The first of three ultra-sized cruise vessels for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Freedom of the Seas, was floated out recently at Aker Yards in Finland. "Seeing a new ship floated out for the first time
is a momentous occasion", says CEO and Board Chairman of RCCL Richard D. Fain. "A tremendous amount of highly skilled work goes into constructing these ships and we are pleased to be working once again with Aker Finnyards to build what is sure to be the most innovative and exciting ship afloat."
"Aker Yards challenge is to ensure innovative customer focus", says Yrjö Julin, President of Aker Finnyards and responsible for Cruise & Ferries in Aker Yards. "We are proud to build this cruise ship with spectacular inventive features for RCCL," he said.
Freedom of the Seas is like a floating urban community with own energy and drinking water production as well as waste management. There is 16.5 hectares of deck space for in all 5,740 passengers and members of the crew. The 158,000 GRT ship is 339 m long and 38.6 m wide.
Ordered in September 2003, the newbuilding now floated out will be handed over to Royal Caribbean in April 2006. The second and third vessel in the series will be ready for delivery in spring 2007 and 2008 respectively.
The ships in the Freedom class build on the Voyager-class ships, but are 15 percent larger than those, and have new features, all not yet revealed. The Freedom of the Seas takes ship design to the edge and beyond, e.g. with a top-deck aqua environment unparalleled in the industry, featuring three massive pool areas. Each area introducing innovative new concepts, including an interactive water park, the most dramatic whirlpools afloat and a dedicated sports pool.
The cabins and balconies are among most spacious ever built. One example being the 14-person Presidential Suite with 113 sq.m interior space and an 75 sq.m outdoor living area with whirpool.