Florida has been the first home for each of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class vessels since Oasis of the Seas debuted in 2008, but was set to lose out to China for the fifth ship in the class, Wonder of the Seas. But the cruise line announced some changes that will bring the ship to the Sunshine State early next year.
What will inherit the title as world’s largest cruise ship will sail out of Fort Lauderdale beginning March 4, 2022 for two months of Caribbean voyages before shifting to Europe for a summer sailing season, and then eventually making its way to China.
“The momentum taking off across bookings and our returning ships in the U.S. and Europe is significant. With half of our fleet sailing again, we are encouraged by what we’re seeing. These regions are in the position to welcome a brand-new, innovative ship like Wonder of the Seas,” said Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley.
The ship comes four years after the debut of Symphony of the Seas, the current record holder for world’s largest cruise ship. Each ship from 2008’s Oasis to 2009’s Allure of the Seas to 2016’s Harmony and then Symphony have been incrementally heavier in terms of gross tons so that they have been able to hold the moniker of world’s largest cruise ship.
Symphony comes in at 228,081 gross tons, is 1,188 feet long and has a maximum capacity of 6,680 guests with 2,200 crew. At double capacity, though, the guest count is 5,518 from 2,759 staterooms.
Wonder of the Seas will debut with a gross tonnage of 236,857, also be 1,188 feet long, but have a 6,988-guest maximum capacity, the highest among all Oasis-class ships with 2,867 staterooms.
Wonder of the Seas remains under construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France gearing up for its debut.