Photo: Meyer Werft

North Sea trials underway for Odyssey of the Seas

Odyssey of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International’s second Quantum Ultra-class cruise vessel being built by Germany’s Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, set off on an extensive sea trial on late 14 March.

The program includes technical and nautical trials in the North Sea and follows the newbuild’s recent River Ems conveyance.

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In the past few days, more people, as well as necessary material, have come on board.

The new cruise ship is expected back in Bremerhaven following the completion of the test program. In the meantime, the final interior work is underway on board to deliver the Odyssey of the Seas to the shipping company in a few weeks. The teams from the shipyard, suppliers, cruise shipping company and the classification society are working hand in hand to ensure the successful completion of the ship.

“Odyssey of the Seas will be the third cruise ship we deliver during the pandemic. This is a tremendous achievement that is only possible due to the far-sighted and responsible actions of all people at the shipyard and on board,” Thomas Weigend, Managing Director of Meyer Werft, commented.

Odyssey of the Seas
Image Courtesy: Meyer Werft

“The current situation shows how important it is to act quickly and transparently. We have prevented the virus from spreading and can therefore now start the sea trial. All of us on board are glad that we can now take this important step. With the experience gained in the last few days, we are now even better positioned to counter the virus,” Thorsten Kroes, Project Manager at Meyer Werft, explained.

According to Meyer Werft, the safety concept with extensive protective measures on board includes, among other things, a task force to provide support on board in order to work out and implement further measures at short notice. The aim is to reduce the number of contacts even further.

Antigen testing of the several hundred people on board continues to take place daily. New persons are only allowed on board if they can present a PCR test that is not older than 48 hours. All persons are required to strictly observe hygiene measures and distances on board and to reduce contacts to an absolute minimum. The shipyard, its suppliers and the shipping company work closely with the authorities in Bremerhaven.

Floated out in late November 2020 and debuting in May 2021, the 169,000 gross ton ship is planned to sail from Haifa, Israel for its first summer season before continuing its inaugural year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.