Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oasis of the Seas takes 'Passenger' on Sea Trials

Three days of Sea Trials began on Monday for Royal Caribbean's 220,000 gt new build, the Oasis of the Seas.

The Sea Trials:  During these three days, the ship, due for her inaugural sailing in early December, will undergo tests of speed, handling, maneuverabioity, endurance, stopping, and something known as 'seakeeping.' Seakeeping is intended to take a measure of the level of probable passenger comfort due to the ship's handling of the 'motion of the ocean' in various sea conditions.

The "Passenger:"  No small amount of speculatoin has been generated by the fact that the Oasis has an unusual 'passenger' on her sea trials. It's a blimp shaped balloon tied to her stern. From what Richard Fain (RC'i's chairman) has said, the balloon is, tself, undergoing a sea trial of sorts. It may or may not come along with the big ship when she goes intoi actual service, but it's an idea being tested.

Fain has given the idea a less than 50% chance of making it through the final cut. If it does, and if an optoin for a 'ride' in the balloon (as speculation has it) becomes a reality, it could be quite a draw for thrill seekers.

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