Wonder of the Seas, the newest Oasis-class cruise ship from Royal Caribbean, and the largest cruise ship in the world, has been floated out of the shipyard at Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, France.
At 230,000-gross tons, she is the largest cruise ship currently under construction anywhere in the world, and will be the largest cruise ship in history when she is delivered to Royal Caribbean International.
View this post on Instagram
HELLO WONDER!🌊👋🏼 • Earlier this morning around 7am CET, Wonder of the Seas left her dry dock and entered her new basin for further construction! Which means she had to set sail!⚓️ And that has not passed us by!🤩 • Drop your excitement about the new Wonder of the Seas in the comments below!💬👇🏼 • 📸’s: Pascal Colliu Photography
The gargantuan vessel, which includes seven neighbourhoods, one of which is a Coney Island-style boardwalk, and another which features a New York-style Central Park, was meant to cruise from Dubai on her way to China in 2021.
That voyage has now been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which brought the cruise industry to a standstill for much of this year so far. Royal Caribbean will instead take delivery of the ship in 2022.
According to Ouest France, Wonder of the Seas will be floated out on Friday. The float-out marks a major milestone in the construction of any ship, marking the first time the ship’s hull has touched water.
She will then be moved to the shipyard’s Basin C wet berth (previously occupied by MSC Virtuosa) on Saturday morning for interior fit out and finishing. It’s estimated that her interior will take around six months to complete.
Following fitting-out, Wonder of the Seas will have its engines and technical systems run-up for the first time, and will then embark on its sea trials before being handed over to Royal Caribbean for official delivery.
Because the huge cruise ship has no operational engines, she’ll be moved Saturday entirely by tugboats, and although it’s only a move of around 450-metres, it will take more than an hour.
The shipyard scheduled the move for 7am local time in order to take advantage of the high tide.
When Wonder of the Seas debuts in 2022, she is scheduled to begin sailings from China. It’s unclear when or if she will still cruise from Dubai, but she will be the third new Royal Caribbean ship designed specifically for the Asian market.
The first two were Ovation of the Seas and Spectrum of the Seas, both Quantum class ships, and they both cruise from Dubai during their repositioning to China. If she does cruise from Dubai, Wonder of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship ever to do so.
Royal Caribbean has kept the details of Wonder of the Seas close to its chest, but has confirmed that she will combine the iconic seven-neighbourhood concept that her sister ships feature along with a bold line-up of thrilling experiences, imaginative dining, unparalleled entertainment and the latest technology.
The cruise line has promised more information on Wonder’s itineraries and brand-new adventures will be announced soon.