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Special feature: THE WORLD’S LARGEST PASSENGER SHIP

MS Allure of the Seas is an Oasis-class cruise ship owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International. Together with her sister ship, Oasis of the Seas, she holds the record for the largest passenger ship ever constructed, although Allure is 50 millimetres longer than Oasis, making her technically the largest despite the fact that both ships have identical superstructures.

Designed under the name “Project Genesis”, she was ordered from Aker Finnyards in February 2006 and herconstruction began at the Perno shipyard in Turku, Finland, in February 2008.

She was named in May 2008 after a contest was held to name her and her sister. The keel of Allure of the Seas was laid on 2 December 2008, shortly after the shipyard had been acquired by STX Europe.

The keel of Allure of the Seas was laid on 2 December 2008 at the STX Europe shipyards in Turku, Finland, during a ceremony involving Royal Caribbean and STX representatives.

She was launched on 20 November 2009 and outfitting continued through her departure from the yards. She left the Turku shipyard on 29 October 2010, at 05:45 UTC, heading directly to her future home port of Port Everglades, near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.

The ship is equipped with telescoping funnels to pass under bridges such as the Storebælt Bridge, which she passed on 30 October 2010. While media has reported that there was only 30 centimetres of clearance, the truth is that at the mean water level it was closer to 2–3 metres and the much-advertised squat effect, whereby vessels traveling at speed in a shallow channel will be drawn deeper into the water, did not have significant effect on the draft of the vessel.

On 11 November 2010, Allure of the Seas arrived at her home port of Port Everglades, Florida. She was greeted by thousands of spectators waiting on the shore.

The ship was formally named by her godmother Princess Fiona on 28 November 2010.

Princess Fiona is a fictional main character who serves as the female lead in DreamWorks’ animated Shrek film series. She made her first appearance in the first film in the franchise, Shrek (2001), voiced by American actress Cameron Diaz.

While the design length of Allure of the Seas is the same as that of her sister, 360 metres, she is actually some 50 millimetres longer than the Oasis of the Seas. According to the shipyard, this is not intentional and such small differences in length may occur simply due to the temperature of the steel in a ship as big as this.

The gross tonnage of the Allure is 225,282 and her displacement — the actual weight of the ship — is equal to that of Oasis, which is estimated to be around 100,000 metric tons, slightly less than that of an AmericanNimitz-class aircraft carrier. Her steel hull alone weighs roughly 54,000 tons.

The ship features a two-deck dance hall, a theatre with 1,380 seats, an ice skating rink, 7 distinct “neighborhoods”, and 25 dining options, including the first Starbucks coffee shop at sea.

Many of the ship’s interiors were extensively decorated by muralist Clarissa Parish.

Before beginning service from Port Everglades, Allure was fitted with an 80 kW solar array by BAM Energy Group which powers the shopping district. The system cost US$600,000 and covers an area of 2,000 square metres. It uses Uni-Solar BIPV laminates designed to withstand foot traffic and marine conditions.

 

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