Project Genesis, the largest cruise ship to ever make it from drawing board to production made a significant step in its journey towards the sea today (11th December) at Aker Yards ship yard in Turku, Finland.
At the milestone keel-laying ceremony, the first blocks constructing the 220,000 GRT Project Genesis were laid into the bottom of the dry dock. From here the ship will begin to take its form for the first time.
At 40% larger than any other cruise ship in the world, Project Genesis - the working title applied by cruise line Royal Caribbean International, the company behind its development - is scheduled to enter service in Autumn 2009. Project Genesis will be homeported year-round from Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale in Florida.
Project Genesis is 1,180 feet long, 154 feet wide, and 240 feet high and will accommodate over 5,400 guests. The ship will take 5,800 man-years to complete and is expected to float on water for the first time in Winter 2008 as it nears the finishing stages. At a cost of US$230,000 per berth, Project Genesis is the most expensive cruise ship ever to be ordered.
Jo Rzymowska, managing director, Royal Caribbean International, UK and Ireland commented:
“A leisure resort development of the scale of Project Genesis is confirmation of the rate at which cruising is growing as a holiday option. Over 1.55million Brits are forecast to take a cruise in 2008, and the pace of growth is accelerating faster than anticipated by industry body the Passenger Shipping Association. With ships like Project Genesis the options at sea really are giving land-based holiday resorts a run for their money.”
Standing upright bow-to-stern, Project Genesis would dwarf the One Canada Square building at Canary Wharf and New York’s Chrysler Building. The ship is also one and a half times taller than the O2 Arena and is longer than four football pitches.
Ships already in the Royal Caribbean International fleet feature surfing wave pools, rock climbing walls, ice skating rinks, children’s water parks and shopping centre-style complexes. Project Genesis is projected to carry on this tradition and include new facilities never before seen at sea.
Jo Rzymowska continued:
“There simply are no limits when it comes to what could possibly feature onboard Project Genesis. Royal Caribbean International guarantees to push physical and creative boundaries with its next generation of cruise ship.”
Royal Caribbean International has a second ship of this scale, Project Genesis II on order from Aker Yards. Project Genesis II is scheduled to be completed in August 2010, and the first Project Genesis ship will begin taking guests in Autumn 2009.
Royal Caribbean International currently operates the largest cruise ships in the world, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas at 160,000 GRT and 3,600 guests. A third ship in this Freedom-class, Independence of the Seas is currently under construction at the same ship yard as Project Genesis and will take her first ever paying guests from Southampton in May 2008.