World's biggest cruise ship goes on display

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The world's biggest cruise ship - boasting its own open air park and amphitheatre - was officially unveiled today.

The credit crunch-busting 225,000-tonne leviathan called Oasis Of The Seas was shown to the media and public at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by American company Royal Caribbean.

The unveiling was shown live on American breakfast television.

Until now, the inside of the 1,187ft long ship, which can carry 6,296 passengers, has been a closely guarded secret as it travelled through the Baltic and across the Atlantic for its launch.

It even made a brief stop in the Solent earlier this month, but no-one was allowed a sneak preview.

The launch has seen a few stars shipped in. Pop singer Rihanna performed a concert on board last night and two of the godmothers for the ship are British actress Jane Seymour and pop star Gloria Estefan.

The £800 million vessel is 40% bigger than any other cruise ship afloat and it has the "Central Park" style open air space aboard about size of a football pitch with its own micro-climate and trees.

It means that guests can have the option of a sea or tree view and 254 rooms with balconies overlook the park.

In addition, there is a bar called Rising Tide that moves between three of the 16 passenger decks.

So passengers cannot get lost, a computerised room finder on each floor near the lifts makes sure they can find their way home through the ship's seven neighbourhoods.

It also has a 750-seat AquaTheater modelled on an ancient Greek amphitheatre, located at the stern of the ship.

It allows guests on board the chance of lounging around the biggest pool afloat in the day and going back at night for shows including acrobatics, synchronised swimming, water ballet, and professional high-diving.

Other amenities include loft-style apartments and an ice rink, plus the usual pools, 24 restaurants, a casino and even a carousel.

Oasis of the Seas, which was built in Finland, is so big its exhaust stack retracts so it can pass under bridges as it travels the world. Its owners claim it is the most technologically advanced cruise ship in the world.

Cruising continues to grow in popularity in Britain and America despite the recession with Royal Caribbean building another ship of the same size due enter service next year.

This represents a £1.6 billion investment in the industry by the company with competitors like P&O and Cunard also expanding their fleets in Britain and America in recent years.

However, the recession is biting into the industry with new ship launches dramatically down this year.

Royal Caribbean said it has not sold out all its cruises on the new ship.

Despite the downturn, figures from the Passenger Shipping Association project that 1.55 million Britons are expected to take a cruise holiday in 2009 - up from 1.35 million last year.

By 2012 it estimated 2.2 million Britons will take a cruise. This is a doubling of the UK cruise industry in 10 years.

There will now be a series of further celebrations on board until the ship goes on its first paying cruise on December 1.

Prices start from £1,786 for a nine-night eastern Caribbean fly-cruise on board the ship.

Suggested Topics
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick