The biggest cruise ship in the world, Wonder of the Seas is setting sail from the shipyard for the final time, her home for the past two- and a half years. The Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire has completed the majority of construction, and the vessel is heading to Marseille, where a few finishing touches will be applied.
At 236,857 gross tons, Wonder of the Seas is now not just the biggest cruise ship in the world, a title she takes over from Symphony of the Seas. She is 5% larger than her sister ship, Oasis of the Seas, which was the first Oasis-Class ship when she launched 12 years ago, in 2009.
Another Step Closer to Wonder of the Seas!
Wonder of the Seas is sailing from the shipyard where she has been under construction for the last two- and a half years and is making her way towards the French city of Marseille. There is a live broadcast that can be viewed here.
After a short sailing, which will see the ship make her way along the French and Portuguese coastlines and past Gibraltar, she will arrive in Marseille to receive some final touches.
Construction for the world’s largest cruise ship started in 2019 when the first steel was cut in April of that year. The keel was laid in October 2019; she floated out in September 2020 and just recently completed her sea trials.
General Manager Laurent Castaing, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, said the following:
At Chantiers de l’Atlantique, we are aware that we have designed and built one of the most remarkable ships in the history of the cruise industry. Wonder of the Seas represents a unique synthesis of innovation, cutting-edge technology, and know-how shared by thousands of workers, technicians, and engineers. This magnificent ship is also a symbol of the success of the loyal and fruitful partnership we established almost forty years ago with Royal Caribbean International.
As has become the norm for Oasis-class ships, the numbers are once again staggering. Measuring 1,188 feet in length, Wonder of the Seas weighs in at 236,857 gross tons and has space for 6,988 passengers at full occupancy in addition to 2,300 crew members, bringing the total number of people at maximum capacity to 9,288.
Once she does complete her final touch-up in the south of France, Wonder of the Seas will set a course towards the United States, where she is expected to start operations from March next year.
The ship will sail from its homeport in Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean on March 4, 2022, before making its way to Barcelona and Rome sailing summer vacations in May.
This itinerary is a marked change to the original plans for the newest Oasis-class ship. Originally scheduled to set sail from Shanghai, in China in the summer months, and from Hong Kong in the winter months.
Royal Caribbean had to make significant changes to this itinerary when the pandemic broke out; a delay in operating international cruises from China made Royal Caribbean change its mind just weeks ago.
Scheduled to be delivered in 2024, a sixth Oasis-class ship is on the way, while the newest and first of the LNG-class of ships, Icon of the Seas, is scheduled to be delivered in the second half of 2023.