Royal Caribbean Orders 3rd Quantum-Class Cruise Ship

Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE: RCL  ) has signed a contract with shipyard Meyer Werft to begin building a new Quantum-class cruise ship, its third such vessel, the company announced today. The ship is scheduled for delivery during the middle of 2016.

The Quantum style of ship generally spans 16 decks and can carry up to 4,180 people at double occupancy of its 2,090 staterooms. According to Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein, "The Quantum class will offer vacationers more unexpected activities in the most extraordinary spaces, and a third ship will offer even more opportunities for vacationers to experience Quantum cruising."

The currently unnamed vessel will make its debut following the maiden voyages of Royal Caribbean's original two Quantum-class cruise ships. Quantum of the Seas is scheduled to debut in 2014, while the maiden voyage for Anthem of the Seas is slated for 2015. Royal Caribbean expects to expand its capacity by 4% annually between 2012 and 2017.

The most recent contract, along with existing ship orders, has brought Royal Caribbean's projected capital expenditures for 2013 to $700 million, $1.2 billion for both 2014 and 2015 ($2.4 billion total in those two years), and $2.1 billion for 2016.

Royal Caribbean Cruises owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises and CDF Croisieres de France, as well as TUI Cruises through a 50% joint venture. These six brands operate a combined total of 41 ships with six under contract.

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