UK first for record-breaker Oasis of the Seas will be return visit to Solent

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oasis_solent.jpgOasis of the Seas‘ first arrival in Southampton, announced today, is a welcome fillip for the UK cruise industry and will bring millions of tourist pounds into the local economy.
The average cruise ship visit is estimated to be worth £2.5 million and with up to 6,300 passengers on board Oasis is 40 per cent bigger than any cruise ship ever to berth in a British port.
But is it really the world’s biggest, as Royal Caribbean claimed today? When sister ship Allure of the Seas was launched in 2010, Captain Hernan Zini proudly claimed that exact measurements showed his vessel was inches longer than her year-old sister.
Undeterred, Captain Bill Wright, senior vice-president of marine operations at Royal, announced that he would arrange for a piece of metal to be welded to the bow of Oasis to maintain parity.
In any case, even my limited knowledge of physics tells me that a metal object more than 1,180 feet long will vary considerably in size depending on the temperature. While Oasis is shrinking as it traverses the Solent and Southampton Water in October 2014, Allure will be stretching out in the warmer waters of the Caribbean.
Although the visit will indeed be the first time Oasis has tied up in Southampton, it did come very close once before, on its way from the Finnish shipyard where it was built to its home port of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
oasis_solent2.jpgoasis_solent3.jpgWith several key jobs incomplete when it left Turku, a number of workmen remained on board. They had completed their task a few days later, and as dusk fell on November 2, 2009, I watched from the shore at Lee-on-the-Solent as Oasis disembarked them into a tender (above and top).
By next October, Oasis will be five years old and must enter dry dock for the maritime equivalent of an MoT check-up. The work will be carried out at the Képpel Verolme shipyard in Rotterdam, where Royal’s Enchantment of the Seas was stretched by the addition of a 22 metre mid-section in 2005.
Oasis will leave Fort Lauderdale on September 1, 2014 for a 12-night Transatlantic crossing to Barcelona, from where it will sail two five-night cruises in the western Mediterranean and a seven-night sailing to Rotterdam.
The ship will return to Florida on a 13-night westbound Transatlantic cruise leaving Rotterdam on October 14, 2014, and calling into Southampton on October 15, when UK guests can join the ship to sail across the Atlantic.
As the video below shows, Jo Rzymowska, associate vice president and general manager, Royal Caribbean International, UK and Ireland, is excited about the event.
She said: “Oasis of the Seas sailing from Southampton is going to be the hottest ticket in town. Bringing the world’s largest cruise ship to Europe, and specifically the UK and Southampton, is testament to how much the cruise industry has grown.
“When Oasis of the Seas was launched, the ship was a real game-changer for the cruise industry and it continues to be one of the most innovative holiday resorts in the world. Royal Caribbean International is proud to have a long heritage of ships calling in and based from Southampton and we’re very excited to add Oasis of the Seas to this.”
Oasis’ first ever European season and UK-based cruise of Oasis of the Seas will be on sale from April 11.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:35+00:00 27 March 2013|Cruise news, Cruise ships|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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