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Around the world in 274 days

article picture: Around the world in 274 days

In days gone by, Jules Verne’s literary heroes managed to travel around the globe in 80 days. To celebrate the end of the pandemic (hopefully, at least) in 2023, the cruise line Royal Caribbean intends to break the record in a different way, offering a 9-month around-theworld luxury cruise. Finland will be one of the countries along the itinerary.

The global Covid-19 pandemic is bad news for everybody’s business and health. It has proved to be particularly problematic for cruise lines.

Cruises have been cancelled worldwide for lengthy periods of time. In some cases, inaugural sailings of new cruise ships have been delayed after crew members have shown symptoms of the disease.

Among other cruise lines, Royal Caribbean International volunteered to pause operations on account of the pandemic, in the first instance until mid-September 2020. Several further pauses followed as the pandemic raged on. In January 2021, only one of the company’s ships was sailing. Another one resumed service in July.

Still, Royal Caribbean – the proud operator of the four largest passenger ships in the world, with also 20 other cruise ships in the fleet plus six additional ships on order – is not giving up. The company is already planning a highly impressive comeback.

A History Of Huge Ships

Royal Caribbean International was founded in 1968 as Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. The founders were three Norwegian shipping companies: Anders Wilhelmsen & In days gone by, Jules Verne’s literary heroes managed to travel around the globe in 80 days. To celebrate the end of the pandemic (hopefully, at least) in 2023, the cruise line Royal Caribbean intends to break the record in a different way, offering a 9-month around-theworld luxury cruise. Finland will be one of the countries along the itinerary. Company, I.M. Skaugen & Company, and Gotaas Larsen.

Since 1997, the cruise line is a whollyowned subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Group and is based in Miami in the United States. Known as the world’s largest cruise line by revenue and second largest by the number of passengers, Royal Caribbean is also a partial owner of some other cruise lines, such as TUI Cruises.

Royal Caribbean has a long common history with the Finnish maritime industries. The Wärtsilä shipyard in Helsinki built the company’s first cruise ship M/S Song of Norway in 1970. She became the world’s first Caribbean cruiser.

Even later on, the Finnish shipyards in Helsinki and Turku have built a large number of giant cruise ships for Royal Caribbean. Amongst them are the five Voyagerclass cruise ships designed to carry more than 3,000 passengers.

At the time of construction, they were the largest ships of their kind in the world. But even larger-sized luxury cruise ships followed.

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships are the largest passenger ships ever built, with a maximum capacity of 6,296 passengers. The first two were built at STX Europe’s Turku shipyard in Finland in 2009 and 2010, while the third and fourth ships in the class were later built at Saint-Nazaire shipyard on the Brittany coast of France.

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Ultimate Cruising

One particularly noteworthy Royal Caribbean’s cruise ship right now is the Serenade of the Seas, a Radiance-class ship built at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. She was completed in 2003.

Serenade of the Seas is a gas-turbine vessel, yielding higher efficient speeds than other types of cruise ships and lower emissions than diesel-powered cruise ships. The two gas turbines are each able to produce up to 25.25 MW of power, giving the ship a regular cruising speed of 25 knots.

The ship’s length is 293.2 metres. With a capacity of 2,476 passengers and 891 crew members, the ship is equipped with 12 passenger decks and nine passenger elevators.

In October 2021, Royal Caribbean announced that Serenade of the Seas will sail a 274-day itinerary around the world, starting in late 2023. It is the longest cruise offered by any cruise line, named the Ultimate World Cruise.

In the years before the pandemic, around-the-world cruises used to be quite popular, but their duration was generally only around five months.

In Search Of Lost Time

The Serenade of the Seas is scheduled to depart from Miami on 10 December 2023. According to a statement by Royal Caribbean’s CEO Michael Bayley, the special voyage has been planned to help people regain some of the cruising time that was lost during the pandemic.

First, the ship will set course for the Caribbean, then she will proceed to sail around South America. In the course of her voyage, the ship will visit all continents and a total of 65 countries, including Brazil, Australia, China, India, Egypt, and Morocco.

The voyage will be divided into four sections, so that passengers can select individual sections or the whole package. Ticket prices range from US$ 61,000 to US$ 112,000 (56,000 € to 96,000 €).

The port of Helsinki in Finland will be visited as one of the final destinations of the cruise. If you happen to be on board, be sure to visit the White City of the North!

by: Ari Mononen
photos: Pixabay

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