The secret is out: Royal Caribbean to build new class of ships

Royal Caribbean new class of shipsRoyal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. has signed a letter of intent with shipyard Meyer Werft to build a new class of ships, the first of a new generation of Royal Caribbean International cruise ships.

Secretly developed for over a year and under the code-name “Project Sunshine,” the new vessel design features the best of Royal Caribbean’s experience and imagination.

The order calls for one ship to be delivered in the Fall of 2014 with an option for a second ship for Spring 2015. The 158,000 Gross Registered Tons (GRT) new build will carry just over 4,100 guests based on double occupancy. The estimated all-in cost per berth is about €170,000.

The secret is out. The cruise line released this statement today:

“Royal Caribbean has worked hard to earn a reputation of offering the most innovative ships in the cruise industry and this next generation will not disappoint,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.

“While we continue our policy of keeping our newest ideas and features under wraps during the early stages of construction, I can say that I am very excited about the passion and imagination that our teams have devoted to the project. Project Sunshine builds on the best ideas of our existing ships and adds exciting new activities and entertainment concepts. It will offer features for everyone: from grand, spectacular spaces to small intimate settings; from active, invigorating activities to the serenity of more personal space; and from a plethora of dining alternatives to a cornucopia of opportunities for families. I am also excited about the energy efficiency and environmental technologies which have been incorporated. Our existing ships are some of the most energy efficient in the world and Project Sunshine takes this one further step. Based on our over 20 years of experience with Meyer Werft, along with their compelling proposal, we know they will deliver on all of the innovations Royal Caribbean’s guests have come to expect.”

“Meyer Werft is pleased to be working with Royal Caribbean especially in light of their reputation for building such innovative ships. I am very happy we are continuing our long time partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and its brand Royal Caribbean International. Their projects always present incredible opportunities for Meyer Werft to create the latest cutting edge hardware in the cruise industry,” said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft shipyard.

News of features and other details will no doubt be masterfully doled out over the next few months as Royal Caribbean teases us with bits and pieces of the puzzle. After all, Project Sunshine has a tough act to follow coming up after the Oasis sisters. Should be fun to watch.