Miami-based Royal Caribbean International, the world's second-largest cruise ship enterprise, confirmed on February 6, 2006 that it had ordered the most expansive and most expensive cruise vessel in the world, a $1.24 billion ship which will allow up to 6,400 passengers to take a cruise.
This cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas, was finished in the fall of 2009 by shipbuilder Aker Yards of Oslo.The vessel weighs 220,000 gross register tons. A gross register ton, a standard measure of a ship's their overall size, is a unit of volume equal to approximately 100 cubic feet. It was to be constructed at a Finnish shipyard.
Aker was paid upwards of 900 million euros ($1 billion) to construct the ship, making Project Genesis, as it is named, the most expensive ship ever acquired in the history of commercial shipbuilding. The $1.24 billion total included all of the expenses required for the inside finish of the ship. Royal Caribbean's deal with Aker includes an option for another ship.
Richard Fain, the chairman and chief executive of Royal Caribbean stated of Project Genesis, "It is thrilling to take such a giant step into the upcoming future. Project Genesis really is a remarkable ship. Its striking design, daring innovation and engineering advancements will captivate our current customers and help us entice new ones to book a cruise."
Aker Yards Finland currently builds Royal Caribbean's "Freedom" class liners. However, the Project Genesis vessel will be 43 percent larger than the current record holder, "Freedom of the Seas", that is currently under production and slated to be finished by April 2006.
The biggest vessel currently in operation is the Queen Mary 2, at 151,400 gross register tons. It is operated by the Cunard Line, a unit of the Carnival Corporation, that is the world's biggest cruise ship company. The British-registered liner is 1,132 feet long, in excess of 236 feet high, allowing it to hold 2,620 passengers. The QM2 is capable of going across the North Atlantic at a speed of 30 knots. Cruise blog news reports that the 14-day 2004 first voyage from Southampton, in the southern part of England, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 12, 2004, was fully sold out months before sailing.
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