First steel cut for Oasis 3

//First steel cut for Oasis 3

The building of what will become the world’s largest cruise ship got under way this morning. Royal Caribbean chairman and CEO Richard Fain pressed a button to cut the first piece of steel for what he is calling Oasis 3 and what the STX Europe shipyard in France has branded A34.
The ship will be a near-identical sister to Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. Keel-laying will take place in April next year and the 227,700 GRT vessel will be delivered in spring 2016.
Vangelis’s theme music for the film 1492: Conquest of Paradise rang through the construction shed in St Nazaire as the ceremonial moment arrived. The first piece, a silhouette of the ship, was then signed by Fain, Royal Caribbean president Adam Goldstein and executive vice-president Harri Kulovaara, together with STX chief executive Laurent Castaing and operations director Jean Yves Jaouen.
The new ship’s real name is yet to be announced – though it’s a certainty it will end in ” of the Seas” just like every other vessel in Royal Caribbean’s fleet.
Fain and Goldstein were characteristically coy about revealing other details, which will be drip-fed in a series of headline-grabbing announcements over the next couple of years. Fain said: “We have a few things up our sleeve but we will keep them close to our vest. There is an opportunity to tweak some things, but we are not fundamentally changing a successful design.”
Builders STX issued a fact sheet which discloses that at 362.15 metres the new vessel will be 2.15m longer than its predecessors and gross tonnage will be 2,718 greater. Oasis 3 will have a maximum capacity of 6,360 passengers – 42 more than Allure.
Castaing was an apprentice at the yard 27 years ago when it built Sovereign of the Seas, its first ship for Royal. He said “60,000 tonnes of steel will be used to create 400,000 pieces of the puzzle that forms the structure of the ship.”
Oasis and Allure were both built in Turku, Finland. They have, said Fain, become the most successful and the most popular vessels in the fleet. “Oasis 3, with its French touch, will become just as successful and will be even more energy-efficient.”
A yard spokeswoman said a giant new crane would enable Oasis 3 to be constructed in 90 individual blocks, whereas the earlier two ships were made up of 160 blocks.
Royal Caribbean has an option to order a fourth Oasis-class vessel in the next 12 months. It is also building three slightly smaller Quantum-class ships at the Meyer-Werft yard in Papenburg, Germany.
There are 300 people currently working on the project in Saint-Nazaire and the number will grow to more than 2,000 in the coming months. Two military vessels being constructed for the Russian Navy have to be completed before the first blocks of A34 are laid in the yard’s dry-dock, which also saw the construction of Cunard’s Queen Mary 2.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:29+00:00 23 September 2013|Cruise News|0 Comments

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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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