Excitement was in the air at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, today, as Royal Caribbean International marked two important milestones in the development of its Quantum class of ships. Quantum of the Seas, scheduled to be delivered in the autumn of 2014, received its first block as the keel was officially lowered and put into place. In conjunction, Anthem of the Seas, Quantum’s sister-ship, had its first piece of steel cut, signaling the first step in the ship’s construction.
“Today is a very special day in the development of our new Quantum class, as we are now two steps closer to delighting guests around the world with Quantum cruising,” said Adam Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas coming together so well, and today we not only honor these two very important milestones, but also recognize the years of hard work and dedication from the team developing these ships.”
The keel laying marks an important milestone in the development of Quantum of the Seas as it signifies the beginning of the ship’s physical construction. During the ceremony, a 430-ton block measuring 59-ft by 75-ft (18 x 23 meters) was lifted into the building dock with an 800-ton crane. Newly minted coins were placed under the keel which then stays in place until the end of construction. Once the ship is nearing completion the coins are retrieved and presented to the ship’s Captain and crew to be placed onboard the ship. According to maritime tradition, the coins are said to bring luck to the ship during its construction and then to its Captain and crew when she is at sea.
The groundbreaking Quantum class ships will debut new unprecedented features, such as RipCord by iFLY, the first skydiving experience at sea; the North Star, an engineering marvel that transports guests more than 300 feet above the ocean; transformative venues, such as The Sea-Plex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; and the cruise line’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever, including the industry’s first-ever Virtual Balcony staterooms, which offers expansive, real-time views of the ocean and exciting destinations for interior staterooms.