Coronavirus delays debut of world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas

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, USA TODAY
Published 5:41 p.m. ET July 20, 2020

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Royal Caribbean’s new Symphony of the Seas is now the world’s largest cruise ship in gross tonnage. Here’s what makes it even bigger than its sister ship Harmony of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas was supposed to make its debut next year as the world’s largest cruise ship.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, though, the ship’s arrival is on hold indefinitely.

The Wonder of the Seas is under construction in Saint-Nazaire, France. It was set to be based in Shanghai. The ship will be able to carry 6,000 passengers and 2,200 crew members.

Royal Caribbean told investors in May that the coronavirus had affected its shipyard operations and would result in the delay of ships planned for delivery in 2020 and 2021. 

“Royal Caribbean had to delay the deployment of Wonder from China,” Jonathon Fishman, spokesperson for the cruise line, told USA TODAY Monday. “We look forward to the arrival of the Wonder and can’t wait to return to sailing.”

Last month, Royal Caribbean announced the delay of the first sailings of the Odyssey of the Seas, which was supposed to debut in November.

Royal Caribbean, like other cruise operators, suspended sailing in March because of the pandemic. The company’s goal is to resume sailing on Oct. 1.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a no-sail order for cruise ships in March. The order was set to expire on July 24, but last week, the CDC extended it until Sept. 30.

In May, Canada banned large cruise ships from its ports through Oct. 31.

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas is currently the world’s largest cruise ship,at 228,081 tons.

Contributing: Morgan Hines, USA TODAY

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