• Royal Caribbean launches world's largest cruise liner

    2009-11-03

    Always on the lookout for the next big thing in travel, Royal Caribbean Cruise lines recently launched the Oasis of the Seas, a 1,180 foot long, 20-stories tall vessel that ranks as the largest passenger liner ever set afloat.

    The hulking ship, which is five times the size of the Titanic and capable of accommodating 6,300 passengers, 2,100 crew members, and countless buffet tables, took six years and $1.3 billion to construct.

    Setting off on its maiden voyage from its home port of Turku, Finland, the Oasis boasts 750-seat outdoor amphitheater, an ice rink, a mini-golf course, volleyball and basketball courts, a 1,300 seat indoor theater and an army of swimming pools.

    The ship has drawn many comparisons to the ill-fated Titanic, an undue comparison on many fronts according to designers.

    Assistant professor of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of Michigan Matthew Collette tells Live Science magazine the ship's interaction with an iceberg would not likely be a serious concern.

    "If it was struck by one I would expect there to be some local damage at the point of impact - maybe some broken portholes or bent railings, but little else," he tells Livescience.com. "All ships are designed to make the chance of large-scale structural collapse very remote."

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