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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
General characteristics
Type: Cruise ship
Tonnage: 225,282 GT[1]
Length: 360 m (1,181 ft) overall[2]
Beam: 47 m (154 ft) waterline, 60.5 m (198 ft) extreme[2]
Height: 72 m (236 ft) above water line[3]
Draught: 9.3 m (31 ft)[2]
Depth: 22.55 m (74 ft)[2]
Decks: 16 passenger decks[4]
Installed power: 3 × Wärtsilä 12V46D engines (13,860 kW/18,590 hp each)
3 × Wärtsilä 16V46D engines (18,480 kW/24,780 hp each)[3][5]
Propulsion: 3 × 20 MW ABB Azipod, all azimuthing[3]
Speed: 22.6 knots (41.9 km/h; 26.0 mph)[4]
Capacity: 5,400 passengers double occupancy; 6,296 total[4]

The Oasis class (formerly known as Project Genesis[6]) is a class of Royal Caribbean International cruise ships that are the world's largest passenger ships. Two ships were ordered in February 2006, named Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.[6][7] Oasis of the Seas was completed and delivered on October 28, 2009,[8] while Allure of the Seas was completed in October 2010 expected to begin maiden voyage from Florida at December 2010. [9]

Construction
The Oasis class have surpassed the earlier Freedom class as the world's largest passenger ships. At 360 m (1,181 feet) in length Oasis is 21 metres (69 ft) longer than the prior largest passenger ship, the Independence of the Seas and classmates. Oasis also is 8.5 metres (28 ft) wider, and with a gross tonnage of 225,282, is almost 45% larger.[10][11] Oasis class vessels carry over 5,400 passengers.

Like the Freedom class, the Oasis class ships are built by STX Europe (formerly Aker Yards) in Turku, Finland. The first of the Oasis class, priced at US$1.24 billion (€ 900 million)[12] reportedly is the most expensive commercial ship ever built.[12] The option for a second ship of the class was exercised by Royal Caribbean on April 2, 2007. The second ship is to be delivered by STX Europe in August 2010.[13]

On December 11, 2007, the keel of the first vessel of the class was laid down in Turku.[10] In early 2008, Royal Caribbean ended months of speculation by announcing that their two Oasis class ships would be based year-round at Port Everglades, Florida.[14]

On April 15, 2008, Royal Caribbean held a press conference in New York City to release the first official information and renderings of "Central Park", a 5-deck high area in the middle of the ship, open to the sky and filled with lush tropical gardens, upscale restaurants and shops.[15] The area, one of seven "neighborhoods" onboard the ship, also features the Rising Tide Bar, which moves up and down through three decks. There are 334 staterooms overlooking the Park, 254 with balconies - four of which are wheelchair accessible. Two arched-glass domes in Central Park called the Crystal Canopies provide sunlight into the ship's inner public spaces.[16]
 

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Allure of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship along with its twin Oasis of the Seas, made its US debut with operator Royal Caribbean showing off innovations including the first Starbucks coffee house at sea.

Like its 11-month-old twin Oasis, Allure soars 65 meters above the waterline, stretches 360 meters from bow to stern and fully loaded weighs 225 282 tons.

It was built by South Korea's STX Finland Cruise shipyards in Finland at a cost of one billion dollars. The Allure made its US debut after a 13-day transatlantic journey from Turku, Finland, to Florida.

"We are very proud of these two ships that are the largest (cruise ships) in the world. They are twins, sharing exactly the same size and design," Royal Caribbean marketing director Rebecca Barba told AFP.

The Allure's 16 decks are divided into seven "neighbourhoods," including a sprawling green area with fully grown trees reproducing New York's Central Park; a Coney Island-style Boardwalk; and numerous amenities offering rock walls, ice skating rinks and swimming pools with surf simulators.

Its 26 dining options include the first Starbucks at sea, the company said.

"It's like being on seven different ships at once, and it's so big you at times forget you're at sea," said Barba.

Despite the global economic downturn, Royal Caribbean decided to build the twin giant cruise ships and feels certain it can get the customers to fill them.

"We're optimistic because while we know we're going through some hard times, we offer a luxury cruises at relatively affordable prices, because everything is included," Barba said.

The cheapest cruise package Allure has to offer is a week-long voyage for $899 (about R6 200) per person, although a family of four would pay about 25 percent less per individual.

The most expensive package includes the Royal Loft Suite for up to six people, at $15 609 per person per week.

Allure of the Seas' inaugural seven-night Western Caribbean itinerary will depart on December 5.

The Allure arrived at its home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, 48 kilometres north of Miami, where it was welcomed by a flotilla of ships.

Miami's complementary port facility, Fort Lauderdale, houses the largest cruise ship port in the world that in 2008 welcomed some four million customers. - AFP
 
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