Royal Caribbean might be finding it hard work to sell cruises in Europe, but they don’t have a problem building new ships there; work has now started on the construction of the first of two new Project Sunshine vessels at Meyer-Werft in Germany.
As befitting the yard’s hi-tech systems, the laser which cut the first piece of steel was set in motion from thousands of miles away by Richard Fain and Adam Goldstein, on a live video link to the construction shed in Papenburg.
Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, executive vice president in charge of operations at Royal Caribbean, disclosed that the first ship, launching in autumn 2014, will be called Quantum of the Seas. Marketing boss Lisa Bauer revealed the second ship, which will be in service by early summer 2015, will be Anthem of the Seas.
Few other details have yet to be announced, apart from the fact, at 158,000 tons they will be marginally larger than the Freedom class, and will each carry 4,100 passengers – an increase of almost 13 per cent on their older sisters. Adam Goldstein, Royal’s president, said they were “Designed for Wow!” and would continue the legacy of at-sea firsts such as rock climbing walls, ice rinks and surf simulators.
“After three years of design and advance planning this is the first step of the construction of the ship and I look forward to seeing it all come together in the coming months,” he added.