In a day and age when cruise lines constantly have to be innovative and venturesome with their ships’ features, it is likely that Liberty of the Seas will keep the jaw-dropping features coming. In less than a year, Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom of the Seas, the cruise ship holding the title “world’s largest,” will have to share her designation with her new younger sister. With her hull now complete, Liberty of the Seas, under construction at Aker Yards in Turku, Finland, reached an important maritime milestone today when she was “floated out” (moved from dry dock to wet dock) for the final months of finishing work leading up to her spring 2007 debut. At official ceremonies held at the shipyard, Royal Caribbean executives assisted by an exclusive group of Royal Caribbean’s travel partners turned the valve releasing 87 million gallons of water into the wet dock area.
Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas will hold the dual title of largest cruise ships at sea, weighing in at 160,000 GRT and holding 3,634 guests double-occupancy. Among new programs and onboard superfluities yet to be announced, amenities on Liberty will include the popular innovations already found on Freedom including the FlowRider(R) surf simulator; the wet and wild H20 Zone aqua park; cantilevered whirlpools, suspended 112 feet above the ocean; an ice-skating rink; a boxing ring; and the 1,215-square-foot Presidential Family Suite, which sleeps up to 14.