Construction on Royal Caribbean's next behemoth of a ship has officially begun.
Company officials on Thursday announced the cruise line has cut steel on its fifth Oasis-class ship, which will become the world's largest cruise ship when it debuts in 2021.
The new, yet-to-be-named vessel will be built at Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, making it the third Oasis-class ship built at the shipyard.
Holding the title of world's largest cruise ship won't be anything new to Royal Caribbean — the line's Symphony of the Seas is already the world's largest and regularly makes voyages throughout the Caribbean from Miami.
Each of the five Oasis-class ships by Royal Caribbean was the largest in the world when they debuted, starting with Oasis of the Seas in 2008.
Each ship since has slightly edged its predecessor in size — a trend that Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley says will continue with the newest ship, surpassing Symphony of the Seas' 228,081 gross tons, 1,188 feet in length and guest capacity of 6,680.
Bayley also said another Oasis-class ship will immediately follow, with the class' sixth ship planned to debut in 2023.
The cruise line said in a news release that the next two Oasis ships "will combine the iconic seven-neighborhood concept that her sister ships feature with a bold and unexpected lineup of thrilling experiences, imaginative dining, unparalleled entertainment and the latest technology."
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