Royal Caribbean’s new ship welcomed to the fleet
Royal Caribbean, the world’s largest cruise line, officially welcomed Spectrum of the Seas, the 26th ship in its fleet, in a ceremony held in Bremerhaven, Germany last week.
The first in the Quantum Ultra class of ships, Spectrum will homeport from Shanghai starting June 2019 and is set to “redefine the China cruise market”, according to Royal Caribbean president and CEO, Michael Bayley.
Custom-built to deliver an unrivalled holiday experience for guests, the vessel will feature revolutionary design concepts and technological innovations, many of which have not yet been seen on the seas. Highlights will include the cruise line’s first private enclave for guests, new stateroom categories and innovative dining experiences.
The suites-only area will be situated in an exclusive enclave at the forward end of the of the ship. Catering to its discerning clientele, the luxury Golden and Silver suites will have their own private elevator and dedicated restaurant and lounge. Guests will also have access to their own balcony, providing the best views on board, and a boutique shopping area.
Restaurants will include renowned Chinese chef’s Dong Zhenziang’s new outpost, Wonderland’s Dadong; Sichuan Red, which will serve up authentic cuisine from the Chinese province, and the Leaf and Bean café parlour, offering a range of traditional Chinese teas.
For families, there will be the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea where they can enjoy bumper cars, basketball and roller skating. The ship will also house the popular surfing simulator, Flowrider, already present on 16 of Royal Caribbean’s vessels.
Other iconic features will include Two70, the expansive floor-to-ceiling windows with Vistarama technology that transforms the panoramic windows into a projection surface showcasing digital shows. Highlighting how technology is transforming the world of cruising as we know it, Two70 will feature new room-scale augmented reality experiences, transporting vacationers to new realms of adventure.
Accommodating 4,246 guests at double occupancy and 1,551 international crew members, Spectrum will be the largest and most expensive ship in Asia when she arrives to her new home in Shanghai on 3 June, 2019.
With the growth in the world’s cruise market having been predicted to originate from China, the arrival of Spectrum no doubt signals the birth of many new ships designed to cater to the flourishing Chinese cruise market. According to the Cruise Lines International Association, the number of Chinese travellers who will go on a cruise will grow to 8-10 million (up from 2.5 million reported in 2017).
In an article by The Telegraph, Wheng Weihang, executive vice-president and secretary-general of the China Cruise & Yacht Industry Association, was quoted saying how “In the next 10 to 20 years, the number of Chinese who take cruise ships annually is expected to surpass the United States.”
Before her arrival in Shanghai, Spectrum will sail a 46-night Global Odyssey from Barcelona, Spain to Shanghai, taking guests to several exciting ports such as Aqaba in Jordan, Dubai in the UAE and George Town in Malaysia. In winter 2019, the ship will reposition to Hong Kong to offer special holiday cruises.