Symphony of the Seas

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Symphony of the Seas
Symphony of the Seas at PortMiami
NameSymphony of the Seas
OwnerRoyal Caribbean Group
Operator Royal Caribbean International
Port of registryNassau,  Bahamas
Ordered9 May 2014[4]
BuilderChantiers de l'Atlantique, Saint-Nazaire, France
CostUS$1.35 billion (2016)
Yard numberB34[1]
Laid down29 October 2015[1][5]
Launched9 June 2017 (float-out)[2]
Sponsored byCarlos, Alexa, and Ocean PenaVega
Completed23 March 2018[1]
Acquired23 March 2018[3]
Maiden voyage7 April 2018[6]
In service2018–present[3]
StatusIn service
General characteristics
Class and typeOasis-class cruise ship
Length361.8 m (1,187 ft 0 in)[1]
  • 47.448 m (155 ft 8.0 in) waterline[1]
  • 66 m (215.5 ft) max beam[6]
Height72.5 m (238 ft)[7]
Draught9.322 m (30 ft 7.0 in)[1]
Installed power
  • 4 × 14.4 MW (19,300 hp) Wärtsilä 12V46F
  • 2 × 19.2 MW (25,700 hp) Wärtsilä 16V46F
Speed22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph) cruising[6]
  • 5,518 passengers at double occupancy[6]
  • 6,680 passengers maximum[6]
NotesWorld's largest cruise ship from March 2018–January 2022

Symphony of the Seas is an Oasis-class cruise ship owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International.[8] She was built in 2018 in the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France,[9] the fourth in Royal Caribbean's Oasis class of cruise ships.[10] At 228,081 GT, she was the largest cruise ship in the world by gross tonnage when built, surpassing her sister ship Harmony of the Seas, also owned by Royal Caribbean International, and surpassed by her sister ship Wonder of the Seas in 2022.[11]

Description and design[edit]

Symphony of the Seas in Costa Maya, Mexico.

Symphony of the Seas measures 361.011 metres (1,184 ft 5.0 in) in length and has a gross tonnage of 228,081 across 18 decks.[1] She can accommodate 5,518 passengers at double occupancy up to a maximum capacity of 6,680 passengers, as well as a 2,200-person crew.[6] There are 16 decks for guest use, 22 restaurants, 4 pools and 2,759 cabins.[12]

Symphony of the Seas is about 30 metres (98 feet) longer than the largest military ships ever built, the U.S. Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.[13]

Facilities include a children's water park, a full-size basketball court, an ice-skating rink, a zip line that is 10 decks high, a 1,400-seat theater, an outdoor aquatic theater with Olympic-height platforms, and two 43-foot (13 m) rock-climbing walls.[14][15][16][17][18] There is also a park containing over 20,000 tropical plants.[19]

Symphony of the Seas is powered onboard by six marine-diesel sets each composed of three 16-cylinder Wärtsilä 16V46D common rail engines and three 12-cylinder Wärtsilä 12V46D engines.[20]

The energy-efficient design of Symphony of the Seas requires less shipboard power generation, with 85 MW versus the 100 MW normally found on Oasis class ships.[21] One of the key design features is the use of only LED or fluorescent lights in order to avoid the heat generation from incandescent bulbs, thereby reducing the load on air conditioning systems.[21]

Additional energy efficiency is accomplished by using a 2 MW steam turbine to recover waste heat from the engines and converting it into energy to power a portion of the onboard hotel load.[22]

For propulsion, Symphony of the Seas uses three 20 MW azipod main engines, which are electric thrusters. These engines are mounted under the stern of the ship and they each drive 20 foot wide rotatable propellers. In addition to the three main engines, there are four bow thrusters used for docking, each with 5.5 MW of power or 7,380 horsepower.[20]

Among the Oasis-class ships, Symphony of the Seas uses 25% less fuel due to design changes. One of these is the implementation of a new system that releases tiny air bubbles under the hull to enable the vessel to glide more smoothly through the water.[23] The air layer also reduces excitation from the propellers, which cuts noise and vibration levels in the aft part of the ship.[24]

Construction and career[edit]

On 29 October 2015, the vessel's keel was laid by the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.[5] Symphony of the Seas floated out on 9 June 2017.[25] Actors Alexa Vega and Carlos Pena Jr., and their 23-month-old son Ocean were chosen as the "Godfamily" of the ship, marking the first time in the industry that a family was a ship sponsor.[26] The christening ceremony took place in Miami in November 2018.[27]

Symphony of the Seas at Saint-Nazaire after her completion.

From 15 to 18 February 2018, the cruise ship underwent sea trials[28] and was formally turned over to Royal Caribbean International on 23 March.[7] On 24 March, the ship left Saint-Nazaire for Málaga[29] under the command of Rob Hempstead, arriving on 27 March,[30][31] and arrived at the vessel's first homeport of Barcelona, Spain on 29 March.[31]

Symphony of the Seas in Naples, Italy

On 31 March 2018, Symphony of the Seas offered her first passenger cruise[3] and began her maiden voyage on 7 April for a week-long trip through the Mediterranean.[32][33]

During her first season, Symphony of the Seas continued to sail on seven-night Western Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona. She repositioned on 28 October and arrived on 9 November at her new home port at the Royal Caribbean terminal at PortMiami in Florida, United States to provide cruises of the Caribbean.[34][35]

In January 2019, while the ship was docked in Nassau, Bahamas, a guest jumped overboard as part of a stunt and survived.[36][37] He and his friends were turned over to law enforcement but were not charged, and they were required to return home at their own expense.[38] Subsequently, Royal Caribbean announced that it would permanently ban the guests from sailing on any of its ships.

In August 2019, an Australian passenger died after going overboard during a seven-day cruise of the Caribbean. His body was recovered shortly afterwards by the ship's officials.[39][40]

During the COVID-19 pandemic on cruise ships, Royal Caribbean suspended all services across most of its fleet, including Symphony of the Seas.[41][42] A 27-year old crew member from the housekeeping department was medically evacuated in March 2020 and subsequently died from COVID-19 in April 2020.[43][44] The family later sued Royal Caribbean for wrongful death.[43]

In 2020, Channel 4 in the United Kingdom aired a behind-the-scenes show featuring Symphony of the Seas called Billion Pound Cruise.[45] The three-part series was filmed at the end of 2019 and covers the on-board experiences.[46][47]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Symphony of the Seas (34719)". Vessel Register for DNV. DNV. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  2. ^ Groizeleau, Vincent (9 June 2017). "Saint-Nazaire met à l'eau le Symphony of the Seas". Mer et Marine. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Sloan, Gene (23 March 2018). "Royal Caribbean takes delivery of Symphony of the Seas, world's largest cruise ship". USA Today. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Royal Caribbean Orders Fourth Oasis-Class Vessel" (Press release). Royal Caribbean. PR Newswire. 9 May 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Royal Caribbean International Lays Keel for Oasis No. 4". World Maritime News. 30 October 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "Ship Fact Sheets: Symphony of the Seas". Royal Caribbean Press Center. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Symphony of the Seas Delivered". Cruise Industry News. 23 March 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  8. ^ Sloan, Gene (8 March 2017). "New Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas cruise ship will be the world's largest". USA Today. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  9. ^ Tribou, Richard (8 March 2017). "New world's largest ship to be named Symphony of the Seas, sail from Miami". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  10. ^ Franklin-Wallis, Oliver (1 April 2018). "The dizzying story of Symphony of the Seas, the largest and most ambitious cruise ship ever built". Wired UK. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  11. ^ Leasca, Stacey (23 March 2018). "Royal Caribbean Just Beat Its Own Record For World's Largest Cruise Ship". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  12. ^ Springer, Kate (12 April 2018). "Symphony of the Seas: World's largest cruise ship sets sail". CNN. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  13. ^ Goldstein, Michael. "Enormous Ships Like Symphony Of The Seas Reflect Growing Cruise Industry". Forbes. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  14. ^ Becker, Kayla (9 March 2017). "Meet the new largest cruise ship in the world". Fox News.
  15. ^ "Symphony of the Seas". Royal Caribbean International. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  16. ^ "Zip Line - Onboard Activity | Cruise Activities | Royal Caribbean". Zip Line. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  17. ^ "The dazzling shows on Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas, world's largest cruise ship". Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Symphony of the Seas By The Numbers | Royal Caribbean Press Center". Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  19. ^ Springer, Kate (12 April 2018). "Symphony of the Seas: World's largest cruise ship sets sail". CNN. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  20. ^ a b "Engineering the Biggest Cruise Ship in the World: Symphony of the Seas". 1 January 2020. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  21. ^ a b "What's behind Symphony of the Seas' 25% leap in energy efficiency". 6 April 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  22. ^ "STX France unveils energy-savings triumph of Symphony of the Seas". Riviera. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  23. ^ Sloan, Gene. "Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas isn't just bigger. It's more energy efficient, too". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  24. ^ "STX France unveils energy-savings triumph of Symphony of the Seas". Riviera. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  25. ^ Sloan, Gene (9 June 2017). "World's largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas, takes to water for first time". USA Today.
  26. ^ "Royal Caribbean Honors Actors Carlos and Alexa PenaVega, with Baby Son Ocean, as First-ever Godfamily for Global Cruise Line". Royal Caribbean. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  27. ^ Saltzman, Dori (11 May 2018). "PenaVega Family to Serve as Godfamily of Royal Caribbean's New Symphony of the Seas Cruise Ship". Cruise Critic. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  28. ^ "Sea Trials Complete for Symphony of the Seas". The Maritime Executive. 19 February 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  29. ^
  30. ^ Espérandieu, Matthias (26 March 2018). "Symphony of the Seas: Saint-Nazaire livre un nouveau géant" [Symphony of the Seas: Saint-Nazaire delivers a new giant]. Mer et Marine. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  31. ^ a b Bond, Mary (3 April 2018). "GPH's Malaga and Barcelona welcome Symphony of the Seas". Seatrade Cruise News. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  32. ^ Saunders, Aaron (18 April 2018). "Symphony of the Seas set to make big waves for maiden season". Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  33. ^ Tribou, Richard (24 March 2018). "Royal Caribbean takes delivery of world's largest cruise ship". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  34. ^ Satchell, Arlene (8 March 2017). "Symphony of the Seas, the next world's largest cruise ship to sail from Miami in late 2018". Sun-Sentinel.
  35. ^ "Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas docks at PortMiami". WSVN Miami. 9 November 2018.
  36. ^ "'I don't regret it': Vancouver man banned after viral video shows him jumping off 11th deck of cruise ship". KGW. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  37. ^ Diaz, Johnny (24 January 2019). "Don't do it, says man who jumped off Royal Caribbean cruise ship; 'a lot of things could go wrong'". Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  38. ^ Featherstone, Emma (18 January 2019). "Man banned for life after jumping from cruise ship balcony". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  39. ^ Neal, David J.; Dolven, Taylor (15 August 2019). "A man went overboard from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. What happened next was unusual". Miami Herald. The McClatchy Company. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  40. ^ Cole, Brendan (15 August 2019). "Seas Cruise Ship, Body Recovered by Rescue Boat". Newsweek. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  41. ^ Thompson, Julia; Hines, Morgan (22 June 2020). "Royal Caribbean, MSC, Carnival Cruise Line extend sailing suspensions into fall". USA TODAY. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  42. ^ "Coronavirus Disease 2019". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 1 October 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  43. ^ a b Licon, Adriana Gomez (5 May 2020). "Family of dead crew member with virus sues Royal Caribbean".
  44. ^ Dolven, Taylor (16 April 2020). "27-year-old Royal Caribbean crew member youngest to die from COVID-19 in South Florida". Miami Herald. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  45. ^ "Billion Pound Cruise - All 4". Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  46. ^ "Symphony of the Seas to feature on More4 documentary". 21 October 2020. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  47. ^ "Royal Caribbean To Star In New Feel-Good 'Virtual Holiday' TV Series". World of Cruising Magazine. 21 October 2020. Retrieved 3 November 2020.

External links[edit]