STX Europe

Green tech: Floating city nears maiden voyage

November 6, 2009: 6:47 AM ET

Oasis of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Cruises hopes enviro-friendly Oasis of the Seas can burnish its green image.

The world's largest cruise ship -- featuring 16 decks and an interior Central Park that's longer than a football field with more than 12,000 species of flora -- is drawing ever closer to its home port of Port Everglades, Florida, where it will dock next week and conduct a few test runs before departing on its maiden voyage early next month in Caribbean waters.

Two years and $1.4 billion in the making, Royal Caribbean's new baby is a true colossus -- almost a quarter-mile in length, bigger in every direction than any passenger ship that has ever sailed and 40% larger than the company's next biggest ship. Capable of carrying 5,400 guests in 2,700 rooms and more than 2,000 crew members, it boasts almost five times the gross domestic tonnage of the Titanic.

Manufactured by STX Europe in Turku, Finland, the Oasis represents a technological feat on many levels. It can travel up to 10 knots moving sideways, for example, and has retractable smokestacks and a pool with a movable floor. But Jamie Sweeting, Royal Carribean's  chief environmental officer, is most proud of the ship's green cred. More

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