Cruise Ships

7th Oasis-class Ship Ordered by Royal Caribbean to Debut in 2028

In a surprising move, Royal Caribbean announced they’ve entered into an agreement to order a seventh Oasis-class ship with delivery scheduled in 2028. It’s surprising because many assumed that the Icon-class was succeeding the Oasis-class. This new order makes the Oasis-class the most common type of ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet and North American cruise market in general.

royal caribbean oasis-class ships

An extra Oasis-class ship is surprising

Once a cruise line debuts a new class of cruise ship, that’s usually the new platform for the cruise line going forward until they unveil the next generation of ships. All the marketing and building focus goes into the newest class. Since Royal Caribbean just debuted its brand new Icon-class of ships earlier this year, it was assumed that would be the primary focus of the line.

ovation of the seas north star in alaska
Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class ships are much more suited to cooler weather.

But Royal Caribbean hasn’t always followed suit. Over the past ten years, Royal Caribbean has simultaneously debuted both Oasis-class and Quantum-class ships. This decision made sense, though, because these classes were unique and served different markets, with the slightly smaller Quantum-class ships performing much better in cold weather for cruises in Alaska, Asia, and Europe.

Why an Oasis-class Ship over an Icon-class?

This announcement is confusing because the Icon-class of ships appeared to be the evolution of the Oasis-class. While two more Icon-class ships are on order, it’s odd to see them go back and release more ships from the previous generation. The Oasis-class ships are only marginally larger than the Icon-class, so it’s not likely to serve a different market (unless this ship is slated for Asia like the Wonder of the Seas originally was).

icon of the seas aft
The extra pools, water parks, and expansive windows on the Icon-class are pricey, costing almost double that of an Oasis-class ship.

The reason is most likely cost. The newest Oasis-class ship, Utopia of the Seas, is rumored to cost $1.35 billion to build, while the Icon of the Seas is reported to cost around $2 billion. The expansive windows, huge water park, and record number of pools in the Icon-class really add to the cost, apparently. 

What do we know about the new 7th Oasis-class ship?

utopia of the seas
The new ship will likely feature an enclosed Solarium and run on LNG like it’s predecessor Utopia of the Seas.

At this point, we don’t know much, as Royal Caribbean still has to get financing approved for the project. They indicated this ship will be the sibling to Utopia of the Seas, which means it’ll see a few improvements over the older Oasis-class ships, including a fully enclosed Solarium and using LNG fuel.

Mega ships seem to be everyone’s new focus

Much to the dismay of many veteran cruisers, mega ships seem to be the only thing cruise lines are interested in. This news comes on the heels of Carnival’s announcement earlier this week that they’ll be adding a fourth Excel-class ship to their fleet. On top of that, Princess Cruises is just weeks away from launching its largest ship ever (hopefully, it’s been delayed twice already). This announcement confirms that big ships are here to stay.

Still no news on Royal Caribbean’s Project Discovery

Royal Caribbean fans have been hoping that Royal Caribbean’s next new ship order would be part of the rumored “Project Discovery.” This new class of ship is rumored to be Royal Caribbean’s answer to its aging smaller fleet. Many local ports of call and even some smaller home ports like Baltimore and Jacksonville can’t handle bigger ships, and the only answer is to have smaller vessels. Unfortunately, it seems that we’re going to have to wait a bit longer to hear any development on this front.

You can read the full press release here

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Randy Young

Randy Young is the founder and editor-in-chief at Cruise Spotlight. He has been in marketing for 19 years and has been cruising for just as long. Over the years, he's worked with products like TVs, copiers, light bulbs, and EV chargers, but cruising has always been his passion. There's nothing Randy likes more than the first couple of hours on a ship, exploring every nook and cranny and seeing how it's different from everything else out there. He's known for providing detailed and analytical coverage of cruising to help cruisers get a comprehensive picture of a ship's offerings.