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Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) has announced that it has executed a contract with STX France to construct a third Oasis-class vessel for delivery in mid-2016. The company stated in October that it had plans to build a sister-ship to the very successful Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.
"Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas have fundamentally transformed the cruise experience for our guests," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO of RCCL. "These ships have consistently generated outstanding guest satisfaction ratings and continue to produce superior financial results. We are thrilled to be adding a sister to this extraordinary class of vessels at a compelling price. Being back building in France just adds to the pleasure."
The newbuild contract includes the transfer of Atlantic Star from the Pullmantur fleet, RCCL's Spanish brand, to STX as part of the consideration. STX France has also provided RCCL with a one-year option for the mid-year 2018 delivery of a fourth Oasis-class vessel at similar pricing.
Royal's annualized capacity growth rate from 2012 to 2016 remains at a historically low rate of 3.5 percent.
Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas are the largest cruise ships in the world. Architectural marvels at sea, they have 16 decks, weigh in at 225,282 gross registered tons and carry 5,400 guests each at double occupancy.
Robin Farley, UBS analyst, estimated that, while are still not final, the cost per berth is likely to be $250,000-$275000, for all-in cost $1.35 billion-$1.49 billion, similar to the all-in cost of Oasis and Allure (ordered in 2006 and 2007) of $259,000 per berth and $260,000 per berth, respectively. She also commented that North American capacity growth overall is still below the historic six percent growth rate with the Oasis order.
Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, sailing weekly out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., debuted in November 2009 and November 2010 respectively, RCCL introduced a range of industry firsts and breakthrough engineering in this class, which is organized on a neighborhood concept - seven themed areas providing guests with the opportunity to choose among experiences based on their personal inclinations. Within these seven neighborhoods -- Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone -- are elements such as the first park at sea (the size of a football field), a zipline that races diagonally nine-decks above an open-air atrium, an original handcrafted carousel, 28 multilevel urban-style loft suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, an aquatic amphitheater called the AquaTheater that serves as a pool by day and an oceanfront theater by night, and an array of culinary experiences that can't be exhausted in a week.
There have been hints that the next Oasis-class vessel will be based outside the U.S.
"As the cruise line that revolutionized the industry with the FlowRider surf simulator, ice-skating rinks, cantilevered whirlpools and rock climbing walls, we are eager to add this third award winning Oasis-class ship to our brand portfolio," said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. "This addition will allow us to showcase our legacy of innovation and imagination to even more guests around the world."
Building on the success of the Oasis-class ships, Royal Caribbean International is currently undergoing a fleetwide revitalization program to bring the latest innovations and the highest guest-rated programs from Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas to the cruise line's ships across the fleet.