They just keep getting bigger: Mammoth Symphony of the Seas floated out
Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas, which will inherit the title of world's largest cruise ship when it debuts in early 2018, has been floated out at the shipyard for its first taste of water.
The 230,000-ton, 362-metre ship is under construction at STX France in St. Nazaire, France. It is the fourth Oasis-class vessel, and Symphony of the Seas will sail the Mediterranean in the summer 2018 and then make its way to the US, bound to sail out of Royal Caribbean's new terminal at PortMiami.
With the exterior now done, interior work will continue until its April 2018 handover.
Symphony of the Seas's gross registered tons will be more than Harmony of the Seas, which comes in at 226,963 tons, but they will be the same length.
Meanwhile, MSC Cruises nailed down some details for its new class of cruise ships that will be among the largest in the world. Four planned World Class of cruise ships that will be built at STX France between 2022-2026 will be able to carry 6850 passengers in 2760 cabins.
That puts it just larger than the capacity of the current title holder for world's largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, which has a capacity of 6780 passengers. The gross tonnage of the new class of ships, though, will be smaller than Royal's Oasis-class ships.
The details were announced at a ceremony at the shipyard in St. Nazaire, France as the cruise line took ownership of its newest vessel, the not-so-small, 152,000-tonne, 4500-passenger MSC Meraviglia, which will make its way to Miami by 2019 after serving Europe for its first two years of service.
Harmony of the Seas currently holds the title for world's largest cruise ship, slightly larger than the original ships, 2009's Oasis of the Seas and 2010's Allure of the Seas.
Symphony of the Seas' Miami sailings begin with a four-night cruise on November 9, 2018 that makes one stop in Cozumel, Mexico. It will then begin alternating seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruises.
Just like Harmony, the ship will feature the 10-deck Ultimate Abyss dry slide and Perfect Storm water park as well as Royal Caribbean mainstay features like the FlowRider surf simulator and 40-foot rock climbing wall.
The website teases one other adventure offering with no details other than "A new scale of daring. Adventure hits a high note with a whole new challenge" with details promised at a later date.
Like all Oasis-class ships, it will feature seven distinct neighbourhoods including the Oasis-class' signature Central Park and the Boardwalk. There will be an ice skating rink, the AquaTheater at the aft of the ship,
Symphony will feature 28 more staterooms than Harmony of the Seas with a Royal Suite class, neighbourhood balconies overlooking Central Park, virtual balconies on inside staterooms, and the highest number of ocean-view cabins at sea which has 2775 staterooms that can hold 5494 passengers at double capacity, and 6780 at full capacity as well as a 2175-person crew.
Restaurants will once again include celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's Italian dining venue as well as the Mexican offering Sabor, Japanese cuisine at Izumi, the Chops Grill steakhouse, Vintages wine bar and Solarium bistro.
More than 20 dining options are promised, but details on any new venues have not been released yet.
Robots will be back as well with the Bionic Bar. Expect more details to come.
The ship's Mediterranean sailings begin with a seven-night voyage from Barcelona on April 21. The ship will sail 7-, 8- and 9-night voyages in the Mediterranean through October before repositioning to Miami on a 12-night transatlantic voyage that departs October 28.
Only certain ports are big enough to handle Oasis-class behemoths, which had only Port Everglades to sail from until Port Canaveral's enhancements in the last couple of years.
With Harmony's debut in Florida last November, Port Canaveral took on Oasis. When Symphony of the Seas debuts, three Florida ports will now host the behemoths that can hold close to 7000 passengers at full capacity.
Harmony of the Seas will stay in Fort Lauderdale or Oasis of the Seas in Port Canaveral.