(12:30 p.m. EDT) -- Royal Caribbean's newest and largest cruise ship has officially left the shipyard where it was constructed.
Wonder of the Seas left the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France on Friday, bound for Marseilles for final fitting out work before the ship sails across the Atlantic to enter service from Fort Lauderdale in March of 2022.
The fifth Oasis-class ship to enter service for Royal Caribbean, Wonder of the Seas will officially claim the title as largest cruise ship of the world when it is handed over to the line. The 236,857-ton ship is larger, by gross tonnage, than its 230,000-ton predecessor, Symphony of the Seas.
The ship floated out more than a year ago, but its launch was severely delayed due to the pandemic -- it was due to enter service this year and sail in China.
Fans have been avidly watching construction updates ever since.
While Wonder of the Seas may be the fifth vessel in the Oasis-class, Royal Caribbean has a number of new and innovative features found only onboard this ship.
These include a brand-new Suite Class neighbourhood for Royal Suite passengers that includes an elevated suite sun deck that comes complete with a plunge pool, bar and loungers. Also located in the exclusive Suite Class neighbourhood are past suite-favorites such as the Suite Lounge and the private Coastal Kitchen restaurant.
For kids, Wonder of the Seas introduces the Wonder Playscape, an underwater-themed area that offers interactive murals, climbing walls, games and other adventures for younger cruisers.
Another first aboard Wonder of the Seas is The Vue, a new cantilevered bar that extends out over the side of the ship.
Wonder of the Seas will also offer other enhancements introduced on other ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet recently, including The Lime and Coconut poolside bar, along with The Perfect Storm, Royal Caribbean's trio of high-speed waterslides and the kid-friendly Splashaway Bay waterpark.
Passengers will also be able to kick back and indulge in some cinematic delights poolside with the largest outdoor movie screen in the Royal Caribbean fleet, and will be able to enjoy the multitude of features and entertainment options that have made the Oasis Class so successful since its inception over a decade ago.
Wonder of the Seas will debut in Fort Lauderdale on March 4, 2022, sailing itineraries to the Bahamas and the Caribbean before repositioning to Barcelona and Rome (Civitavecchia) for a summer of Mediterranean cruises.