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Two new ships get their feet wet

SmarterTravel

An important milestone in the construction of a new cruise ship is when the vessel transitions from dry dock to wet dock. The area containing the ship is flooded, and the new ship floats for the first time. Recently, two new cruise ships began their careers at sea at their respective shipyards in Europe.

Royal Caribbean celebrated the completion of the Liberty of the Seas’ hull at Aker Yards in Finland. The sister ship of the Freedom of the Seas, the Liberty will debut in May 2007, when she will sail alternating eastern and western Caribbean itineraries. The new ship will feature many of the innovations of the Freedom, including the FlowRider surfing simulator, the H2O Zone water park, cantilevered whirlpools, an ice skating rink, a boxing ring, and a family suite that can sleep 14 people.

Costa’s new ship had its technical launch in Genoa, Italy, at Fincantieri’s Sestri Ponente shipyards. The Costa Serena—sister to the newly debuted Costa Concordia—will sail her inaugural cruises next May as well. Her first itineraries will be seven-night voyages to Greece, Turkey, and Croatia. Features include one of the largest spas at sea, a Grand Prix driving simulator, and an enclosable pool deck.

I’m sure we’ll hear more about the amenities of these ships as their launch dates approach. In the meantime, bookings for the Liberty of the Seas and the Costa Serena are already open, so if you want to experience these vessels firsthand, you can start planning.

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