Royal Caribbean International’s upcoming ship Utopia of the Seas has been floated for the first time at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, bringing her a step closer to her July, 2024 debut in Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida.
The ship was floated out of her construction dry dock over the weekend in a procedure that took more than 15 hours due to the size of the dock in which she is being built.
Some 46 million gallons of sea water was pumped into the dock overnight, according to Royal Caribbean.
The float out marks the first time the ship has touched water and is a major milestone as it comes at the end of major assembly works on the vessel, with work now transitioning to her interior fit out and finishing.
Utopia of the Seas will be the first Oasis-class ship powered by LNG, and will also be the sixth and final ship in the class as Royal Caribbean looks to build out its fleet of Icon-class cruise ships, which will be the largest ever built when completed.
Utopia of the Seas will be the only ship in the Oasis class to not hold the title as the world’s largest cruise ship, but at 236,000 gross tons, she’ll still be huge, with a capacity of 5,668 passengers at double occupancy split between 2,834 staterooms.
The ship will offer 21 dining options and 21 bars and lounges, along with five large pools, eight whirlpools, a 1,500 foot zipline, five live music venues, six places for dancing, four full production shows and two casinos with 371 slot machines and gaming tables between them.
Like other Oasis class cruise ships, Utopia of the Seas will have eight ‘neighbourhoods’ onboard. Starting at the top, there will be the Pool & Sports Zone, which will feature the Caribbean-style pool deck and a three-story Lime and Coconut Bar.
Then there will be a Suite Neighborhood, which is a carry-over from Wonder of the Seas, an exclusive enclave for suite guests who are hoping to enhance their cruising experience with their own private pool, lounge and dining area.
The Boardwalk aft will be where guests can find the fan-favorite Playmakers, carousel, and, of course, AquaTheater, while forward of that will sit Central Park, where guests will find the only Izumi in the Park on any Oasis Class ship. This is a concept taken from Icon of the Seas.
The Royal Promenade, is the main thoroughfare on Utopia of the Seas, while Entertainment Place, is the entertainment hub, home to the comedy club, casino, theatre, and more.
The Youth Zone will feature Adventure Ocean programming, an arcade, and teen club, while all the way forward the Vitality Spa & Fitness will offer treatments and services ranging from pedicures to bamboo massages. The fitness center is available at no extra cost.