Making a brand new cruise ship isn’t something that happens overnight. There are a plethora of steps that need to happen before you can step foot onto an exciting new vessel. If you’ve ever wondered what goes into making a new cruise ship, here’s what you need to know.
Step one: The order
Believe it or not, but cruise lines don’t make their own ships. In order to start the process, they have to send an order for a new ship to a shipyard. These shipyards are where the actual construction happens based upon the specifications that the cruise line gives. Two common shipyards that will receive orders from major cruise lines are Fincantieri and Meyer Werft.
Step two: Construction
Once the order is placed, the next logical step to take is the actual, physical construction of the ship. The shipyard workers first begin to cut steel that will function as the individual pieces that will form the vessel. This often takes months. Once the cutting is done, they will then weld the pieces together to make what is essentially the ship’s skeleton. But before it can all be put together, the keel (or the bottom of the ship) is laid out for all the other pieces to be built on top of.
Step three: The interior
Now that the skeleton is made, workers begin construction on the interior of the ship. Cabins are fitted into the ship, wiring is put into place, and everything else except furniture is set up.
Step four: The float out
Once the ship is built enough that it can withstand being in water, it is taken out of dry dock and floated out into the water. This is a pretty huge milestone in the construction process and is usually marked by a large celebration. It is not yet sailing at this point, though, as there will be more and more aspects added to the ship while it floats. (Think glass and other things like that.)
Step five: Sea trials
Sea trials are one of the most important aspects of a ship’s construction. During sea trials, the nearly-finished vessel takes a journey across the ocean to ensure that it is running correctly, safely, and efficiently. There will generally be a mix of crew, workers, and cruise line officials present for sea trials. Common tests performed during sea trials are related to speed, maneuverability, and stopping. Basically, these tests ensure that a ship is ready to sail.
Step six: The finishing touches
When sea trials are done, there are typically very few things that are missing from the ship. It is usually handed over to the cruise line at this point, and they will fill the ship with supplies, furniture, and whatever else it is still missing.
From here, all that is left is the inaugural voyage that will debut the ship to a world of travelers!