Royal Caribbean International’s new generation ship Ovation of the Seas is to make it debut in the UK before being deployed in China.

Three cruises from Southampton have been scheduled for the latest Quantum-class ship next spring.

The vessel will then set off on a 52-night ‘golden odyssey’ voyage to its new home port of Tianjin, 70 miles south of Beijing, as the line’s fifth ship based in the region.

Currently under construction, Ovation of the Seas will join Quantum of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Legend of the Seas in China.

The five ships will make up the largest fleet deployment by any cruise brand in China, home-porting in Shanghai, Tianjin, Hong Kong and Xiamen and mainly sailing three- to 12-night itineraries to destinations in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The summer 2016 Asia cruises will open for booking in August.

However, the three ex-UK sailings by Ovation of the Seas go on sale tomorrow (Thursday).They are:

  • A five-night cruise via France and Belgium, departing April 17, 2016
  • A seven-night cruise calling at Spain, the Channel Islands and Paris, departing April 22
  • A seven-night England to Barcelona cruise, departing May 3

UK managing director Stuart Leven said: “We are thrilled that Ovation of the Seas will start her global odyssey in Southampton meaning UK holidaymakers can be the first to experience her at sea.

“Quantum-class ships have incredible features onboard offering something for the whole family whether it’s trying simulated sky diving above the waves, being served a drink by robot bar tenders or simply relaxing with a good book in the adults only Solarium.

“They are just part of our ongoing commitment to growing the UK cruise market and encouraging people to give cruising a go.”

The line’s president and chief executive, Michael Bayley (pictured), said: “Cruising has become very popular for Chinese consumers and Royal Caribbean is already capturing their imaginations with our industry-leading cruise ships.

“We are furthering our commitment by bringing two of the world’s newest and most advanced Quantum-class cruise ships to the region.

“In addition, we are significantly expanding our investment in the training and employment of Chinese talent so they can join us in delivering our amazing and distinctive vacations to Chinese travellers.”