Ovation of the Seas arrives in Southampton, England to welcome her first guests before she heads to her homeport in Tianjin, China.
Royal Caribbean International has taken delivery of the world’s newest and biggest cruise ship, the $US1 billion ($NZ1.4 billion) Ovation of the Seas, which will arrive in Australia in December this year.
The 167,800-tonne ship hit the water for the first time last month sailing down River Ems from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, in northwestern Germany, where the ship was constructed.
Ovation, the 24th ship to join the RCI’s family, will be the most technologically advanced cruise ship to sail in Australia.
The new member of the Royal Caribbean family, Ovation of the Seas. RCI officially took delivery of its 24th ship in a ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany.
The 346-metre long and 41-metre wide vessel is the third Quantum-class ship in RCI’s fleet, which also includes Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas.
German-based Meyer Werft has built all of RCI’s Quantum-class ships.
Ovation of the Seas sailing down the River Ems in northwestern Germany.
“It’s wonderful to welcome Ovation of the Seas to the Royal Caribbean family of ships,” said Michael Bayley, RCI president and CEO, said in a statement.
“We have once again introduced yet another one of the most technologically advanced cruise ships and the very first that has been built for the Asia Pacific market – a market we continue to demonstrate our commitment to expanding.
“Quantum Class has redefined the status quo, and we are excited for our guests in China and Australia to enjoy their extraordinary holidays onboard this stunner.”
The first stop for the new 18-deck ship is Southampton, UK, where she will offer a series of short itineraries before heading to Beijing for her inaugural China season commencing in late June 2016.
Ovation will set sail on a Singapore to Sydney voyage via Fremantle, Adelaide and Hobart on 30 November 2016 before being repositioned to her new home-port Sydney for her maiden Australian season.
RCI recently announced that Ovation of the Seas will return for a second Australian season for the 2017/18 summer. The decision represents the continuing growth of cruising in the domestic market.
Ovation has capacity to carry over 4100 guests at double occupancy and features 2091 staterooms.
Quantum class ships features include: Ripcord by iFLY – a thrill-seeking simulator that allows passengers to experience skydiving on a cruise ship (see Twitter video above); Bionic Bar which is served by robot bar tenders; North Star, an observation capsule that rises more than 90 metres in the air (The company said the North Star would reach higher than the pylons on the Sydney Harbour Bridge); 18 restaurants including “Jamie’s Italian” restaurant; and SeaPlex, a large indoor activity space which includes basketball, roller-skating and bumper cars.