Royal Caribbean announced where it plans to send the Anthem of the Seas cruise ship when it begins sailing in spring 2015.
The second of two new ships for Royal Caribbean following 2014's planned fall debut of Quantum of the Seas, the Anthem of the Seas will begin its service out of Southampton, England and sail the Mediterranean before moving to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale by fall 2015 to sail the Caribbean.
"We are thrilled that Royal Caribbean will be bringing its newest, most innovative cruise ship here to South Florida," said Port Everglades Chief Executive & Port Director Steven Cernak.
"Cruise guests have come to expect that the industry’s most modern ships will sail from Port Everglades. Anthem will be a great addition to our fleet."
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Royal Caribbean already uses the port as the home base for the world's two largest cruise ships, the Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas as well as the Independence of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas and Legend of the Seas.
The port hosts eight cruise lines, one ferry and more than 40 cruise ships and expects close to 4 million passengers in 2014.
The Anthem of the Seas will follow on the heels of the Quantum of the Seas, which is currently being built at the Meyer Werft Shipyards in Papenburg, Germany and set to debut in October 2014 sailing out of Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J. Both ships were known as part of the line's Project Sunshine project, and will be 167,800-ton vessels with a 4,180-passenger capacity, which is smaller than the 5,400-passenger Oasis-class ships that debuted in 2009 and 2010.
While exact details of the design for the Anthem of the Seas have not been revealed, Royal Caribbean has said both Quantum-class ships will feature several unique industry firsts including:
-- The North Star, a London Eye-esque attraction that will send riders aboard a glass capsule attached to a rotating, pivoting crane-arm that can rise to more than 300 feet above the ocean as well as jut out over the side of the ship while offering 360-degree views.
-- RipCord by iFly, a sky diving simulator that uses a massive fan that blows wind up allowing riders to float in the air in a controlled manner. iFly operates a similar attraction on International Drive in Orlando.
-- A signature gathering space called Two70°, named for its panoramic views through three-story, glass walls. Much like some of the transformative features on the latest Disney cruise ships, the venue will transform from day to night using projection technology, allowing for digital scenery to accompany entertainment options such as aerial performances.
-- SeaPlex, an indoor activity center that will be the line's largest to date. It will be home to normal features like a full-size basketball court, but also new activities such as a circus school including how to use a trapeze and nighttime bumper cars and roller skating accompanied by a floating DJ booth above the action.
-- Virtual balconies, with digital, real-time projection of the exterior of the ship. This is a larger approach to the virtual porthole that was developed aboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.