Royal Caribbean’s has been forced to delay the debut of the world’s largest ship, Wonder of the Seas, which had been scheduled to sail from Shanghai, China in 2021.
The company did not announce a new date for the ship’s delivery and debut, saying only that: “We look forward to the arrival of Wonder of the Seas after the epidemic has been brought under control.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented impact on the global cruise ship industry and the construction of the new Wonder of the Seas was delayed due to the impact of it in shipyard operations,” Royal Caribbean Cruises Asia said in a statement.
Work delayed due to coronavirus
Work on the ship at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France was delayed after the shipyard was forced to suspend construction earlier this year due to the coronavirus. Work resumed in late April, at which time neither the shipyard nor Royal Caribbean made any statement on a possible delay in delivery.
Dr. Zinan Liu, Chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises Asia said Royal Caribbean believes that the fundamentals of the Chinese economy have not changed because of the pandemic and that the cruise market in the country would not be affected in the long term.
“After the public health risks are controlled, people will pursue socialization. The instincts of reunion and leisure will not change and may even be strengthened,” he said.
Overtaking Symphony of the Seas as world’s largest cruise ship
Wonder of the Seas, which will overtake Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas as the world’s largest cruise ship, is to be the first Oasis class ship to sail the Asia-Pacific market.
“Wonder of the Seas will redefine the ultimate vacation and be revolutionary in her own right, and she marks one of Royal Caribbean’s most exciting chapters to come,” the company said in a release when it named the Wonder of the Seas and announced Shanghai as its home port in late 2019.