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Odyssey of the Seas

Odyssey of the Seas completes journey to the sea

In:
02Mar2021

Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship successfully reached the ocean to reach a major milestone in her construction.

Odyssey of the Seas completed her conveyance over the weekend, which means the ship is now in position to enter the open ocean.

Odyssey completed a journey that took over 10 hours to traverse 20 miles from Papenburg, Germany up the Ems River, to her current position in Eemshaven, Netherlands.

The conveyance is a process unique to ships built at Meyer Werft, as the shipyard is situated inland along the Ems River, and the ship must make the journey backward and down the river to get to the North Sea.

Fun fact: Now that Odyssey of the Seas has completed her conveyance, she can never return down the river back to the shipyard because of the added weight in new features, fuel and other enhancements.

Since arriving in the Netherlands, she has conducted a variety of work already, including pendulum slip tests and lifeboat tests.

Odyssey of the Seas is a 169,000-gross-ton ship that measures 1,138 feet (347 meters) long and 135 feet (41 meters) wide.

What's next for Odyssey

Now that Odyssey of the Seas is at the North Sea, she will conduct a few more tests and have some other work done onboard.

The next major milestone for Odyssey will be sea trials, where the ship will go out to sea to test out her engines and navigational ability.

If all goes well, delivery to Royal Caribbean would soon follow.

A big debut

Almost as significant as the movement itself, is the other big Odyssey of the Seas news that the ship will begin her career sailing with Royal Caribbean in Israel in summer 2021.

In lieu of her scheduled European season, she will shift her homeport to Haifa, Israel, where she will offer sailings beginning in May 2021.

Israeli residents will be able to choose from 3- to 7-night roundtrip cruises to the Greek Isles and Cyprus.

Photo by Jeroen Houtman

Odyssey will then cross the Atlantic to begin its inaugural North American season in November, offering 6- to 8-night itineraries from Fort Lauderdale and visiting far-flung destinations, including Curacao and Aruba. 

Royal Caribbean updates new cruise ship delivery schedule

In:
01Mar2021

The global health crisis has wreaked havoc with Royal Caribbean's plans, including its schedule of new cruise ships.

One of the big questions throughout the cruise industry shutdown has been what impact will there be on new cruise ship orders.

As part of Royal Caribbean Group's fourth quarter 2020 earnings filing, the company included an updated schedule for new cruise ship deliveries.

For a while we have known Odyssey of the Seas was delayed until 2021, and Wonder of the Seas delayed until 2022. But what about the rest of the schedule?

Prior to the global health crisis, Royal Caribbean had orders placed for a number of new cruise ships, including a brand new class of ships, known as the Icon Class.

As of December 31, 2020 the schedule for new ship order delivery is as follows:

"Wonder of the Seas and our sixth Oasis-class ship, which are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2022 and the second quarter of 2024, respectively, and the first three ships of a new generation, known as our Icon-class, which are expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2023, and the second quarters of 2025 and 2026, respectively."

  • Odyssey of the Seas delivery in 1st Quarter 2021
  • Wonder of the Seas delivery in 1st Quarter 2022
  • Unnamed first Icon class ship delivery in 3rd Quarter 2023
  • Unnamed sixth Oasis class ship delivery in 2nd Quarter 2024
  • Unnamed second Icon class ship delivery in 2nd Quarter 2025
  • Unnamed third Icon class ship delivery in 2nd Quarter 2026

This filing confirms that orders are still in place for the three Icon Class ships, as well as a sixth unnamed Oasis-Class ship. Moreover, the original plans for these ship deliveries is essentially pushed back by a year across the board.

Read moreWhy are new cruise ships still being built?

In addition, the filing adds some details about the next new class of cruise ship.

Ever since Royal Caribbean announced the Icon Class would be its next-generation of cruise ship, details have been scarce.

The Icon Class ships will be built at Meyer Turku and be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fuel cell technology.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is envisioned as the primary fuel for the new vessels, which would dramatically reduce or even eliminate emission of nitrogen oxide (NOX), sulphur oxide (SOX) and particulates, as well as cutting carbon dioxide (CO2). The ICON Class will also introduce fuel cell technology, which in combination with hull air lubrication means that the ships could potentially be some of the most fuel efficient cruise vessels ever constructed. 

With the new filing, we know its capacity will be 5,600. In the original announcement, Royal Caribbean said it would accommodate approximately 5,000 passengers. This would make the Icon class ships larger than the Quantum Class ships, but slightly smaller than the Oasis Class ships.

Royal Caribbean will debut new Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship sailing from Israel

In:
01Mar2021

We now know which Royal Caribbean cruise ship will be the next to sail again, and it will be the newest ship in the fleet.

Odyssey of the Seas will join Royal Caribbean's fleet and offer her very first sailings from Israel in May 2021.

Royal Caribbean announced Israelis can sail on 3- to 7-night sailings departing from Haifa, Israel to the Greek islands and Cyprus. 

At this time, only Israeli residents living in Israel and who are vaccinated will be able to sail.

The new sailings will go on sale on Tuesday, March 9.

In addition, both guests and crew members above the age of 16 will be required to to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Royal Caribbean says more details on additional health and safety measures to be implemented will be announced at a later date.

"We are thrilled to debut Royal Caribbean cruises from Israel with our newest and most innovative ship, Odyssey of the Seas. Israeli travelers will be looking to get away, relax with total peace of mind, and enjoy the travel experiences they are missing dearly; and that is what we do best," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Sailing from Israel is an opportunity we have had our sights on for quite some time. We greatly appreciate the government of Israel for their collaboration and confidence in us to deliver memorable cruise experiences to their residents, and look forward to delivering on that promise aboard our newest ship – the first 'Green Island' at sea." 

Royal Caribbean's announcement of Odyssey sailing from Israel comes a week after cruise line executives dropped a major hint the next ship to restart cruises would likely restart outside the United States.

According to Israeli travel agents, here are some of the sailings:

  • 3 night seas days  only 4-June, 11 June
  • 4 night seas days only  7-June
  • 4 nights Haifa ,Limassol , Rhodes , Haifa 28-June
  • 4 nights Haifa, Rhodes , Mikonos ,Haifa 14-June, 12-Jul, 27-Aug , 5-Sep , 9-Sep, 13-Sep , 22-Sep, 26-Sep
  • 5 nights Haifa, Rhodes , Athens, Mikonos, Haifa 18-June , 2-Jul
  • 5 nights Haifa, Athens  ,Mikonos, Haifa 23-June 17-Sep
  • 5 nights Haifa , Rhodes, Santorini Athens, Haifa 7-Jul , 31-Aug
  • 7 nights Haifa, Limassol , Athens , Santorini , Mikonos , Haifa  16,23,30 – Jul  6,13,20 Aug

Cancelled European season

As a result of the redeployment, previously scheduled Odyssey of the Seas sailings in Europe are cancelled.

Royal Caribbean issued this statement about making the change, "The current situation throughout Europe is still uncertain, and Israel has been praised for their effective COVID-19 management by global experts and communities, and thus is well-placed to resume cruise operations."

Guests currently confirmed on an impacted European cruise departing May 9 — October 28, 2021 will have the option to request a refund of the funds paid or leverage Lift & Shift to move to any 2022 sailing of their choice; otherwise, a 125% Future Cruise Credit (FCC) will be automatically administered.

A special $100 Onboard Credit per stateroom will be issued to those guests selecting a Future Cruise Credit or the Lift & Shift option. 

Hint of this news

During Royal Caribbean's fourth quarter earnings call, Chief Financial Officer Jason Liberty told investors a second ship could sail outside of the U.S. soon, "We are already operating Quantum of the Seas in Singapore, and our second ship in the water could also be outside of the US."

Jason Liberty told investors during the call his company is working with governments around the world about opening back up, "With regards to ship starting in Australia or China or Europe or elsewhere, for example, we literally are in discussions globally around the world with different governments and looking at where they are with COVID and vaccines, et cetera, et cetera."

"I think the point is that there's a lot of opportunity that's starting to open up globally in terms of what's occurring with COVID. And so we are in discussions around the world."

Odyssey of the Seas just completed her conveyance, marking a major milestone in her construction.

Odyssey of the Seas comes in at 169,000 GT and measures a length of 347.1 meters, and has a capacity of more than 5,000 passengers.

She is scheduled to come to the United States for her North American debut in November 2021, where she will sail from Port Everglades.

First look at Odyssey of the Seas conveyance

In:
27Feb2021

Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship is on the move!

Odyssey of the Seas began her conveyance to the North Sea early on Saturday morning to delight of many cruise fans.

The ship began her slow journey down the Ems River in Germany, and local photographers have begun sharing photos.

Photos by Jeroen Houtman

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Marga has also been sharing photos from the conveyance on our forums.

Odyssey of the Seas is moving backwards down the Ems River on her way to Eemshaven, Netherlands.

The river has been cleared of obstacles and other traffic to make way for the massive new cruise ship.

Once Odyssey of the Seas reaches Eemshaven, she will begin her sea trials in the North Sea to test out the ship's functionality and ensure all systems are working properly.

Odyssey of the Seas scheduled for conveyance on February 27

In:
26Feb2021

It now appears Odyssey of the Seas will begin her journey to the sea this weekend.

A public notice for sailors in Germany confirms a series of closures to facilitate the transfer of Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship from her shipyard in Papenburg to the North Sea.

The conveyance will take place on the Ems River beginning at 4am on February 27, 2021. The ship is expected to pass through the Gandersum Ems barrier on February 28, 2021 at around 00:30 a.m.

A conveyance is the process of moving a cruise ship from an inland shipyard to a coastal port.

According to the waterway and shipping administration, the Ems will be dammed from Friday noon to Sunday. Damming the river will raise the water level between Papenburg and Gandersum to assist with the movement.

Neither Meyer Werft nor Royal Caribbean has publicly commented on the conveyance, but it is believed Meyer Werft does not want to make a big deal about the event in order to prevent crowds gathering as the ship passes by.

How Odyssey of the Seas will get to the sea

The journey to the sea for Odyssey of the Seas is a mix of engineering, science, and a lot of coordination.

Two tugs will take Odyssey in reverse up the river Ems to the North Sea. 

Schedule: February 27, 2021

Approx. 04:00 a.m.: ship passage begins (Papenburg)
Approx. 12:00 p.m.: ship passes the Jann Berghaus bridge (Leer)
Approx.  00:30 a.m.: arrival at the river Ems barrier (Gandersum)

After completing technical and nautical sea trials on the North Sea, the ship will be handed over to Royal Caribbean in April.

Odyssey of the Seas comes in at 169,000 GT and measures a length of 347.1 meters, and has a capacity of more than 5,000 passengers.

When she joins the fleet, Odyssey of the Seas will be the fifth cruise ship in the Quantum/Quantum Ultra Class to be built at Meyer Werft.

Odyssey of the Seas construction photo update - February 23, 2021

In:
23Feb2021

There is a new photo of Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship for all of us to enjoy.

The Meyer Werft shipyard shared a new webcam photo of Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship, Odyssey of the Seas.

There was a flurry of activity over the weekend as the ship was moved away from the pier, and her lifeboats were tested. 

This is likely a sign that Odyssey of the Seas is being prepared for her journey down the Ems River, which is known as her conveyance.

Read moreOdyssey of the Seas should begin her conveyance soon

The movement of Odyssey of the Seas away from the pier also gave cruise ship photographer Björn Haß the opportunity to give us a closer look at some of the ship's signature features.

Photos by Björn Haß

After her conveyance, the ship will conduct sea trials.

Odyssey of the Seas will be among the largest cruise ships in the world when she launches, but she will not claim the title of the largest.

The 169,000 GT cruise liner has an overall length of 347.1 meters, is 41.4 meters wide and can accommodate more than 5000 passengers.

This means she is smaller than the Oasis Class cruise ships, which currently hold the title for the largest in the world.

Read moreWhat Is the Biggest Royal Caribbean ship?

Royal Caribbean Group confirmed in its business update yesterday that Odyssey of the Seas will be delivered in the first quarter of 2021, although no specific date has been announced.

Due to the global health crisis, it is likely the handover ceremony will be a virtual one. Royal Caribbean Group held a virtual delivery of Celebrity Apex when it was delivered.

More information

Odyssey of the Seas should begin her conveyance soon

In:
20Feb2021

Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship looks to be close to taking her next big step forward to joining the fleet.

Based on activity at the Meyer Werft shipyard, Odyssey of the Seas is being prepared to begin her river conveyance.

Cruise ship observers near the shipyard have noticed Odyssey has been moved away from the pier so that all lifeboats can be lowered and tested.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader twangster also noted tide tables and notices of dam closures along the Ems River point to Odyssey of the Seas making the trip down the river towards the sea on the 27th of February.

In order to have a succesful conveyance, wind speeds must be 20 knots or less and a full or new moon present.

Neither Meyer Werft nor Royal Caribbean has announced or confirmed when the conveyance may take place. It is believed the conveyance will not be as grand a spectacle as it usually is in order to avoid crowd gatherings along the Ems River during the global health crisis.

Ever since being floated out in November 2020, Odyssey has been docked outside of the construction hall where she was assembled.  

Read moreWhy are new cruise ships still being built?

What is a conveyance?

The conveyance is a planned move of the cruise ship from the shipyard to the North Sea.

Meyer Werft shipyard is in Papenburg, Germany, which is considerably inland from open ocean. Meyer Werft was built inland to avoid the impact of storms in the North Sea, and has been sailing ships down the Ems since 1795.

As a result, Odyssey of the Seas will be taken slowly down the 32 kilometer journey during a coordinated move that coincides with high tide.

The conveyance has to occur when the tides are just right so that there is more water below the hull.  In addition, certain dams will be closed to increase the safety buffer.

In some places, there are only a few centimeters of clearance on either side of the ship as it travels from the shipyard to the channel.

Two tugboats on required to guide the ship, and the ship will move at approximately 2-3 knots down the river.

A total of 4 bridges are either opened or removed and power us cutoff to power lines at 3 locations causing them to shrink and rise up so the ship can pass with as little clearance as 1.8 meters.

Odyssey of the Seas will traverse her conveyance backwards down the river in order to optimize control. Going backwards protects the azipods and propellers since the rear of the ship stays in the center of the river when maneuvering in reverse.

It takes about 10 hours to complete the conveyance, although the time will vary based on a variety of conditions.

Each of the Quantum Class ships that came before Odyssey of the Seas have been successfully moved down the river during their conveyance. In most years, the conveyance is as much a celebration as a technical maneuver.

In fact, the Quantum Class ships are one of the largest cruise ships to leave Meyer Werft and travel through the Ems River.

Once the conveyance is complete, sea trials will likely commence, followed by handover of the cruise ship to Royal Caribbean.

No delivery date has been announced yet, other than to expect it in Spring 2021.

Odyssey of the Seas construction photo update - February 16, 2021

In:
16Feb2021

A new week means a new photo of Royal Caribbean's next cruise ship to join the fleet.

Every week, Meyer Werft shipyard releases a new webcam photo of Odyssey of the Seas under construction.

Here is a look at this week's photo and last week's photo to give you a sense of if anything has changed.

February 15 photo 

February 8 photo

Odyssey of the Seas is outdoors so that she can receive additional features that cannot be installed while the ship was in the hall during initial construction.

The webcam photos give us a regular look at the progress being made, but webcam photos never look as good as a photo from a talented photographer with good equipment.

Björn Haß shared some new photos as well of Odyssey of the Seas, as well a look at the snow that fell around the shipyard.

Photos by Björn Haß

Odyssey of the Seas comes in at 169,000 GT and measures a length of 347.1 meters, and has a capacity of more than 5,000 passengers.

When she joins the fleet, Odyssey of the Seas will be the fifth cruise ship in the Quantum/Quantum Ultra Class to be built at Meyer Werft.

The next step for Odyssey is her conveyance down the Ems River to begin her sea trials. It has not been announced yet when that will take place.

Odyssey of the Seas will enter service with cruises from Europe in summer 2021 before heading to Port Everglades, Florida to sail the Caribbean in winter 2021.

Odyssey of the Seas construction photo update - February 8, 2021

In:
08Feb2021

We have a new update to share of Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship, Odyssey of the Seas.

The Meyer Werft shipyard released a new photo of Odyssey of the Seas at her outdoor dock, with plenty of snow seen around the ship.

Meyer Werft posts a new photo about once a week to give the public a look at the general progress being made.

In addition to a photo of the ship, we also have a look at progress inside.

The roboscreens were delivered and installed in Two70 aboard the ship.

Royal Caribbean International Vice President of Entertainment Nick Weir shared photos of the giant 36-axis robotic video screens on Twitter.

Mr. Weir indicated that the screens are installed and activated, and they are ready for the new shows planned for the venue.

Read moreNew show announced for Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas

Roboscreens are what Royal Caribbean calls the six 100” video screens attached to six industrial robots, developed by ABB RoboScreens.

A RoboScreen is a graphical screen mounted to the arm of an ABB articulated arm robot, which creates a unique viewer experience by bringing virtually unlimited, 6-axis movement to the video media. Available in various sizes, the Two70° RoboScreens feature six ABB IRB 6620 robots, each holding a 100” diagonal Daktronics LED screen.

On Royal Caribbean's Quantum-class ships, the RoboScreens are stored in the ceiling when not in use but during shows in Two70, the RoboScreens extend down on the gantry to a position above the stage, displaying unique video and imagery while performing choreographed movements, all custom produced for the specific performance.  

On the Quantum-class, the RoboScreens will periodically assemble in various formations, such as six screens in a row to form one continuous, long screen; a three by two stack to form one big square screen; or a serpentine row, much like a ‘W’ and a ‘V’ strung together.

Once complete, Odyssey of the Seas will join Royal Caribbean's fleet as the second Quantum Ultra class cruise ship and split her time between Europe and North America.

Odyssey will feature a number of firsts onboard, including the first Quantum Class ship with Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, a Playmakers Bar location in the SeaPlex, a revamped Adventure Ocean and two-level pool deck.

Odyssey of the Seas construction photo update - February 1, 2021

In:
01Feb2021

There is a new photo of Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship for all of us to look at.

The Meyer Werft shipyard shared a new webcam photo of Odyssey of the Seas docked next to the construction hall.

It has been a little over two months since Odyssey of the Seas was floated out to the harbor, where she has been moored ever since to receive new features installed outdoors.

When she launches, Odyssey will be second Quantum Ultra Class cruise ship.

When will Odyssey of the Seas begin sailing?

Odyssey of the Seas was originally to launch in 2020, but the global health crisis pushed that back by a year.

Then she was to begin sailings in April, but Royal Caribbean cancelled its April 2021 cruises.

As of now, her first sailing is scheduled for May 9, 2021 from Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, where she will sail a 12-night cruise to Greece, Turkey and Israel.

How many passengers will Odyssey of the Seas have?

Odyssey of the Seas will be among the largest cruise ships in the world when she launches, but she will not claim the title of the largest.

The 169,000 GT cruise liner has an overall length of 347.1 meters, is 41.4 meters wide and can accommodate more than 5000 passengers.

This means she is smaller than the Oasis Class cruise ships, which currently hold the title for the largest in the world.

Read moreWhat Is the Biggest Royal Caribbean ship?

When will Odyssey of the Seas be delivered?

Delivery of the cruise ship from the Meyer Werft shipyard to Royal Caribbean is unknown, but will occur sometime in spring 2021.

Before the ship can be delivered, she needs to be moved from the inland shipyard to the North Sea.  This will occur via her conveyance down the Ems River.

After that, the ship will undergo sea trials to test that the systems onboard work.

At that point, a delivery date will be scheduled.

More information

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