(12:30 p.m. EDT) – Utopia of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s next upcoming Oasis-class cruise ship, celebrated its first milestone on July 1st during a keel-laying ceremony at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.
Keel-laying signifies the official start of physical construction has begun. Utopia of the Seas is expected to carry more than 6,700 passengers when it launches in the spring of 2024, potentially matching its sister ship Wonder of the Seas, currently the world’s largest passenger vessel.
"The keel laying for Utopia of the Seas represents the first milestone of an incredible ship and the next step toward a bolder, thrilling future for Royal Caribbean and vacations," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Utopia’s debut in 2024, on the heels of Icon of the Seas setting sail in fall 2023, will build on a new, exciting chapter that is set to redefine family vacations and getaways for all ages in ways we’ll soon reveal."
Utopia of the Seas is set to become Royal Caribbean’s second cruise ship to be powered by Liquefied natural gas (LNG), following Icon of the Seas, which is scheduled to debut in 2023 as the fleet’s first Icon-class vessel. Utopia of the Seas, however, will be the first LNG-powered vessel in RCL’s six-ship Oasis-class.
"The construction of Utopia is an exciting opportunity for the Chantiers de l’Atlantique teams that are aiming to make this cruise ship one of the most environmentally-friendly ships in the world equipped with new generation dual-fuel engines," said Laurent Castaing, General Manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique.
Additional details have yet to be released about Utopia of the Seas and how it may differ from Wonder of the Seas, which debuted this past spring sporting numerous design changes from past Oasis-class vessels.