France Floats Royal Caribbean’s Second Largest Cruise Ship

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Royal Caribbean International’s newest cruise ship, Utopia of the Seas, was floated out of the building dock in France on September 16. This ship, the sixth in the Oasis class, will be the world’s second-largest cruise ship when completed in July 2024. Unlike its predecessors, Utopia of the Seas is designed to operate on liquified natural gas (LNG), making it only the second ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet to do so. The ship is made up of 74 pre-assembled blocks and is now structurally complete, with interior outfitting set to proceed.

Utopia of the Seas is slightly larger than the current largest cruise ship, the Wonder of the Seas, also built by the French shipyard. However, it will be surpassed in size by the Icon of the Seas, which will enter commercial service in January 2024. Despite its larger gross tonnage, Utopia of the Seas will have a smaller passenger capacity of 5,668 passengers in 2,834 staterooms. The ship will feature amenities such as five swimming pools, 20 dining venues, and 20 bars and entertainment areas, including two casinos. It will also introduce the longest dry slide at sea.

When it enters commercial service, Utopia of the Seas will be the first of the new and largest ships to be placed into the 3- and 4-day cruise market, sailing from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas. The growth of the short cruise market, driven by changes in traveler’s vacation patterns and the appeal of family cruises, has helped Port Canaveral become the largest cruise homeport in 2022, surpassing Miami. Royal Caribbean’s current cruise ship orders include Utopia of the Seas, the Icon of the Seas, and two sister ships being built in Finland.

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