Saturday, November 22, 2008
The world’s biggest cruise ship was launched yesterday when its milestone float-out ceremony took place. The 220,000-tonne leviathan, called Oasis of the Seas, is being built by American company Royal Caribbean at the STX Europe shipyard in Turku, Finland. The 1,187ft vessel, that can carry 6,296 passengers, is so big that its exhaust stack retracts so it can pass under bridges as it travels the world. Representatives from the owners and the shipyard turned a wheel to let the water into the dry dock where the 65% finished vessel is still being built. The £700 million (€827m) vessel is 40% bigger than any other cruise ship afloat and it has a Central Park-style open-air space aboard the size of a football field with its own micro-climate.The world-first attraction means that guests can have the option of a sea or tree view. Completing the attractions is a 750-seat AquaTheater concept, modelled on an ancient Greek amphitheatre, located at the stern of the ship which allows guests the chance of lounging around the biggest pool afloat in the day and then going back at night for shows including acrobatics, synchronised swimming, water ballet, and professional high-diving. Other amenities include loft-style apartments and an ice rink. The ship will be completed next year.