The next biggest cruise ship? Footage shows how construction of monster Royal Caribbean vessel Utopia of the Seas – due to set sail in 2024 – is well under way
- It will be Royal Caribbean’s sixth Oasis Class vessel – a class that comprises the world’s biggest cruise ships
- The video shows the keel-laying ceremony for the ship at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in France
- Utopia will offer a ‘signature combination of Royal Caribbean experiences and many brand-new adventures’
The first milestone in the construction of the vessel that could vie for the world’s biggest cruise ship crown has been reached.
Launching in early 2024, Utopia of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean’s sixth Oasis Class vessel, a class that comprises five of the world’s biggest cruise ships – Wonder, Symphony, Harmony, Oasis and Allure of the Seas.
A video released by Royal Caribbean shows the keel-laying ceremony for the ship – a longstanding maritime tradition that marks the official start of construction – at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.
The first milestone in the construction of Utopia of the Seas, the vessel that could vie for the crown of the world’s biggest cruise ship, has been reached
In the clip, newly minted coins are placed on to a 948-ton steel block on the ship. The coins, which represent Royal Caribbean and Chantiers de l’Atlantique, are said to bring luck during construction and to the captain and crew when Utopia sets sail.
A construction worker can be seen welding a coin to the keel to secure it.
The camera also pans around the frame of the vessel, giving a sense of its enormous scale. The dimensions of the ship have yet to be released, however, so it’s not clear whether Utopia of the Seas will take the crown as the world’s largest cruise ship upon its debut.
Construction of the vessel, which promises to offer ‘bolder, thrilling vacations for all ages’, is expected to take 30 months, the video reveals.
A video released by Royal Caribbean shows the keel-laying ceremony for the ship, a longstanding maritime tradition that marks the official start of construction. In the ceremony, coins are placed on a 948-ton steel block on the ship
Utopia of the Seas is due to launch in 2024
Details of the facilities on board are still under wraps, but Royal Caribbean has hinted that there’ll be plenty of new features for cruisers to enjoy.
In April, Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, said: ‘Vacationers can look forward to the signature combination of Royal Caribbean experiences and many brand-new adventures that has and will continue to make the Oasis class of ships the ultimate vacation for guests of all ages.’
Utopia of the Seas will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), much like Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, which is set to launch next year. ‘The use of the cleanest fossil fuel available to cruise ships today and additional environmentally friendly applications on board Utopia will boost energy efficiencies and further reduce emissions overall,’ says Royal Caribbean.
A construction worker can be seen welding a coin to the keel to secure it as part of the ceremony
The camera pans around the frame of the vessel, giving a sense of its enormous scale
Commenting on Utopia’s construction milestone, Bayley said: ‘The keel laying for Utopia of the Seas represents the first milestone of an incredible ship and the next step toward a bolder, thrilling future for Royal Caribbean and vacations.
‘Utopia’s debut in 2024, on the heels of Icon of the Seas setting sail in fall 2023, will build on a new, exciting chapter that is set to redefine family vacations and getaways for all ages in ways we’ll soon reveal.’
Laurent Castaing, General Manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique, added: ‘The construction of Utopia is an exciting opportunity for the Chantiers de l’Atlantique teams that are aiming to make this cruise ship one of the most environmentally friendly ships in the world equipped with new generation dual-fuel engines.’
For more information, visit www.royalcaribbean.com.
THE WORLD’S TOP FIVE BIGGEST CRUISE SHIPS
By gross tonnage, these behemoths are the five biggest cruise ships on the high seas:
1. WONDER OF THE SEAS – ROYAL CARIBBEAN
Launched in 2022, the record-breaking ship has a gross tonnage of 236,857, and measures 362m (1,187.8ft) in length and 64m (210ft) in width. With 2,867 staterooms, she can carry 6,988 passengers at maximum capacity.
2. SYMPHONY OF THE SEAS – ROYAL CARIBBEAN
The ship, which debuted in 2018, weighs 228,081 gross tonnes, and measures 361m (1,184.4ft) in length and 65.7m (215.5ft) in width. She can carry a maximum of 6,680 passengers in her 2,759 staterooms.
Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas is currently the world’s biggest cruise ship by gross tonnage
3. HARMONY OF THE SEAS – ROYAL CARIBBEAN
Harmony of the Seas – which launched in 2016 – has a gross tonnage of 226,963, a length of 362.12m (1,188ft) and a width of 65.7m (215.5ft). Up to 6,687 passengers can travel on the ship in her 2,747 staterooms.
4. OASIS OF THE SEAS – ROYAL CARIBBEAN
Fourth-place Oasis, which first set sail in 2009, has a gross tonnage of 226,838. In terms of length, she measures 360m (1,180ft), and has a width of 60.5m (198ft). The ship’s 2,742 staterooms can accommodate a maximum of 6,780 passengers.
5. ALLURE OF THE SEAS – ROYAL CARIBBEAN
This cruise ship, which debuted in 2010, has a gross tonnage of 225,282, and measures 360m (1,180ft) in length and 60.5m (198ft) in width. With 2,742 staterooms, she can carry 6,780 passengers at maximum capacity.
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