We look at some of the finer details behind the deal to build the third Oasis-class ship
The Oasis-class is the
cruise ship class ever
Royal Caribbean has had nothing but unprecedented success with every facet of the Oasis-class project - except one; getting the money to build these ships. The Oasis-class ships, at 225,282-gross tons, are by far the largest and most costly cruise ships in history. The first one came in at roughly $1.4-Billion. The first ship in a class is by definition the most expensive since it includes design and other unforeseen cost overruns.
Both Oasis and Allure of the Seas were built at the Finnish shipbuilder STX Europe, in Turku Finland.
#1 Oasis was ordered in November of 2007 and construction commenced immediately. It was delivered in October of 2009. Much like cars, shipyards do not receive payment for the ship until the vessel is delivered to the end user.
Interesting article. I am surprised that the Allure, didn't have these issues, at the time being deep in our financial mess. Although I would love to cruise this class ship, the higher pricing has always kept me away.
As an aside, I work in a very wealthy town, with very old money, and, I can tell you first hand, the purse strings are not being opened that freely. Many are waiting to hear of what is to come in the New Year.
Royal Caribbean has loyal fans who will be disappointed to hear of the delay,and will be ready to book when reservations open, but, I honestly think a slow down in general new builds would be a good move.
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If Meyer-Werft ended up with the contract I foresee several problems. STX has the build experience for Oasis-class, plus any proprietary construction tooling/methods involved. This means that M-F would not have the benefit of the construction efficiencies STX would have and thus the 3rd ship could cost more to build. Now, I imagine STX could have a sub-contractor relationship through Meyer-Werft, and thus have a hand in it at least from an engineering support aspect, but again that would come at a price.
There is a reason all U.S. Navy aircraft carriers are built solely by Newport News Shipbuilding (or whatever they call themselves today...I think it is Grumman something).
It's too big to build in Papenburg. Maybe Chantiers in France where they built Epic. (That was also and STX shipyard as I recall)
Anyway, the reason Allure and Oasis didn't have these problems was because they were already well under construction before the banking crisis hit. but now getting credit is a whole different story - so they are not starting the ship until the credit is secure.
Anyway, I am sure RCI will get the money of they really want it, but it now becomes a question of "how much are interest are we willing to pay for the money?"
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.