The world’s largest cruise ship will be here sooner than you think.
Royal Caribbean has moved up the first sailing of its much-awaited, 230,000-ton Symphony of the Seasby three weeks, saying construction of the vessel is progressing at a faster pace than expected.
Symphony now will debut on March 31 with a five-night voyage out of Barcelona, Spain to Italy. Two seven-night cruises from Barcelona to Italy and France departing on April 7 and 14 also have been added to the ship’s schedule.
Symphony originally was scheduled to sail its inaugural voyage on April 21.
Designed to hold more than 6,000 passengers and featuring dozens of lounges, bars and restaurants as well as an array of deck-top amusements, Symphony has been under construction for more than a year at the giant STX France shipbuilding facility in St. Nazaire, France. The massive ship was floated out from a dry dock at the shipyard in June, a construction milestone that marked the end of basic exterior work. It is now undergoing months of finishing work to its interior.
Symphony will be more than 3,000 tons bigger than the current size leader in the cruise world, Royal Caribbean’s 226,963-ton Harmony of the Seas.
Like Harmony, Symphony will be part of Royal Caribbean’s record-breaking Oasis Class of ships, though it won’t be an exact copy of its sisters. Royal Caribbean says Symphony will have more cabins than its sisters including a first-of-its-kind, two-deck-high family suite with a slide between floors, as well as other new features.
Behold the largest cruise ship ever built, Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas. USA TODAY
Symphony is scheduled to sail to the Caribbean out of Miami starting in November 2018. It’ll move to the city after spending its first few months operating voyages in the Mediterranean.
Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class vessels have made waves in the cruise industry since they began debuting in 2009. All three of the Oasis Class ships currently at sea are in excess of 225,000 tons — more than 30% larger than the next largest cruise ships.
With the arrival of Symphony, Royal Caribbean will have 25 vessels.