The keel-laying ceremony for Royal Caribbean International’s upcoming ship Utopia of the Seas has been held at French shipyard Chantiers de l’Atlantique.
Construction teams watched on as newly-minted coins were placed on the ship’s 948-ton steel block.
Coins are said to bring luck during the building process and while the ship is at sea in line with maritime tradition.
The event marks the official start of the Oasis-class vessel’s construction ahead of its launch in spring 2024.
Royal Caribbean president Michael Bayley said: “Utopia’s debut in 2024, on the heels of Icon of the Seas setting sail in fall 2023, will build on a new, exciting chapter that is set to redefine family vacations and getaways for all ages in ways we’ll soon reveal.”
Laurent Castaing, general manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique, added: “The construction of Utopia is an exciting opportunity for the Chantiers de l’Atlantique teams that are aiming to make this cruise ship one of the most environmentally friendly ships in the world equipped with new generation dual-fuel engines.”
The ship’s LNG technology will join a line-up of the cruise line’s established environmentally friendly initiatives – including shore power connection and waste heat recovery systems – on its ships, Royal said.