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COVID-19 delays delivery of world’s largest cruise ship

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Wonder of the Seas. Photo: ROYALCARRIBEAN

The Wonder of the Seas, which is adjudged the largest cruise ship ever built, has experienced a delay in its delivery due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ship, operated by Royal Caribbean, was expected to be delivered in 2021. Currently, it is under construction in Saint-Nazaire, France.

With a capacity of 6,000 passengers, alongside 2,200 crewmembers, it would be the largest cruise ship ever as construction ends.

The shipyard delay means Royal Caribbean’s new record-breaking cruise ship will not enter into service from Shanghai in spring 2021 as planned, a spokesperson for the cruise line confirmed to MarineLink, after the news was announced on Royal Caribbean’s Chinese website. A new delivery has not been specified.

The 362-meter Wonder of the Seas will be slightly larger than its 228,081-ton Oasis-class sister ship, Symphony of the Seas, delivered in 2018, making it the world’s largest cruise ship, with capacity for more than 5,500 passengers and 2,200 crew. It will also be the first Oasis-class vessel to debut in the Asia-Pacific market.

Wonder of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s fifth Oasis-class vessel and the third to be built by the French shipyard, following the delivery of Harmony of the Seas in 2016, and Symphony of the Seas. The other two ships in the class, Oasis of the Seas, and Allure of the Seas were delivered from STX Europe’s Turku Shipyard in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Royal Caribbean CEO, Michael Bayley, said: “Royal Caribbean is known for its innovation and constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible,”

Meanwhile, a sixth Oasis-class vessel is on order at Chantiers de l’Atlantique, and it will be even larger than the Wonder of the Seas upon completion in 2023. Royal Caribbean did not say whether its delivery would also be delayed.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the delivery of another Royal Caribbean ship would be pushed back from 2020 to 2021 after separate fires broke out weeks apart aboard the Quantum class new-build Odyssey of the Seas being built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.


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