Construction begins on Royal Caribbean’s first LNG-powered Oasis-class cruise ship

Royal Caribbean and the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, have officially launched the start of construction of what will eventually become the largest cruise ship in the world. The sixth Oasis-class ship will be somewhat different from its five sister ships.

Powered by liquefied natural gas, shipbuilders were forced to incorporate several changes. For example, the funnels will be placed further amidships to accommodate the gas exhaust systems.

Construction of Utopia of the Seas officially begins

Royal Caribbean set out to break another record with the construction of Utopia of the Seas. There was a official steel cutting ceremony at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. The ceremony is traditionally the official start of the construction of a cruise ship.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of Royal Caribbean and Chantiers de l’Atlantique, including Jason Liberty, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group; and Laurent Castaing, Managing Director of Chantiers de l’Atlantique. Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, said the following:

“We are thrilled to begin construction on Utopia of the Seas. On the sixth Oasis-class ship, vacationers can expect the unique combination of Royal Caribbean experiences and many never-before-seen adventures that have made and will continue to making the Oasis class of ships the ultimate vacation for guests of all ages.

It’s been over a decade since Oasis of the Seas changed the cruise industry forever. Since then, several innovations have made the world’s next largest cruise ship, Utopia of the Seas, a much more efficient and environmentally friendly cruise ship.

Utopia of the Seas will use the cleanest fossil fuel available to cruise ships today, LNG. Other environmentally friendly applications on board Utopia, such as fuel cell technology and shore power capabilities, will increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

Courtesy of Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean is also building a new class of ships that will also use LNGthe o iconf the seasthe first of its category, is under construction at the Meyer Turku yard in Finland.

Utopia of the Seas Design Changes

With the shift to LNG and fuel cell technologies, the shipyard has been forced to implement several changes that will be evident towards the final construction phase. To make room for the gas storage tanks, the designers removed several crew and guest cabins:

Laurent Castaing, Managing Director of Chantiers de l’Atlantique: “The main problem is that LNG tanks take up more space than diesel or heating oil tanks. We lost space for other things, mainly crew cabins above the technical rooms. We had to find more space throughout the ship. For example, passenger cabins have become crew cabins.

Utopia of the Seas Steel Cutting Ceremony
Utopia of the Seas Steel Cutting Ceremony (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

The mast will be placed slightly more towards the midships area of ​​the ship, giving Utopia a distinctly different silhouette. The construction phase will likely take around 30 months, with an expected completion date of spring 2024.

Other than the design changes of the switch to LNG, little is known about the designs and operations on board Utopia of the Seas. Its final size will be larger than the current largest cruise ship in the world, Wonder of the Seas, which measures 236,857 gross tons.

How much more is unclear, a French newspaper reported that he could be over 250,000 gross tons this week. Royal Caribbean says it will keep customers informed of any changes in the near future.

Utopia of the Seas Steel Cutting Ceremony

Comments are closed.