Will Shipyard Snafus Delay Genesis?

February 19, 2008
Will cruisers have to wait even longer for the long-awaited Genesis?

The first 220,000-ton, 5,400-passenger vessel in Royal Caribbean's Genesis "class" will be the world's largest cruise ship when it enters service next year; referred to for now simply as Genesis 1, it's currently under construction at Aker Yards in Turku, Finland. However, according to trade publication Cruise Business Review, work on the ship is running behind schedule -- due to logistical and planning issues -- and this is likely to lead to similar problems with the second vessel in the class.

Cruise Business Review references from a report by Finnish business daily Taloussanomat the fact that some 600-ton sections have not yet been fitted out as they should have been (with cabling for example). Now, the work needs to be done once the sections are in place onboard, which is time consuming and expensive. Also, some of the 2,600 cabin modules needed for each ship are currently being stored on outdoor parking lots, where cold temperatures may cause damage to woodworking and laminates.

Other projects at the shipyard are also tardy, according to media reports, due to high demand and rising costs for components. In fact, Tallink, a ferry line that operates trips between Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Latvia and Germany, ordered a 48,000-ton new-build from Aker Yards -- which will be delivered three months behind schedule.

Still, unforeseen snags don't necessarily mean a late arrival is in store for Royal Caribbean's behemoth. Spokespersons for both Aker Yards and Royal Caribbean told cruise-community.com, an industry news source, that the delivery date for the first Genesis new-build has not been revised. At this point, the first Genesis ship is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2009, as initially reported. Its sibling is due out the following summer.

A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean did not respond to our requests for comment by press time.

We'll keep you posted.

--by Melissa Baldwin, Managing Editor