An order for a third 5,400-passenger Oasis-class mega cruise ship has been confirmed by Royal Caribbean Cruises.
The sister-ship to Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas is due to enter service in summer 2016.
The company indicated in October that it was planning to place an order for a third of the type. The new vessel is to be built at the STX France ship yard and not Finland as the original two in the class.
STX France has also provided the company with a one-year option for delivery of a fourth Oasis-class vessel in 2018 at similar pricing.
The contract for the third vessel and existing ship orders means that projected capital expenditure for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 are $1.3 billion, $700 million, $1.2 billion, $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively, according to the company.
The Royal Caribbean Cruises’ annual capacity growth rate from 2012 to 2016 remains at a historically low rate of 3.5%.
The 16 deck Oasis of the Seas was introduced in 2009, followed by Allure of the Seas a year later, both sailing in the Caribbean from Port Everglades in Florida.
Chairman and chief executive Richard Fain said: “The Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas have fundamentally transformed the cruise experience for our guests,
“These ships have consistently generated outstanding guest satisfaction ratings and continue to produce superior financial results.
“We are thrilled to be adding a sister to this extraordinary class of vessels at a compelling price.”
Royal Caribbean International president and chief executive Adam Goldstein added: “As the cruise line that revolutionised the industry with the FlowRider surf simulator, ice-skating rinks, cantilevered whirlpools and rock climbing walls, we are eager to add this third award winning Oasis-class ship to our brand portfolio.
“This addition will allow us to showcase our legacy of innovation and imagination to even more guests around the world,”