The paint is barely dry on Harmony of the Seas (above), still in the middle of its inaugural cruises out of Southampton, and this week Royal Caribbean International has ordered yet another billion-dollar Oasis-class cruise ship.
The fifth-in-class vessel, which will no doubt be tweaked in order to be slightly bigger in order to claim the “biggest in the world” title, will be built in France and is scheduled for completion in 2021.
A fourth version of the design is already being built, and should be delivered in mid-2018. Each vessel carries more than 6,000 passengers and 2,100 crew.
This week’s announcement also confirmed that sister brand Celebrity Cruises has ordered two additional Edge-class ships – even though the first two vessels of the new design are two years from completion.
Few details of the Edge plans have yet been revealed, and yet Celebrity president and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said: “There has been a tremendous amount of interest around the new standard of style Edge-class will introduce … they will not disappoint as the new generation of high style and design.”
Edge Three and Four are due for delivery in 2021 and 2022. The STX yard in St Nazaire which will build the vessels was where Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 was constructed, and is currently also building ships for MSC Cruises.
Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International added: “The Oasis-class ships have delivered beyond expectations each time. Harmony of the Seas’ warm reception is evidence that growing this class of ship will continue to drive exceptional performance for the brand.”
“The response to the arrival of Harmony of the Seas is staggering, eliciting excitement from eager cruisers from markets on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “And Edge-class is one of the most highly anticipated new projects, following the high bar of Modern Luxury design set by its predecessor, the Solstice-class.”