Royal Caribbean International has marked the first major milestone of its Project Sunshine next-generation cruise ships, cutting the first piece of steel and unveiling the names of its two new vessels.

The steel cutting took place this week at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, where the two Project Sunshine ships will be built.

To celebrate the occasion, Royal Caribbean announced the names of the two new ships – Quantum of the Seas, set to debut in autumn 2014, and Anthem of the Seas, which will follow in spring 2015.

They will be part of the Quantum class of ships and will build upon Royal Caribbean International’s legacy of “revolutionary ship design and bold innovation”, said the cruise line.

Adam Goldstein, president and chief executive of Royal Caribbean International, said: “We are extremely excited to celebrate this important milestone for our first Project Sunshine ship.

“After three years of design and advance planning, this is the first step of the construction of the ship and I look forward to seeing it all come together in the coming months.

“The new ship will be such a leap forward in terms of vessel design and guest experiences that we thought the name Quantum of the Seas was perfectly appropriate.”

Additional details about Quantum of the Seas will be unveiled in the coming months.