Royal Caribbean has marked the second major construction milestone for its second Quantum-Ultra class cruise ship Odyssey of the Seas, with the keel laid and coins placed for good luck.
The ceremony was held at the Neptune Werft shipyard in Germany, attended by shipyard and cruise line executives, with the ship’s actual construction expected to be completed at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg.
“With the keel laying for Odyssey of the Seas at Neptune Werft it becomes clear again, how well our teams at the different locations are working together,” said Stephan Schmees, Executive Board Member Project Management at Meyer Werft. “It is our great pleasure to build these innovative ships for Royal Caribbean International and to continue our long-standing business relationship.”
Odyssey of the Seas will be the second Quantum Ultra class cruise ship for Royal Caribbean, following in the footsteps of Spectrum of the Seas, which was launched earlier this year and cruised from Dubai in May on her way to China.
The keel laying in modern shipbuilding marks the placement of the first pre-built ‘block’ in the drydock. An 800-ton crane lifted the 79-ton block into the building dock and newly minted coins were placed under the keel.
When the first series of blocks are floated out and towed to the Meyer Werft yard, the coins will be retrieved and welded onto the ship itself, or handed to the captain for display aboard the vessel.
Once the majority of the ship has been assembled with the placement of hundreds of different blocks, it will be floated out for the first time, the next major construction milestone, which will mark the beginning of the fitting out phase.
She’ll then be conveyed down the River Ems for her sea trials before being handed over to Royal Caribbean for delivery.
Odyssey of the Seas will be almost identical to Spectrum of the Seas, but as her deployment and itineraries have not yet been announced, it’s unclear if she will be as Asian-oriented as Spectrum, which will homeport year-round in China.
She will launch in the fall of 2020, so information about the specific features to be found on-board and her planned itineraries are expected to be announced later this year.
Odyssey of the Seas will have a guest capacity of around 4,246 at double occupancy and an evolution to the current Quantum-class ships at 169,000 gross tons.