Royal Caribbean International has chosen the names for their first two 158,000 gross ton ships that have up to now been referred to as “Project Sunshine”. They will be known as the QUANTUM OF THE SEAS and ANTHEM OF THE SEAS, set to debut in the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015. The company says the 4,100 passenger ships will now be part of the “Quantum Class” that will build upon Royal Caribbean’s legacy of revolutionary ship design and bold innovation. On February 5, 2013 Royal Caribbean International announced the first major step this week in the development of the cruise line’s next generation of cruise ships when the first piece of steel was cut for the first of two Project Sunshine ships. The steel cutting took place at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, where the two ships will be built. “We are extremely excited to celebrate this important milestone for our first Project Sunshine ship. After three years of design and advance planning this is the first step of the construction of the ship and I look forward to seeing it all come together in the coming months,” said Adam Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “The new ship will be such a leap forward in terms of vessel design and guest experiences that we thought the name Quantum of the Seas was perfectly appropriate.”
The new ships will be slightly larger than the trio of previous vessels that were built beginning in 2006 with FREEDOM OF THE SEAS followed by LIBERTY OF THE SEAS and INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS. Those vessels are each approximately 154,407 tons with a length of 1,112 feet and a maximum breadth of 183 feet and carry 3,634 passengers double occupancy.
They will be considerably smaller than the 225,282 gross ton vessels that are currently the largest passenger ships in the world the OASIS OF THE SEAS and ALLURE OF THE SEAS. Each of those ships carry 5,400 passengers double with a full berth maximum of 6,296 guests plus 2,165 crew. A third “Oasis Class” ship is due out in the summer of 2016 and will be built at the St. Nazaire yards of STX France.
“Throughout our history we have made huge strides in cruise ship design and innovation and the ‘Quantum Class’ will be no exception,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. “We look forward to introducing consumers to Quantum cruising.”
Additional details about QUANTUM OF THE SEAS will be unveiled in the coming months. The current Royal Caribbean fleet numbers 21 ships not counting the three new vessels currently on order.
Shawn J. Dake, freelance travel writer and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters, worked in tourism and cruise industry for over 35 years. A native of Southern California, his first job was as a tour guide aboard the Queen Mary. A frequent lecturer on ship-related topics he has appeared on TV programs. Owner of Oceans Away Cruises & Travel agency, he served as President of the local Chapter of Steamship Historical Society of America. With a love of the sea, he is a veteran of 115 cruises.