Biggest cruise ship touches water


So you build the biggest cruise liner in the world, complete with every type of entertainment you could possibly imagine, so what next?

Build a bigger one. And think of even more weird and wonderful ideas.

Oasis of the Seas is not only the largest liner in the world, but also the most expensive at not far off a mere £1bn.

So what do you get for your money? A levitating bar, a real life park complete with growing trees, fairground with zip line, and amphitheatre which overlooks the ocean.

It comes just months after the launch of the Independence of the Seas which will continue to be the largest working liner until Oasis takes its first passengers in December next year.

The ship is 65% complete and touched water for the first time this weekend when it was floated out of its dry dock at its birth place in Turku, Finland.

With so many facilities – too many to mention – no wonder owners Royal Caribbean is confident its customers will grow. It predicts by 2012 more than two million Brits will take a cruise each year.

And despite the doom and gloom most companies are experiencing it also expects 1.5 million cruisers to take to the water this year.

So how does spending a £1bn in the worst economic downturn for decades add up?

Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive of US-based Royal Caribbean, is optimistic.

“Like every other industry we are suffering in this recession too but people still need their vacations,” he said.

“At times like this people look more carefully and a cruise vacation is a known value – people know what they’ll spend before they go – and that is what helps us.”

The main attractions which Royal Caribbean say will make for a ‘dream holiday’ include the unique Rising Tide bar which is the first ever moving bar at sea, Central Park, complete with living trees and a hand crafted carousel while the Aquatheatre provides the perfect backdrop theatrical performances.

The contents of the enormous vessel will now be created with 2,700 rooms – some more extravagant than others. For the ultimate luxury you can try the Royal Loft suite which is 1,524sq ft of pure indulgence with an accommodating private wet bar, library and baby Grand piano.

So now what next? Well as the ship vacates the dry dock work has already begin on the next.

World’s Largest Cruise Ship Facts:

1,187ft long, 240 ft tall

220,000 tonnes

Capacity 6,296 guests, 2,164 staff

Will use 22 acres of carpet

Will carry 2,300 tonnes of swimming pool water

Will produce 50metric tonnes of ices cubes per day