The world’s largest-ever cruise ship is highly likely to cruise from Dubai in 2021.
Wonder of the Seas will be sent to Shanghai, China when she enters service in 2021, introducing a new era of cruising as the first of the renowned Oasis Class to sail the Asia Pacific.
The announcement was made by Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley at a global cruise industry conference event held in Shanghai.
“Royal Caribbean is known for its innovation and constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and an Oasis Class ship in China is proof of that,” said Bayley. “Wonder of the Seas will redefine the ultimate vacation and be revolutionary in her own right, and she marks one of Royal Caribbean’s most exciting chapters to come.”
His announcement came as Wonder’s keel was lowered into place at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. The development milestone marked start of the ship’s physical construction.
During what is known as the keel-laying ceremony, a 970-ton block, measuring 155 feet by 65 feet, was lifted onto the building dock with a 1,400-ton crane.
“Royal Caribbean International has been a market leader in China for more than 10 years by consistently showcasing bold deployment strategies and driving growth of the new to cruise market,” said Dr. Zinan Liu, Chairman, Royal Caribbean Asia.
“The deployment of Wonder of the Seas is a manifesto of new era for Royal Caribbean,” he added.
Wonder of the Seas will be part of the Oasis-class of ships, the largest in the world, and will combine the iconic seven-neighborhood concept that her sister ships feature along with a bold lineup of thrilling experiences, imaginative dining, unparalleled entertainment and the latest technology.
More information on Wonder’s itineraries and brand-new features and amenities will be announced soon, Royal Caribbean said.
While the deployment of Wonder of the Seas in China will be a major turning point for the Asian cruise market, it could also potentially be a historic event for the Dubai cruise sector as well.
Every single one of the Royal Caribbean cruise ships that make the re-positioning cruise from Europe to Asia do so via Dubai, offering the city as a key turnaround port on the grand voyage.
When Quantum of the Seas was sent to China in 2015 she cruised from Dubai, becoming the largest cruise ship ever to do so, while her slightly larger sister ship Spectrum of the Seas did the same more recently.
Royal Caribbean is unlikely to re-position Wonder of the Seas to Asia without doing a turnaround in Dubai, because it’s difficult to market the ten days at sea between Suez or Aqaba and the Arabian Gulf without the promise of Dubai at the end of it.
In 2021 therefore, Dubai is likely to not only be visited by the largest cruise ship in the world, but also be an embarkation port for her 6,000-plus passengers.
Categories: Middle East Cruise News