Royal Caribbean's newest vessel – SYMPHONY OF THE SEAS - will be the world's largest cruise ship when it is delivered in April 2018, the cruise line confirmed. At 1188 feet (362 metres) long and 215 feet (66 metres) wide, the new 16-deck ship will weigh 230,000 GT (gross tonnage), nearly 3000 more than the current record holder, another Royal Caribbean ship, HARMONY OF THE SEAS .
Carrying 5494 guests at double occupancy (surpassing the capacity of 5479 on HARMONY OF THE SEAS ) and equipped with 2775 guest rooms (28 more than its predecessor), the new ship will offer many of the same features, including a 10- storey Ultimate Abyss waterslide – which has a 100ft drop, making it the tallest at sea; a Bionic Bar, where drinks are served by a robot arm; and seven themed "neighbourhoods" on board.
The new vessel will also offer features unique to the ship which are yet to be revealed, a spokesperson for Royal Caribbean said. The new ship will spend its inaugural summer season – from April to October 2018 – in Europe, calling at Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Provence, Florence, Pisa, Rome and Naples, before arriving at a new 170,000 sq-ft (15793 sq-m) "state-of-the-art" cruise terminal in Port Miami (Terminal A) which is set to be America's "most innovative cruise facility".
Nicknamed the "Crown of Miami" for its striking crown-shaped design when viewed from the water, the new terminal is expected to be completed by late 2018 in time for the arrival of SYMPHONY OF THE SEAS. From there the ship will set sail on November 17 for its first Caribbean itinerary. These will continue through to April 2019. Bookings for both its Caribbean and Mediterranean itineraries are now on sale. The launch of Symphony of the Seas will bring Royal Caribbean's total fleet to 26.
The latest announcement follows last year's unveiling of the all-suite Seven Seas Explorer, which was dubbed the "world's most luxurious cruise ship", offering some of the most spacious and luxurious cabins and extravagant touches including Murano glass chandeliers and crockery by Versace.
World's 10 biggest cruise ships:
- Harmony of the Seas 226,963 GT Capacity 5479 passengers
- Allure of the Seas 225,282 GT Capacity 5412 passengers
- Oasis of The Seas 225,282 GT Capacity 5412 passengers
- Quantum of the Seas 168,666 GT Capacity 4180 passengers
- Anthem of the Seas 168,666 GT Capacity 4180 passengers
- Ovation of the Seas 168,666 GT Capacity 4180 passengers
- Norwegian Escape 165,157 GT Capacity 4248 passengers
- Liberty of the Seas 155,889 GT Capacity 3634 passengers
- Norwegian Epic 155,873 GT Capacity 4100 passengers
- Freedom of the Seas 154,407 GT Capacity 3634 passengers
- Independence of the Seas 154,407 GT Capacity 3634 passengers