Reminiscent of the days when Norwegian Cruise Line used to bring its s.s. Norway back to Europe for drydockings when she was still the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean International will be bringing its 5,400-berth Oasis of the Seas back to Europe, where she will drydock in the Netherlands in the early autumn of 2014.
While typically Norwegian used to drydock Norway in Europe, she also performed the odd Transatlantic crossing, remembering her days as the famed s.s. France.
In 1997, for example, she left Miami on August 16 and New York on August 18 for Southampton, where she arrived on August 30, sailing from Southampton on her return voyage on September 2 and reaching New York on September 10 and Miami on September 13.
On some of these crossings, Norway was drydocked for modifications and on one such visit to Europe she was even chartered to a French group TMR for cruises from France. These first Oasis cruises from Europe will also no doubt be remarked upon since Royal Caribbean have ordered a third such ship from STX France.
Oasis of The Seas
In 2001, Norway made her final crossing, leaving Miami on September 2 and New York September 5 to arrive in Southampton on September 18. The events of September 11 occurred while s.s. Norway was still crossing the North Atlantic.
The upcoming dry-docking will allow Oasis of the Seas to offer a brief season of Europe cruises in the late summer/autumn of 2014 before and after a five-year dry-docking in the Netherlands.
The Oasis will offer a total of five cruises, including two Transatlantic crossings and three cruises out of Barcelona, in a short European season. The Oasis, along with sister ship, Allure of the Seas, has been operating alternating eastern and western Caribbean cruises out of Port Everglades since her debut in December 2009.
On September 1, 2014, the Oasis will offer her first Transatlantic revenue crossing (she carried no passengers on her original delivery voyage in 2009) to Europe: a 12-day eastbound crossing from Port Everglades to Barcelona.
A 13-day westbound cruise will return her to Florida from Rotterdam on October 14, and passengers will also be able to embark at Southampton on October 15. When she does so, she will become the largest passenger ship ever to have called on Southampton, not a difficult task, as she is the world’s largest passenger ship.
While in Europe, the Oasis will offer two round-trip five-day Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona and a seven-night sailing from Barcelona to Rotterdam, where she will commence her dry-docking. The seven-day Barcelona to Rotterdam cruise will call at Malaga and Vigo while itineraries for the five-day cruises will be announced before April 11.