It is being rumoured on the net that Royal Caribbean has put ‘Rhapsody of the Seas’ (1997) has been put up for sale.
I cannot confirm that this is true, but ‘Splendour’ (1995) and ‘Legend’ (1994) have already been sold to Thomson/TUI, so RCI are clearly off-loading their older tonnage.
All these ships are are at least 20 years old. Although they still have plenty of life left, they are small and dated by modern standards.
RCI are clearly not a brand about classic/intimate ships, they are all about floating family-friendly resorts. The above ships were considered to be big and state-of-the-are in their day, but RCI are now building ships more than twice as big. Economies of scale make bigger ships more profitable to operate.
RCI have an extensive new-build program. At the time of writing, RCI have a fourth ‘Oasis’ class ship currently being constructed and a fourth and fifth ‘Quantum’ class ships on order. I almost forgot the forthcoming ‘Icon’ class ships too.
Royal Caribbean Cruises had announced their next class of cruise ship, ‘Project Icon’, in October 2016.
The reason that I almost forgot about ‘Icon’, is that there is so little information available and so many other newbuilds around, offering more information. Icon had slipped my memory.
Of course it is not usual these days that new ships are shrouded in secrecy. The cruise line enjoy slowly drip-feeding the pubic with snippets of information.
In fairness to RCI, their is still a long time to go until these new vessels enter into service. I’m just very impatient!
However it was very exciting news that there was to be another new ‘class’ of ship from RCI. I was not expecting this so soon after the introduction of the ‘Quantum’ class
Mind you building LNG ships simply follows suit with Carnival and MSC who also have big LNG ships on order. Let’s also not forget that Quantum’s ‘Dynamic Dining’ system was a flop – maybe they are keen to move on?
I wonder what new innovations RCI will come up with this time? How do you beat a park, bumper-cars, skydiving simulator and an observation pod? It must get increasingly difficult to keep being innovative. There new mega-ships should provide plenty of room on-board for wow-features.
The delivery of the Icon ships may well see the departure of RCI’s older tonnage.
Some Details – Project Icon
Project Icon is just the preliminary name for RCI’s two upcoming cruise ships.
However, Royal Caribbean has already trademarked the name “Icon of the Seas”, which could be an indication as to the name of the first ship.
The vessels will be delivered in the second quarters of 2022 and 2024, by the shipbuilder Meyer Turku.
At 200,000 gross tonnes, carrying 5,000 passengers, the ships will be smaller than the Oasis class (in terms of gross tonnage), but larger than the Quantum class.
The ‘Icon’ ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and will introduce the use of fuel cell technology. However they are expected to also be able to operate using conventional maritime fuel as a well, for ports without the necessary LNG infrastructure.
These innovations will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions
RCI said it will begin testing fuel cell technology on an existing Oasis-class ship in 2017, and will also run progressively larger fuel cell projects on new Quantum-class vessels being built in the next several years.
So what is an LNG powered Ship? See Here.