Royal Caribbean celebrates the start of construction on its sixth Oasis-class vessel, Utopia of the Seas. The new cruise ship will be the first Oasis-class ship powered by liquified natural gas (LNG).
When completed, Utopia of the Seas will become the world’s largest cruise ship.
Utopia of the Seas Commences Construction
Royal Caribbean’s and the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, celebrated the official start of construction on Utopia of the Seas.
The cruise line and shipbuilder celebrated the milestone with a steel-cutting ceremony. The ceremony is a tradition in the shipbuilding world and marks the official start of construction on a new vessel.
Attendees included representatives from Royal Caribbean and Chantiers de l’Atlantique.
“We are excited to begin construction on Utopia of the Seas. On the sixth Oasis Class ship, vacationers can look forward to the signature combination of Royal Caribbean experiences and many brand-new adventures that has and will continue to make the Oasis class of ships the ultimate vacation for guests of all ages.”Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International
The ceremony marked the beginning of a 30-month construction process and was celebrated with the first steel cutting.
Utopia of the Seas Innovation and Design
It’s been more than a decade since the debut of Oasis of the Seas. Subsequent Oasis-class vessels introduced several innovations and improvements, including the recently released Wonder of the Seas.
Utopia of the Seas continues the tradition of innovation with a transition to LNG power that promises to be more efficient and environmentally friendly.
The LNG-powered Utopia will run on the cleanest fossil fuel available to cruise ships. LNG technology is up to 20% more efficient than diesel-powered engines. Additionally, LNG burns cleaner than diesel and produces a smaller environmental footprint.
The cruise ship will also take advantage of additional technological advancements to further reduce its environmental footprint. Fuel cell technology and shore power capabilities will boost energy efficiency and reduce emissions.
With the change to LNG and the introduction of fuel cell technology, the shipbuilder will implement several changes to the vessel’s design. The ship builder removed several crew and guest cabins to make room for the larger gas storage tanks.
Additionally, the funnel will be shifted slightly forward, giving Utopia of the Seas a somewhat different silhouette than her sister ships.
“The main problem is that LNG tanks take up more space than diesel or fuel oil tanks. We have lost space for other things, mainly crew cabins located above the technical rooms. We had to find more space in the whole ship. For example, passenger cabins became crew cabins.”Laurent Castaing, General Manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique
Upon completion, Utopia of the Seas will become the world’s largest cruise ship, taking over the title from sister ship Wonder of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean hasn’t revealed much more about the new cruise ship. Though, they promis that the vessel will feature new firsts and favorites. Royal Caribbean says, “Utopia will be bold beyond the imagination.”