RCCL: Yes on Ultra Voyager, no on Radiance

By Rebecca Tobin

MIAMI -- Royal Caribbean Cruises placed its order for what will become the largest cruise ship in the world.

The Ultra Voyager will be 160,000-plus tons and carry 3,600 passengers in lower berths, which makes it 15% larger or, in RCCL's words, "an even larger model" of the world's largest ship class, the Voyager series.

The Ultra Voyager will be built by Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Finland and will be delivered in May 2006.

The line estimated ship costs at just more than $200,000 per guest berth.

Meanwhile, the Ultra could be the first of at least two: the yard also granted the company an option for a second Ultra Voyager, with delivery in 2007.

In other developments, the Jewel of the Seas will be RCCL's final 2,110-passenger Radiance-class ship -- at least for now -- when it is delivered in 2004.

RCCL said it will not exercise its two long-standing options for fifth and sixth Radiance-class ships.


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