|Richard Fain (right) and Bernard Meyer at the handover of Quantum of the Seas|
The most eagerly awaited new cruise ship of the year has been handed over by its builders and will soon be arriving in the UK.
Royal Caribbean chairman and CEO Richard Fain took delivery of Quantum of the Seas from Bernard Meyer, the managing partner of Germany’s Meyer-Werft shipyard. With Capt Srecko “Felix” Ban at the helm, the ship is heading for Southampton. After a weekend being shown off to media and trade partners from around the world, the ship will welcome its first paying guests on Sunday before setting out to cross the Atlantic to its home port In New Jersey.
The ship, carrying 4,180 passengers, will sail from New York harbour to the Bahamas and the Caribbean throughout the winter; next May it will relocate to Shanghai, China. Sister ship Anthem of the Seas, currently under construction at Meyer-Werft, will debut in Southampton in April 2015 and spend the summer cruising to the Mediterranean.
The ships are among the most technically-advanced in the world, with a micro-bubble air “lubrication” system claimed to make their passage through the water more efficient. They also have advanced internet capability with 500 times more bandwidth than any other cruise ship.
Visibly spectacular are Quantum’s Ripcord by iFLY sky-diving simulator, the NorthStar observation pod – looking like a capsule from the London Eye on a giant arm – and the world’s first dodgem cars at sea.
Passengers can expect to be served cocktails by a pair of robot bartenders, and inside cabins have wall-sized flat screens creating “virtual balconies” by showing real-time pictures of the view outside the ship.
World of Cruising editor John Honeywell will be among the guests aboard Quantum this weekend. Check out this blog and our Facebook page for updates.