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February 6, 2006

Royal Caribbean orders $1.08 billion cruise ship

Royal Caribbean International has ordered a EUR 900 million (US$1.08 billion), 220,000 grt cruise vessel from Aker Yards.

Developed under "Project Genesis," it will be will be 360 meters long, 47 meters wide, 65 m high above the waterline and accommodate 5,400 passengers.

It is scheduled for Fall 2009 delivery from Aker Yards, Finland.

As well as breaking all cruise ship size and capacity records, the vessel will be the most valuable ship ordered in the history of commercial shipbuilding.

The contract is subject to final confirmation of buyer's financing--and includes an option for a second similar vessel.

"After developing so many generations of cruise ships together over the 35 years of our partnership with RCCL we are excited about jumping so far out in front of cruise-ship design with this highly innovative and exciting new ship" says Yrjo Julin, President responsible for Aker Yards Cruise & Ferries business area.

The ship is 43 percent larger than the record breaking "Freedom of the Seas" to be delivered to Royal Caribbean by Aker Yards in April.

Royal Caribbean says Project Genesis will give it "ample room to create memorable new icons and amenities to heighten guests' cruise experience."

Royal Caribbean says energy efficiency was prioritized in the new design with significant modifications made in the form of the hull and in the air conditioning and water production and treatment systems.

The company estimates the all-in cost of the ship to be approximately $230,000 per berth or roughly comparable per berth to a Freedom-class ship, despite its being a prototype with significant advancements.