Symphony of the Seas, the world’s newest mega-ship, was handed over by STX France to Royal Caribbean International after the traditional flag-changing ceremony led by Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of the cruise ship operator, and General Manager of French shipbuilder STX Laurent Castaing. The maritime ritual symbolizes the ship’s official delivery from the shipbuilder to US giant Royal Caribbean.
The Symphony of the Seas is the 25th ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet.The new vessel Seas is 228,000 gross tons and 1,188 feet long- almost as big as the Empire State Building. The Symphony of the Seas holds 5,518 guests at double occupancy in 2,760 cabins, including 28 additional balcony rooms overlooking the ocean or Boardwalk neighborhood. Like its other Oasis-class sisters, the new ship follows the trail of her sisters, with seven distinct neighborhoods and the tallest slide at sea. The new giant is slightly bigger than its sister ship, the Harmony of the Seas, which STX France delivered to Royal Caribbean in 2016.
The ship cost $1.35bn and has 2,200 staff onboard. It has been built for two years. Attractions aboard include an ice rink, water park, and full-size basketball court along with zip wire, mini golf course, climbing walls, and surf simulator.
Royal Caribbean has moved up the maiden sailing of its Symphony of the Seas by three weeks, saying construction was progressing at a faster pace than expected. Symphony was originally scheduled to sail its inaugural voyage on April 21. According to the current schedule, the ship will start its maiden voyage on Saturday morning, heading to Malaga in Spain and spending its first season sailing Mediterranean itineraries, before heading to its home port of Miami.