Royal Caribbean Receives Ultra Voyager Option Extension

August 20, 2004

Royal Caribbean, which is well in the midst of developing the as-yet-unnamed Ultra Voyager ship (slated to be the latest contender for biggest-ever honors when it debuts in May 2006), has received an extension on its option to build a sister ship. The option is actually only extended for a month (the option was to have expired on August 31; Royal Caribbean now has until September 30). A primary factor behind the request, according to industry sources, continues to be the weakness of the U.S. dollar against the Euro.

Royal Caribbean's first Ultra Voyager, now under construction at its shipyard in Finland, will be approximately 15 percent larger than the cruise line's Voyager of the Seas class of ships. While the new class of ships will feature some firsts -- 18 stories high, 22 knots of speed and a 3,600 passenger occupancy -- it will also feature many of what are now Voyager-class standards.

The ship design has not been released. Nor has a name been announced though industry sources in Europe are calling the first Ultra Voyager "Spirit of the Seas." A Royal Caribbean spokeswoman says that absolutely no decision has been made at this time, however.