Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas, the third (but perhaps not last) in the line's Freedom-class family of vessels, progressed significantly closer to completion after it took to the sea for the first time last Friday.
Now approximately 85 percent complete, the vessel is scheduled to arrive in Southampton's City Cruise Terminal on April 25, a full two weeks before the originally scheduled date.
Following inaugural celebrations in Southampton, the U.K.'s newest favourite daughter will embark on a maiden season in Europe, becoming the largest ship ever to homeport outside the United States.
Workers are now focusing on finishing the massive dining room, theatre and sun deck. Independence has come quite a ways in the past several months, if our Shipyard Snapshots: Letter From ... Independence of the Seas at Aker Yards is any indication.
--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor
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Independence of the Seas is Almost Ready
January 16, 2008