Royal Caribbean has announced that the biggest cruise ship in the world, Oasis of the Seas, will be operating around a month of European cruises in 2014. It will also make its first call at Southampton in October.
The mammoth 6,400 passenger vessel weighs in at 225,283 GT and will be 40% bigger than any ship ever to have docked in the UK. Estimates currently say that the turnaround – which will be on 15 October 2014 – will generate GBP2.5 million for Southampton’s economy.
The announcement regarding Oasis of the Seas is mixed news for Royal after it confirmed last week that it would be lessening its European capacity in 2014, with Vision of the Seas currently not down to sail in Europe next year.
The vessel is leaving its Port Everglades homeport in September 2014, crossing the Atlantic to undergo planned maintenance in Netherlands before going back to Florida in October. While in Europe the ship will take two five-night western Mediterranean roundtrips from Barcelona and then a seven-night cruise to Rotterdam, where it will drydock.
“Oasis of the Seas sailing from Southampton is going to be the hottest ticket in town,” said Jo Rzymowska, associate vice president and general manager, Royal Caribbean International, UK and Ireland, Bringing the world’s largest cruise ship to Europe, and specifically the UK and Southampton, is testament to the commitment to selling cruise demonstrated by our trade partners.
We will be developing sales tools to support agents such as a dedicated brochure and training module. We can’t wait to get started selling the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ship as part of our huge choice in cruises from Southampton – this is such exciting news.”