June 9, 2009
Oasis of the Seas on sea trials
STX Europe has released photos and videos of Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas on sea trials near its Turku, Finland, yard.
What's caught the attention of cruise enthusiasts is the "blimp" that appears to be following the world's largest cruise liner.
In fact, it's not a blimp, though it is, in a sense, a trial balloon.
Actually, it's an aerostat--and here's what RCL Chairman Richard Fain says about it on his blog at www,oasisofthe seas.com
Secondly, I will comment on one experiment we are performing which has already been the subject of some rumors. This idea is to put an aerostat onboard tethered to the ship. The idea is interesting, but it has such a cornucopia of practical issues that I give it less than a 50% chance of being used on Oasis. If we donŐt use it on the ship, I will consider it just another of the many ideas our people develop that didn't work. On the other hand, if it is successful and we do decide to use it on the ship, I will consider it another of my better ideas. Remember, this is just one of many experiments we undertake and, unless we actually decide to go forward with it, one that you will never hear about again.
An aerostat is a lighter than air object that usually remains tethered to its base by a long wire. Some people erroneously use words like blimp or dirigible, but, the latter normally transport people or cargo over long distances. "Aerostat" is the broader and more accurate term. If this experiment ends up on the cutting room floor with many of our other discarded ideas, you will never again need to use the word "aerostat." If it should succeed, we will make all our guests learn to say "an aerostat is not synonymous with a blimp" three times quickly before boarding.