Construction on the much awaited Utopia, which will become one of the world’s most luxurious residential cruise ships, commenced in January 2010 in South Korea. The ship is estimated to cost $1.1bn and is expected to be delivered by 2013. It was ordered in November 2009 by Utopia Residences, a US-based cruise owner and operator.
The ship is being built by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI). The company has claimed that almost 400 engineers will be required to construct the ship. The company has also claimed that it will be the largest ever cruise ship constructed in Asia. Most of the funds to cover construction cost of the ship will be provided by Frontier Group.
The conceptual designing of the ship was done by Utopia in partnership with Elomatic Consulting & Engineering. Tillberg Design is the main and coordinating architect for the ship. The ship’s interior design has been done collectively by Nancy Iraggi and Tillberg Design. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems will be supplied by Novenco’s Marine and Offshore Division. Wilhelmsen will be responsible for providing technical management for the ship.
Design and construction
The designed gross tonnage of the ship is 108,000t. The length and breadth will be 296m and 36m respectively. The height will be about 50m, while draft will be 8.3m. The ship will be capable of accommodating 900 passengers and 600 crew members.
The prototype of the ship’s hull is currently being constructed to test vibration and fluid dynamics.
The ship will have an installed power capacity of 50,400KW. It will be equipped with three bow thrusters with total power generation capacity of 9,000KW. The ship will also have two sets of fin stabilizers. The cruising speed of the ship will be 22kts.
The Utopia will cruise to high end destinations and events such as Rio’s Carnival, Cannes Film Festival, the Grand Prix auto race in Monaco and the Olympics, and will offer luxury accommodation.
When completed, the ship will have 204 hotel suites, rented for limited periods like hotel rooms. The ship will also offer 200 apartment-type cabins that will be sold as permanent residences. The purchasers can buy a cabin on the ship, but can’t claim a share of ownership of the ship itself.
A 1,400ft² home, composed of two bedrooms and two bathrooms, will cost $3.7m, whereas a 6,600ft² home built with four bedrooms and three bathrooms will cost $25m.
Cabins will be furnished with hardwood floors, recessed lighting, marble kitchen counter-tops, walk-in closets and fireplaces.
The ship’s 190 luxury residences will be built on decks eight through fifteen and will offer scintillating views of the outside environment. All residential decks of the ship have been designed carefully so that maximum comfort and convenience can be offered to guests. There will be six private elevators to move to and from the residential decks.
The ship’s floor plans have been designed by leading designers, engineers and architects to give an ever-changing scenic view.
The floor plans vary in size and characteristics to suit personal requirements of the purchasers.
Utopian Estates will be built over an area of 530-614m² consisting of three to four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. Royal Cup Estates will have three to four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, built over an area of 394m².
Regatta Estates will have three to four bedrooms and 2.5 – 3.5 bathrooms, Symphony Estates will have two to three bedrooms and 2.5-3 bathrooms.
Carnevale Estates will have two bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, and Olympian Estates one to two bedrooms and 1.5 to 2.5 bathrooms.
The Club, which will be located on decks 15 and 16, will offer a private place for residents to meet with other members of the elite residential community. The Club will have its own professional staff to take care of the residents in a personalised manner.
The Club will include restaurant, lounge and gym facilities. The restaurant will offer selected wines and favourite dishes to residents. Fresh ginger tea and properly-mixed martinis will be served at the Club’s lounge. Window seats of the lounge will allow guests to enjoy panoramic views of the coastline. The Club’s gym will be furnished with the latest technology and will provide experienced fitness instructors. Apart from regular exercise, residents will be able to participate in pilates, Bikram yoga, zumba and dance classes.
The ship will also have a theatre, spa, casino, marina, signature restaurants, swimming pools and a private residents club. The ship’s residents will be allowed to take all their personal belongings with them on-board.
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