Royal Caribbean’s sixth Oasis-class cruise ship and the next one to debut in the spring of 2024, the Utopia of the Seas, just completed its first construction milestone: a keel-laying ceremony at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.
The keel-laying ceremony is a maritime tradition dating back to the ancient Romans that includes placing newly minted coins on the ship’s first steel block, which weighs 948 tons, in order to bring good fortune to the ship during its construction and its life at sea.
It’s also the first step in a ship’s construction, when the keel, or support piece, is added as the “backbone” of the ship. Today, a keel-laying ceremony is the first coming-together of different parts of the ship.
“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.”
The ship is the second ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet to be powered by LNG, or liquid natural gas. It’s the first Oasis Class ship to be powered by the fuel, which produces fewer emissions than traditional fuel.
“Today, we are celebrating with Royal Caribbean International an important tradition and milestone for Utopia of the Seas,” said Laurent Castaing, General Manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique. “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.”
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