In less than a year, Royal
Caribbean International's Independence of the Seas will make its debut in
Southampton, England where she will be the largest ship ever to be
home-ported in Europe. With her hull now complete, Independence of the
Seas, under construction at Aker Yards in Turku, Finland, reached an
important maritime milestone today when she was "floated out" -- moved from
dry dock to wet dock -- for the final months of finishing work leading up
to her May 2008 debut.
At official ceremonies held at the shipyard, Royal Caribbean
executives, Harri Kulovaara, executive vice president, Maritime; Lisa
Bauer, senior vice president, Sales, and Captain Hernan Zini were joined by
Juha Heikinheimo, president, Aker Yards Cruise and Ferries, and Jykri
Heinamaa, Turku Yard Director, Aker Yards, as well as an exclusive group of
Royal Caribbean's travel
partners, to turn the valve releasing 87 million
gallons of water into the wet dock area.