A few days ago, during a press conference on board Harmony of the Seas, Michael Bayley, CEO of Royal Caribbean International responded “we are in constant process of thinking about what’s next… but we never talk about what’s next until we are ready to announce.” when asked if Royal Caribbean was planning bigger ships than its current recordholder.
Well today Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the parent company behind Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises and CDF Croisières de France, as well as TUI Cruises (through a 50 percent joint venture with German Tourist firm TUI AG), was ready.
In a press release the company revealed that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with French Shipbuilder STX to build a fifth Oasis-class ship for delivery in the Spring of 2021.
“The Oasis-class ships have delivered beyond expectations each time,” said Michael Bayley. “Harmony of the Seas’ warm reception is evidence that growing this class of ship will continue to drive exceptional performance for the brand.”
In addition to a fifth member to the Oasis-class the company also announced plans to add two additional Edge-class ships for Celebrity Cruises. These two ships, in addition to the two 2,900-passenger ships scheduled for delivery in 2018 and 2020, are planned for delivery in the Fall of 2021 and 2022.
“Although our first Edge-class vessel is still over two years away from delivery, there has been a tremendous amount of interest around the new standard of style Edge-class will introduce,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Solstice-class ushered in a new era of design for modern cruise ships, and Edge-class will not disappoint as the new generation of high style and design.”
“The response to the arrival of Harmony of the Seas is staggering, eliciting excitement from eager cruisers from markets on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “And Edge-class is one of the most highly anticipated new projects, following the high bar of Modern Luxury design set by its predecessor, the Solstice Class.”
This order is dependent upon the completion of customary conditions, including documentation and financing. The final contracts, which include the definitive payment schedules, are expected to be completed within the quarter.
With the delivery of the biggest ship in the world, Harmony of the Seas, we were expecting some big news.
Contrary to rumours, that Royal Caribbean planned to cancel the option for an OASIS 5 ship and instead build two new larger ships, the company has decided not only go ahead with the construction of the fifth Oasis-class ship, but to add two more ships.
Royal Caribbean has surprised us by going bigger and better then ever expected.
Pictures © Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruises