Royal Caribbean 'could base Oasis-class ship in Mediterranean'

Royal Caribbean 'could base Oasis-class ship in Mediterranean'

Royal Caribbean International has refused to rule out basing one of its mega Oasis-class ships in the Mediterranean when a third vessel launches in 2016.

The line's president and chief executive officer Adam Goldstein refused to discuss plans for the new vessel, dubbed Oasis 3, but said the cruise line was ‘pleasantly surprised’ by the reaction to Oasis of the Seas’ micro-season in the Mediterranean next autumn.

Oasis, which holds 6,400 passengers when full, will be operating two five-night cruises from Barcelona and a seven-night voyage from the Spanish port to Rotterdam in September 2014. It will be the first time an Oasis-class ship has sailed in Europe.

Oasis returns to Port Everglades in Florida on a 13-night cruise from Rotterdam on October 14, also embarking passengers at Southampton on October 15.

Speaking today at a steel-cutting ceremony for Oasis 3 at the STX Europe shipyard in St Nazaire, France, Goldstein said bringing Oasis to Europe had been an ‘experiment’ but demand had been ‘quite promising’.

He added: “We always felt demand would be high but we needed to do it in real life to be sure. We are offering attractive itineraries so we already feel we have the ports we need for Oasis to operate in Europe.”

Because of its size, Oasis will fit into a limited number of ports. The five-night Mediterranean cruises will call at Civitavecchia (for Rome) and Naples, while the seven-night voyage to Rotterdam stops at Malaga and Vigo in Spain. Goldstein confirmed 2015-16 itineraries would be revealed in early 2014.

The keel for Oasis 3 will be laid at the end of April 2014, with delivery set for spring 2016. The 227,700-ton ship will hold 6,360 passengers when full.

Royal Caribbean Cruises chairman and chief executive officer Richard Fain refused to comment on planned features but said the new ship will be ‘fundamentally’ the same as Oasis and Allure of the Seas.

It will be the biggest cruise ship built at STX’s St Nazaire shipyard, where Queen Mary 2 was built a decade ago.

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