Int'l - World's Largest Cruise Ship on Sea Trials
The world’s largest cruise, the 236,857 gross ton Wonder of the Seas being built in France is conducting its first sea trials in the Bay of Biscay.
Being built for Royal Caribbean International, the cruise ship is the fifth in the Oasis-class, but due to modifications will be approximately four percent larger that the previous ship of the class that was introduced in 2018.
The Wonder of the Seas departed the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France on August 20 for four days of preliminary sea trials. During the first voyage the cruise ship will undergo tests on its propulsion and navigation systems, ranging from speed to fuel consumption, stability, noise and vibration measurements. The Wonder of the Seas is due to return to the shipyard on Tuesday, August 24 where it is currently being outfitted. Final sea trials will be conducted in early 2022.
Assembly of the new cruise ship began on October 10, 2019 when the first block was lowered into the dry dock. The first section was a 970-ton block, measuring 155 feet by 65 feet and construction was expected to be completed in 2021.
The pandemic delayed construction of the cruise ship with its float out postponed till September 5, 2020. Delivery is now anticipated for February 2022. Her maiden voyage is scheduled for March 26, 2022 from Shanghai, which will be unique as it will be the first time Royal Caribbean International has deployed one of its biggest cruise ships in Asia. During the winter of 2022-2023 the Wonder of the Seas is scheduled to sail from Hong Kong.
At 1,188 feet in length with a 216-foot beam, the Wonder of the Seas is dimensionally the same as her sister ship the Symphony of the Seas. The company however made design changes that will result in approximately 100 additional staterooms. Maximum passenger capacity on the Wonder of the Seas is set at 6,988 with an additional 2,300 in crew.
New neighborhood on Royal's upcoming Wonder for suite-guests only
Royal Caribbean International's Wonder of the Seas will become the first Oasis-class ship to have an eighth neighborhood, with the debut of the Suite Neighborhood.
The Wonder, which will sail from Shanghai and Hong Kong starting next March, is the fifth Oasis-class ship. The first four in the class all feature seven zones called neighborhoods, such as the Boardwalk and Central Park.
Royal said the Suite Neighborhood will have areas only for suite guests, such as a sun deck with ocean views and a private lounge and restaurant. The neighborhood will incorporate the 1,350-square-foot Ultimate Family Suite, first introduced on the Symphony of the Seas, which has a slide that connects an upper level kid's sleeping area to the main floor.
The Wonder will offer 4- to 9-day itineraries that include Japan, Vietnam, South Korea and Taiwan. Currently under construction in Saint-Nazaire, France, it will be the world's largest cruise ship when it sets sail, and the first Oasis-class ship to homeport in China.
"China continues to be one of the most important parts of the world for Royal Caribbean," Michael Bayley, CEO of Royal Caribbean International, said in a statement, adding that the line launched cruises from China 12 years ago. "By introducing Wonder of the Seas and the iconic Oasis Class to China, our strong commitment to the market's growth is reaffirmed yet again for years to come."
The 18-deck Wonder can accommodate up to 6,988 passengers, Royal said, and will have signature Oasis amenities, including the open-air AquaTheater -- which will have a new look -- and the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea.