Royal Caribbean International’s fifth Oasis Class ship, Wonder of the Seas, will homeport in Shanghai when it debuts in 2021.
Set to be the “world’s largest cruise ship to sail from China”, Wonder of the Seas will be the first of the Oasis Class to sail the Asia-Pacific.
Unveiling the latest ship at a global cruise industry conference event in Shanghai, Royal Caribbean president and CEO Michael Bayley stated that an Oasis Class ship in China is a testimony of the cruise line “constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible”.
“Wonder of the Seas will redefine the ultimate vacation and be revolutionary in her own right, and she marks one of Royal Caribbean’s most exciting chapters to come,” he said.
The Shanghai event also welcomed the start of the ship’s physical construction with the lowering of Wonder of the Seas‘ keel into place at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard, halfway around the world in Saint-Nazaire, France. During what is known as the keel-laying ceremony, a 970-ton block, measuring 47m by 20m, was lifted onto the building dock with a 1,400-ton crane.
Wonder of the Seas will be part of the Oasis class of ships, the largest in the world, combining the seven-neighbourhood concept that her sister ships feature along with a lineup of experiences, dining, entertainment and technology.
In an earlier announcement, Royal Caribbean International will be splashing US$110 million to give Explorer of the Seas a facelift. Come summer 2020, the ship will see the addition of racer waterslides, a refreshed poolscape with poolside bar, transformed kids’ and teens’ spaces, as well as a sports bar and arcade. F&B establishments coming on board too are Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen, Johnny Rockets Express and Starbucks.
During its time in the Eastern Mediterranean, Explorer of the Seas will be joined by the reimagined Allure of the Seas, the Oasis Class ship cruising the Western Mediterranean from Barcelona.
Explorer of the Seas is the fourth ship in the Voyager Class to be transformed as part of the cruise line’s Royal Amplified fleet modernisation effort, that will see the cruise line invest more than US$1 billion to revamp 10 ships in four years.