Royal Caribbean will offer an epic, 53-day voyage from the USA to China in 2015 on its newest ship, Quantum of the Seas.
Kicking off on May 2, 2015 in the New York area, the sailing will include a trans-Atlantic crossing to the Mediterranean followed by passage through the Suez Canal to the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Asia.
Along the way, the 4,180-passenger vessel will call at nearly two dozens ports including Barcelona; Aqaba, Jordan; Dubai; Cochin, India; Muscat, Oman; Penang, Malaysia; Singapore; and Hong Kong.
The Quantum Global Odyssey cruise, as it's being called, is a prelude to Quantum of the Seas taking up residence in Shanghai, China, from where it will sail three- to eight-night cruises primarily aimed at the Chinese market.
Royal Caribbean also will sell shorter segments of the voyage ranging from three to 16 nights. The sailings opens for booking today to members of Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society frequent cruiser program. Non-members can book the trips starting on Thursday.
Quantum of the Seas is joining two other Royal Caribbean ships currently dedicated at least part of the year to the Chinese market, the 3,114-passenger Mariner of the Seas and 3,114-passenger Voyager of the Seas. The addition of Quantum of the Seas will boost the company's capacity in the region by 66%. Read more about what Royal Caribbean's Asia expansion.
The deployment comes as the world's biggest cruise companies increasingly look to Asia for growth. Among other lines shifting capacity to the region are Princess Cruises, which is expanding rapidly in Japan, and Costa Cruises.
Currently under construction at a shipyard in Germany, Quantum of the Seas is scheduled to debut in November. By far the most anticipated new ship of the year, it will boast such innovative new features as the first skydiving simulator at sea and a glass capsule on a mechanical arm that will rise high above the ship for bird's-eye views.
The first of a new class of vessel at Royal Caribbean, Quantum of the Seas won't be quite as big as the line's much-ballyhooed Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas — the world's largest cruise ships. But it still will rank among the 10 largest passenger vessels in the world. Look inside Oasis of the Seas.
By Gene Sloan, USA Today
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