Record-Breaking Cruise Ships

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Royal Caribbean

In retrospect, this decade may be known as a renaissance for cruise ship design. In an ongoing effort to lure more passengers to their hulls, cruise lines are racing into uncharted waters on a quest for bigger and better ships. In September 2009, Carnival unveiled its largest ship to date -- the 3,652-passenger Carnival Dream, and in the next two years cruise lines ranging from Norwegian to Disney will be debuting vessels, each more spectacular than the last.
http://xml.channel.aol.com/xmlpublisher/fetch.v2.xml?option=expand_relative_urls&dataUrlNodes=uiConfig,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=860576&pid=860575&uts=1269627796
http://www.aolcdn.com/ke/media_gallery/v1/ke_media_gallery_wrapper.swf

Record-Breaking Cruise Ships

In retrospect, this decade may be known as a renaissance for cruise ship design. In an ongoing effort to lure more passengers to their hulls, cruise lines are racing into uncharted waters on a quest for bigger and better ships. In September 2009, Carnival unveiled its largest ship to date -- the 3,652-passenger Carnival Dream, and in the next two years cruise lines ranging from Norwegian to Disney will be debuting vessels, each more spectacular than the last.

The mother of all ships, however, is Royal Caribbean's revolutionary, new, 16-deck ship the Oasis of the Seas, which sets the record as both the largest and most expensive cruise ship ever built.

Want to find out which other ships are taking the industry by storm? Keep reading -- we cover everything from the world's most expensive cruise (book it for $58,025) to the world's first seaborne water coaster.

Record-Breaking Cruise Ships

Completed as of October 28, 2009 and costing $1.4 billion dollars, Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas will begin sailing from her home port of Fort Lauderdale on December 1st, 2009. This behemoth, 5,400 passenger ship is the first of Royal Caribbean's Genesis-class ships. Measuring in at 1,181 feet, the Oasis is a colossal feat of maritime engineering. The ship features an outdoor promenade, the 750-person outdoor AquaTheatre on the ship's stern for acrobatic diving shows, and a neighborhood-styled layout of restaurants, shops, and attractions. Other remarkable highlights of this floating city include a sloped-entry beach pool, surf simulators, a cupcake shop, a park-like garden of natural trees and plants, and evening performances of the Broadway musical "Hairspray".

Record-Breaking Cruise Ships

The Doulos is recognized by the "Guinness Book of World Records" as the world's oldest active ocean-going passenger ship. The Doulos' storied career as a merchant vessel has included everything from hosting cruises, freighting goods, and transporting emigrants. The ship's name has changed approximately four times since her construction in 1914. Over 20-million visitors are estimated to have boarded the vessel in over 500 different ports of call. Currently the ship is known as "the world's largest floating book fair" and travels the globe promoting literacy and greater inter-cultural awareness and understanding.

Record-Breaking Cruise Ships

With a maximum speed just under 35 miles per hour, Iberojet's Grand Voyager minimizes travel time between ports and maximizes passenger's shore time at destinations. The ship's speed is partially thanks to the ship's streamlined mono hull design. The vessel was also the first ship to offer weekly cruises to three continents (Europe, Africa and Asia), a cruise industry first. The Voyager's sister ship, the M.V. Explorer, is used by the Institute of Shipboard Education's to shuttle college students around the world for the University of Virginia's Semester-at-Sea study abroad program.

Record-Breaking Cruise Ships

With a price tag starting at $58,025 dollars, Regent's 108-night cruise is, hands-down, the world's most expensive cruise. The Seven Seas Voyager takes passengers on a five continent journey from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Cape Town, South Africa. There are no inside cabins on the Seven Seas Voyager, so every passenger suite is equipped with a sea view balcony. The ship's luxurious amenities include butler service in some suites, a spa, a paddle tennis court, a large heated pool, and an elegant French restaurant operated by the venerable Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute of Paris. There is no question, however, that the marquee attraction is the ship's extensive itinerary, which includes over 45 ports-of-call. The once-in-a-lifetime journey includes a passage through the Panama Canal, extensive stays in French Polynesia, Indonesia, and Australia, and stops in major Asian cities like Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Bangkok, and Ho Chi Minh City.

Record-Breaking Cruise Ships

The cruise industry is trying to go green by reducing carbon emissions, eliminating shipboard waste, reinvesting in alternate energy sources, according to an October 2nd report in the Matter Network. While it's difficult to pinpoint only one cruise ship as the "most eco-friendly," Lindblad Expeditions certainly leads the way with eco-sensitive cruises to the world's most pristine and inspiring places. Lindblad Expeditions partnered with National Geographic in 2004 to collaborate on exploration, research, and environmental conservation. Founded in the late 1950's by Lars-Eric Lindblad, the father of "eco-tourism," Lindblad's fleet of small expedition ships of 30-148 guests navigate to Antarctica, the Scandinavian Arctic, the Galapagos Islands, and Egypt. The on board chefs showcase the regional cuisine of cruise destinations with menus featuring locally grown produce and sustainably harvested seafood. Lindblad also donates funds to focus on conservation efforts in fragile habitats.

Record-Breaking Cruise Ships

Although the Disney Dream isn't scheduled to debut for another two years (construction began in March 2009), the ship is already garnering significant buzz for its technologically advanced features. The ship's 150 inner cabins will have "virtual portholes" that provide a view outside the ship courtesy of a high-definition, real-time video feed. Another touch of Disney magic will be found in the ship's two main youth areas, where children can individually chat and interact with Disney characters on large screens. The hallways of the ship will be decorated with LCD televisions that screen art of Disney characters -- if you see them moving as you walk by you're not going crazy -- they animate via motion sensor as passengers pass by. The Disney Dream will also feature a cruise amusement milestone with the AquaDuck, the industry's first ship-board water coaster. The 765-foot flume ride will take passengers on a high-speed journey through water jets, thrilling plunges, and translucent tubes that overlook the ocean waves 150 feet below.

Record-Breaking Cruise Ships


Read Full Story

From Our Partners