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Royal Caribbean orders another cruise ship

Another new Royal Caribbean cruise ship is on the way.

The world’s second largest cruise company today announced that it had exercised an option with Germany’s Meyer Werft shipyard for a second Sunshine class vessel to be delivered in the spring of 2015.

The line’s first Sunshine class ship, ordered in early 2012, is scheduled to debut in the fall of 2014.

“This confirms our continued confidence in the success of this new generation of ships and our strong conviction about the Royal Caribbean International brand,” Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain says in a statement.

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At 158,000 tons, the new Sunshine class ships will be significantly smaller than Royal Caribbean’s last series of vessels, the much-ballyhooed Oasis class. At 225,282 tons, the line’s two Oasis class ships — Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas — set a new record for cruise ship size when they debuted in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

While the Oasis class ships have been a notable success, commanding premium pricing, Royal Caribbean executives have said the line needs a mix of different size ships to allow for flexibility in itinerary planning. Royal Caribbean currently operates 22 vessels spread among six classes that range in size from about 69,000 tons to the Oasis class’ 225,282 tons.

Royal Caribbean says the new Sunshine Class vessels will carry about 4,100 passengers at double occupancy but otherwise have released few details about the ships.

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