Construction U n d e r w a y O n Big Royal C a r i b b e a n Cruise Liner

cruise construction

The Chantiers de I'Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France, recently began cutting steel for the huge cruise liner under construction for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line of Miami. To be named Sovereign of the Seas, at more than 70,000 grt and carrying 2,276 passengers, double occupancy, the new vessel will be almost twice the size of Royal Caribbean's current largest ship, the 37,584-grt 1,414-passenger Song of America.

The new ship will have an overall length of 874 feet, beam of 103.5 feet, and draft of 25 feet, enabling her to transit the Panama Canal and dock in most ports in the Caribbean, where she will operate initially on one-week cruises. She will be powered by four Atlantique/Pielstick 9PC20L diesel engines, each with an output of 7,425 bhp, capable of driving the ship at a top cruising speed of 21 knots.

With a total ultimate cost of $183.5 million, the Sovereign is being financed by the shipyard and a consortium of banks, led by Manufacturers Hanover Norge and Christiana Bank, whose principal offices are in Norway. The bank consortium will provide pre-delivery financing during the construction period, and the shipyard will provide a loan of approximately 80 percent of the project cost at the time the ship is delivered in December 1987.

In keeping with Royal Caribbean's other four ships, the decor and ambiance of the newest member of the fleet will be a blend of contemporary Scandinavian design and European sophistication that has proved extremely effective with the American market. More than $1.7 million in original artwork will enhance the decor in the public rooms.

A unique feature of the ship is called The Centrum, a central lobby area spanning a height of five decks, serving as a focal point for passengers to meet and mingle. The Centrum will have glass-walled elevators (two of the ship's 14), spiral staircases, fountains, and plants. No Royal Caribbean ship is complete without a Viking Crown Lounge cantilevered from the funnel; the Sovereign's will be 12 decks above sea level and seat 250 people.

The new ship will have 12 passenger decks, and 722 outside and 416 inside staterooms with private bath, interactive television, individually controlled air conditioning, telephones, and 110-volt electrical power.

When the Sovereign of the Seas sails from Miami for the first time in January 1988, passengers will experience a cruise ship that reflects the American lifestyle enhanced by Norwegian marine tradition and French shipbuilding expertise and prestige.

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