Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. is set to build two new ships under the codename "Project Sunshine" that will be substantially smaller than Royal Caribbean's previous Oasis-class ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.
The company has signed a letter of intent with shipyard Meyer Werft to build the new vessels, the first to be delivered in the fall of 2014, followed by a second ship in spring 2015. A late-day Friday press release stated "the new vessel design incorporates new and exciting features that take advantage of the best of Royal Caribbean’s experience and imagination." Word is that the project is "a result of over a year of dedicated research and development."
These ships will be smaller than the previous Oasis-class of ships from Royal Caribbean, which carry 5,400 passengers and have a gross tonnage of 225,000. "Project Sunshine" ships will be 158,000 GRT and carry just over 4,100 guests based on double occupancy. The estimated all-in cost per berth is about $230,000.
"Royal Caribbean has worked hard to earn a reputation of offering the most innovative ships in the cruise industry and this next generation will not disappoint," said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. "While we continue our policy of keeping our newest ideas and features under wraps during the early stages of construction, I can say that I am very excited about the passion and imagination that our teams have devoted to the project. Project Sunshine builds on the best ideas of our existing ships and adds exciting new activities and entertainment concepts."
Fain offers little with regard to features only saying that there "will be features for everyone: from grand, spectacular spaces to small intimate settings; from active, invigorating activities to the serenity of more personal space; and from a plethora of dining alternatives to a cornucopia of opportunities for families."