'Today's announcement is a reflection of the success of the first two Quantum-class ships,' said Royal Caribbean chairman and ceo Richard Fain. 'We have received a remarkable response from travel agent partners and travelers, and are thrilled that we'll be able to deliver another revolutionary ship with our partners at Meyer Werft.'
UBS Investment said the order was not surprising, given that two sister ships are off to China.
The vessel follows 2014's Quantum of the Seas, currently en route via a series of repositioning cruises to Shanghai, its new year-round base; 2015's Anthem of the Seas, which two weeks ago began its inaugural season from Southampton and will reposition to Bayonne, New Jersey's Cape Liberty in November; and 2016's Ovation of the Seas, which will sail its first season from Tianjin (Beijing) then reposition to Sydney, Australia, for the southern summer.
'The fourth Quantum-class vessel will be a trailblazer in smart-ship design and vacation innovation,' said Michael Bayley, president and ceo of Royal Caribbean International.
For his part, managing partner Bernard Meyer expressed delight in Meyer Werft continuing its long relationship with Royal Caribbean. 'Guests and travel agents are obviously impressed with the innovative cruise ships we have developed together with Royal Caribbean’s newbuild team,' he added.
Based on current ship orders, Royal Caribbean's projected capital expenditures for full year 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 are $1.6bn, $2.3bn, $0.4bn, $2.4bn and $1.3bn, respectively.
Though Royal Caribbean didn't specify a price, UBS noted prior capex for the company was $2.2bn in 2018 and $0.4bn in 2019—so, a $1.1bn change.
Capacity increases for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 are expected to be 5.5%, 6.3%, 3.1%, 3.9% and 6.5%, respectively. The figures do not include potential ship sales or additions that the company may elect to make in the future.
The fourth Quantum newbuild is contingent on the completion of customary conditions, including financing.