Aker Yards, Turku, Finland
Oasis of the Seas is the first of the Oasis Class (formerly the Genesis Class or project Genesis) luxury cruise ships in the Royal Caribbean International fleet. The ship was ordered in February 2006 and the keel was laid in December 2007. It entered service in December 2009.
The 16-deck ship, which had an estimated build cost of $1.24bn, is the largest cruise ship afloat with a tonnage of 220,000gt (43% more than the Freedom Class ships) and a double occupancy capacity of 5,400 passengers in 2,700 state rooms. The ship was built in the Aker Yards at Turku, in Finland, and followed by its sister vessel, Allure of the Seas, which entered service in November 2010.
Royal Caribbean International took delivery of the Oasis of the Seas from STX Europe on 28 October 2009 in Turku.
On 2 November the ship passed through the Solent and made a brief stop on the UK’s south coast, en route from Finland, before it prepared to cross the Atlantic.
The official naming ceremony for the Oasis of the Seas took place on 30 November. In December, a four-night launch celebration began before leaving Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 5 December.
Finnish Export Credit, a unit of Finnvera, financed 40% of the ship’s cost, while BNP Paribas, Nordea Bank and SEB each financed 20%.
Royal Caribbean ordered the third Oasis class cruise ship in December 2012. The new vessel is being built at STX France’s St. Nazaire shipyard.
The steel cutting for the $1.3bn vessel was held in September 2013. The new vessel, touted to become the world’s largest cruise ship, is scheduled for delivery in mid-2016.
Initial ship design began in 2004-05 and included a number of designers and architects, such as Atkins Global, NB&D, RTKL, Waterfield Design Group and Wilson Butler Architects.
The vessel has an overall length of 1,181ft (360m), a beam of 154ft (47m), a height above the waterline of 213ft (65m) and a draft of 30ft (9m). The ship is powered by eight Wartsila V12 diesel engines generating 17,500hp each. The main propulsion system consists of three 20MW azimuthing Asea Brown Boveri Azipods, to give the ship a cruising speed of 20.2kt.
Oasis has the distinction of being the largest commercial ship to be constructed. Aside from the normal range of bars and restaurants, the ship has a number of facilities never before seen on a cruise ship.
Features include a full size carousel (27 figures), zip-line cable (nine decks high), Central Park, two rock climbing walls and the AquaTheatre amphitheatre (the largest freshwater pool on any cruise ship), as well as the Rising Tide bar which moves up and down three decks in Central Park.
The ship is divided into seven neighbourhoods with different themes, including Central Park, Boardwalk (reminiscent of a seaside pier) and the Royal Promenade.
The open-air Central Park occupies the centre of the ship and forms a unique public gathering place including pathways, flower gardens and a canopy of trees. The central piazza is a multipurpose space for alfresco dining, entertainment, concerts and street performances. The Central Park neighbourhood is lined with 334 staterooms (254 with balconies) rising five decks high, offering views of the park.
Restaurants include: 150 Central Park, the Central Park Café (picnic lunches), Antonio’s Table (Italian restaurant), Vintages wine bar, Chops Grille steakhouse, the Canopy Bar and the unique Rising Tide bar. The park also hosts two glass-arched domes, called the Crystal Canopies, which provide natural light for the inside decks of the ship. Central Park also has a range of boutique shops, a chess garden, a pergola garden and a sculpture garden.
The AquaTheatre is an outdoor venue at the stern of the ship near the Boardwalk neighbourhood. The amphitheatre space offers a kidney-shaped pool (swimming and scuba diving) and sun loungers on tiered platforms.
At night, the pool can be used for performances such as acrobatics, synchronised swimming, water ballet and high-diving, as well as fountain shows. The AquaTheatre pool has a dimension of 21.9ft by 51.6ft, with a depth of 17.9ft.
There are three-stage machinery devices to raise or lower its depth for different usage and three lifts for multilevel performances. Underwater cameras can film performances and project the images on two giant Barco LED screens around the stage.
There are also two diving towers, two spring boards and two 10m-high dive platforms, as well as a trampoline between the dive towers.
A trapeze is built on rear side of the high dive boards. Trapeze artistes seem to climb the curtain of water.
The ship has an enormous range of accommodation including suites, family suites and staterooms. However, a new concept introduced on Oasis is the loft suite.
There are 25 of these two level accommodation spaces (crown lofts) with private balconies and floor space of around 51 square metres (545 square feet).
In the lofts are 52in LCD televisions, two bathrooms, fog free mirrors, and limestone tiles.
There are also three other types of loft. The Royal Loft Suite (1,524 square feet) can accommodate six people, has its own baby grand piano, inside and outside dining room, private wet bar, whirlpool, library and 843 square feet (78.3 square metre) balcony.
The two corner Sky Loft Suites are larger than the standard lofts giving up to 770 square feet of floor space, a separate dining room and spacious balcony.
There are also two accessible crown lofts, which are slightly larger than the standard and with better access for disabled passengers.
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