Is Royal Caribbean Planning to Build New Ships?

January 27, 2011

(12:30 p.m. EST) -- Royal Caribbean could be close to placing an order for new ships, it has been reported today.

Industry Web site, Seatrade Insider, has reported that in its fourth quarter earnings call today, Royal Caribbean's chairman and CEO Richard Fain told Wall Street analysts that the company has a new-build project and thinks the timing may be right to move forward.

Fain offered few details on the number, size or design of the new ships. Cruise Week, another industry publication, quoted the Royal Caribbean bigwig as saying "It will probably be the start of a new a series, which would incorporate our latest learnings about efficiency and about guest amenities."

"We've been working intensively on developing a design that reflects our innovative spirit but in an efficient package and we think we are near an acceptable outcome," Fain added.

It is fair to say that cruise lines will not disclose any new-build details until an order is signed and confirmed.

Cruise Critic members are already chatting about the possibility of new ships for the line, though. One member, rubrrick said: "People with Royal Caribbean have been talking for a short while about a new class called the 'Sunshine' class, which will be larger than the Radiance class (90,090-ton) and smaller than the Voyager class (142,000-ton)."

The cruise line has been going through a quieter period with no new-builds currently in the works -- this comes after a mammoth two years launching the biggest ships afloat (the 225,282-ton, 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas; both pictured). Oasis was launched in December 2009, while Allure debuted in December 2010.

--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor

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