MAY 9, 2014—At the keel laying ceremony for its third Oasis Class cruise ship, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Miami, FL, announced it had agreed to build a fourth 5,400-passenger vessel in the series at STX France shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France. The announcement was made jointly by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain and President and COO Adam Goldstein, along with STX France CEO Laurent Castaing.
"The Oasis Class was a revolution in maritime design when it was launched in 2009,” said Fain. “Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas continue to be in a class by themselves both in terms of guest satisfaction and financial returns. Today's announcement is a reflection of their success," said Fain.
The order for the fourth Oasis Class cruise ship—with a projected delivery in 2018— is subject to documentation and satisfaction of financing and other customary conditions. Projected capital expenditures for 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 are $1.4 billion, $1.4 billion, $2.2 billion, $0.3 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively, taking into account this order and existing ship orders.
Besides the third and fourth Oasis Class ships, Royal Caribbean also has orders for three 167,800-gt, 4,100-passenger ships at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany.
Pushing the boundaries
Focusing on continuing improvement, Royal Caribbean says the Oasis III will be 20 percent more energy efficient than the two previous vessels in the class— Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, which are the among the most energy efficient cruise ships.
During the keel laying ceremony for the third ship, a 1,000-ton block measuring 32-ft by 154-ft (10 x 47 meters) was lifted by crane into the building dock. Newly minted coins were placed under the keel and will stay in place there until the end of the ship's construction. Once the ship is near to completion, the coins are retrieved and presented to the ship's Captain and crew to be placed onboard the ship. According to maritime tradition, the coins are said to bring luck to the ship during its construction process and then to its Captain and crew when she is sailing out at sea. Still to be named, the third Oasis-class ship will be delivered in spring 2016.
The Oasis-class ships are the largest cruise ships in the world. They feature a revolutionary design with a split superstructure and the cruise line's neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas. At 225,282 gross registered tons and spanning 16 decks with 2,700 staterooms, the Oasis-class ships also introduced extraordinary "firsts" at sea such as an 82 foot-long zip line, a handcrafted carousel, the Rising Tide elevating bar, the AquaTheater high-diving performance venue, and the Central Park with more than 12,000 live trees and plants. The Oasis Class also offers amenities that can only be found on Royal Caribbean, such as twin FlowRider surf simulators, cantilevered whirlpools, an ice-skating rink, the H2O Zone kids aquapark, and the Royal Promenade, an interior boulevard that stretches nearly the length of the ship and flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques, among many others.