On Friday evening, the Wonder of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, sailed on its maiden voyage out of Port Everglades, Florida to the Caribbean.
The ship’s first trip with paying passengers comes over three months left the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in France. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it took over two years for the ship to be ready to sail.
At 236,857 gross tons, Wonder of the Seas can hold almost 7,000 passengers and 2,300 crew. It is the fifth ship in Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis class, and it is about 5% larger than the class’s first ship, Oasis of the Seas.
Like its sister ships, Wonder of the Seas is built with the neighborhood concept, which includes a boardwalk and Central Park. The ship has some design changes, including the new suite neighborhood.
The 18-deck ship also boasts 20 restaurants, an ice-skating rink, a surf simulator, as well as other fun features for guests.
For the next few weeks, Wonder of the Seas will sail to the Caribbean. It will then reposition to the Mediterranean for the summer, and in November it will begin year-round service from Port Canaveral.
The Wonder of the Seas wasn’t the only cruise ship to begin service this weekend. On Saturday Costa Cruises introduced its largest cruise ship in the company’s history, the Costa Toscana. It is the largest cruise ship registered in Italy and it is also the sixth largest cruise ship fueled with LNG.
The introduction of the two ships into service this weekend is another important step for the cruise industry. As there is more demand for cruises, cruise lines are gearing towards having their full fleets operational by this summer. They are also hoping to be returning to pre-pandemic levels.