Oasis-class ships will also sail from Florida, at least in the winter: Oasis from Port Canaveral in Central Florida and Harmony from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. One of the vessels is likely to head to Europe in the summer of 2019.
Bayley said the company is not concerned about having too much capacity sailing the Caribbean next year, even as competitors including Norwegian Cruise Line plan to also sailnew ships inthe market.
Were quite bullish about the Caribbean, he said. Were seeing more and more internationalguests come into theCaribbean.
Whether or when an Oasis-class ship might make it to another hot destination China is still unclear.
Oooh, good question. You never know, Bayley told a reporter who asked about the possibility. He said the company has other classes of ships on order as well,smaller than Oasis but still giant.
Theres lots of opportunitiesfor the worlds largest ships to go to China, he said.
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