Southampton-bound ship is the future of cruising

Southampton-bound ship is the future of cruising

Southampton-bound ship is the future of cruising

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Political reporter

THE Meyer Werft Shipyard has dominated the landscape in this corner of north-western Germany for centuries.

The gargantuan hangar which has been the birthplace of so many cruise ships towers over the uniformly flat landscape near the city of Papenburg, and is an almost-continual hive of activity with three liners finished there each year.

Next to the hangar sits Quantum of the Seas, the jewel in cruise line Royal Caribbean Cruise’s crown and the world’s first “smart” liner.

Work still continues at a pace on board Quantum, and although much of the ship is still a construction site it is already apparent that this will be no ordinary ship.

Daily Echo:

It has been five years since Royal Caribbean last launched a ship – the longest gap in the company’s history – and the excitement is palpable among company chiefs as they lead tours around the soon-to-be-finished Quantum.

The 167,800-ton, 4,180 passenger vessel is set to depart the yard in Papenburg on September 21 and sail up the River Ems for sea trials off Bremerhaven.

Then, on October 31, cruise-lovers and residents alike will get their first glimpse of the £800m vessel when she docks in Southampton ahead of her inaugural journey to New York.

Her sister ship, Anthem of the Seas, is currently under construction in the hangar next to Quantum, and will have Southampton as her home port when she launches next year.

Royal Caribbean says the new craft has been fitted with a smorgasbord of gadgets, gizmos and ground-breaking technology in response to ever-increasing demand from passengers.

They have dubbed it the world’s first smart ship, saying passengers will enjoy the fastest Internet on the high seas due to new mid-orbit satellites launched by tech partner O3b Networks which mean the ship will enjoy high bandwidth anywhere across the globe.

Guests will be able to use the new technology to complete boarding documents online, meaning they can go from the shoreside to their cabin in ten minutes.

New “WOWband” wristbands will also allow them to navigate the ship, buy items and serve as the room key while new apps will allow guests to book dining reservations and excursions on to dry land, and to have a calendar allowing guests to keep track of their reservations.

Daily Echo:

The vessel’s 1,500 staff will also enjoy the results of the investment in new technology, with apps allowing them to keep up to date with passengers’ preferences, and new Microsoft tablets 
handed out to each of them to keep, which can help them keep in touch with their loved ones.

The advances also stretch to sustainability, with new technology helping to reduce the vessel’s fuel consumption, and to on-board entertainment. Robots are some of the most eye-catching features which will be enjoyed by guests.

Two70, a multi-purpose entertainment room at the ship’s stern that cost more than Royal Caribbean’s first liner, Song of Norway, houses six Roboscreens boasting definition eight times that of normal High Definition.

Mounted on large arms, they will move around in a variety of sequences, often in sync with live performers, while the vast glass windows in the room can also be transformed into various backgrounds using projectors.

Passengers will also be able to experience the sensation of sky diving in the Ripcord by iFly simulator, go surfing in the FlowRider pool and take in breathtaking views from the North Star viewing platform at the end of a 300ft arm that will tower over the ship.

Daily Echo:

A large indoor area called the SeaPlex will feature entertainment ranging from bumper cars and basketball to a circus school and video gaming, while even the bedroom suites will have an innovative flourish, with virtual balconies accurately representing the view outside meaning even interior cabins will be able to have a glimpse of the world passing by.

And there will also be 18 different restaurants ranging in style from classic French and Italian to American grill and pan-Asian, as well as a series of bars including the Bionic Bar, starring robotic bartenders who can get through 120 cocktails in an hour.

Speaking at a special launch event held in Papenburg this week, Royal Caribbean vice president Dominic Paul said: “We think Quantum changes everything and takes the cruise industry to a whole new level – it’s a whole new category.”

And when asked what the new liner will offer its passengers, the company’s managing director for UK and Ireland, Stuart Leven, said: “You could spend a two-week holiday on board this ship, trying things you will never try on land and you will never run out of new experiences to try.”

Comments (3)

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6:36pm Sat 30 Aug 14

Never knew that says...

Oh well I expect there will be a story about a traffic warning for the echo to print when the ship arrives
Oh well I expect there will be a story about a traffic warning for the echo to print when the ship arrives Never knew that
  • Score: 3

5:11pm Sun 31 Aug 14

phil maccavity says...

Rather odd that the story is being covered by a Political Reporter!!
Rather odd that the story is being covered by a Political Reporter!! phil maccavity
  • Score: 0

10:35pm Thu 4 Sep 14

one in the crowd says...

ONE YEAR TO GO UNTIL CUNARD’S HISTORIC
175TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION SAILING FROM LIVERPOOL

On 4 July 2015, the Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 will return to Liverpool to celebrate the departure exactly 175 years earlier of Britannia, the first ship built for Cunard’s revolutionary new Atlantic service which left Liverpool on 4 July 1840.

Cunard’s Marketing Director Angus Struthers said:

“Exactly one year from now, we’re looking forward to creating a piece of living history as Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, the grandest ocean liner ever built, sails from Pier Head to Halifax and Boston, just as Cunard’s first ever ship, the little paddle-steamer Britannia, did 175 years ago. It’s a moment that will bring a lump to the throat of all those who have shared in the Cunard story over the generations since the company first chose Liverpool as its company base back in 1840, and where it built its magnificent headquarters, the Cunard Building last century. Liverpool has been, is and always will be our spiritual home’

Britannia, the hull of which could fit inside the Britannia Restaurant on Queen Mary 2, changed the face of ocean travel changed forever in establishing the first scheduled service across the Atlantic and every year in the 174 years since Cunard ships have crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic, in peace and war, without fail.

Cunard’s Head Office was based in Liverpool from its founding until 1967 and the city will play a key role in the 175th Anniversary celebrations next year.

The 4 July visit comes just six weeks after the ‘Three Queens, One Magnificent City’ celebration which will see the current Cunard fleet salute the company’s ‘spiritual’ home. From 24 to 26 May 2015, Liverpool will play host to the three largest Cunard ships ever built in an historic, news-making, head-turning three-day event.

Queen Mary 2 will arrive in Liverpool on Sunday 24 May and make her first ever overnight stay in the city, berthed in sight of the Cunard Building. The following morning, on Monday 25 May, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will sail into the city and for a time all three ships of the Cunard fleet will line up on the Mersey in a spectacle that is expected to draw huge crowds. Over a million people saw QE2 sail into Liverpool for the first time in July 1990. Queen Mary 2 will then take her leave and sail out of Liverpool late morning on Monday 25 May as Queen Elizabeth berths at the landing stage, where she will remain until late that night. Queen Victoria meanwhile will anchor in the Mersey. Late in the evening of Monday 25 May, Queen Elizabeth will set sail and Queen Victoria will then take the berth and remain there overnight, and for the following day, Tuesday 26 May.

Yet-to-be-announced events will take place on 4 July before Queen Mary 2 follows in the wake of Britannia and recreates the original crossing to Halifax and Boston before arriving in New York on 14 July. The voyage is also special as it is the first time a Cunard ship has left Liverpool for America since January 1968.
ONE YEAR TO GO UNTIL CUNARD’S HISTORIC 175TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION SAILING FROM LIVERPOOL On 4 July 2015, the Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 will return to Liverpool to celebrate the departure exactly 175 years earlier of Britannia, the first ship built for Cunard’s revolutionary new Atlantic service which left Liverpool on 4 July 1840. Cunard’s Marketing Director Angus Struthers said: “Exactly one year from now, we’re looking forward to creating a piece of living history as Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, the grandest ocean liner ever built, sails from Pier Head to Halifax and Boston, just as Cunard’s first ever ship, the little paddle-steamer Britannia, did 175 years ago. It’s a moment that will bring a lump to the throat of all those who have shared in the Cunard story over the generations since the company first chose Liverpool as its company base back in 1840, and where it built its magnificent headquarters, the Cunard Building last century. Liverpool has been, is and always will be our spiritual home’ Britannia, the hull of which could fit inside the Britannia Restaurant on Queen Mary 2, changed the face of ocean travel changed forever in establishing the first scheduled service across the Atlantic and every year in the 174 years since Cunard ships have crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic, in peace and war, without fail. Cunard’s Head Office was based in Liverpool from its founding until 1967 and the city will play a key role in the 175th Anniversary celebrations next year. The 4 July visit comes just six weeks after the ‘Three Queens, One Magnificent City’ celebration which will see the current Cunard fleet salute the company’s ‘spiritual’ home. From 24 to 26 May 2015, Liverpool will play host to the three largest Cunard ships ever built in an historic, news-making, head-turning three-day event. Queen Mary 2 will arrive in Liverpool on Sunday 24 May and make her first ever overnight stay in the city, berthed in sight of the Cunard Building. The following morning, on Monday 25 May, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will sail into the city and for a time all three ships of the Cunard fleet will line up on the Mersey in a spectacle that is expected to draw huge crowds. Over a million people saw QE2 sail into Liverpool for the first time in July 1990. Queen Mary 2 will then take her leave and sail out of Liverpool late morning on Monday 25 May as Queen Elizabeth berths at the landing stage, where she will remain until late that night. Queen Victoria meanwhile will anchor in the Mersey. Late in the evening of Monday 25 May, Queen Elizabeth will set sail and Queen Victoria will then take the berth and remain there overnight, and for the following day, Tuesday 26 May. Yet-to-be-announced events will take place on 4 July before Queen Mary 2 follows in the wake of Britannia and recreates the original crossing to Halifax and Boston before arriving in New York on 14 July. The voyage is also special as it is the first time a Cunard ship has left Liverpool for America since January 1968. one in the crowd
  • Score: 0

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