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Saturday, 26 April 2014

Biggest and smallest cruise ships meet


IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says European cruise ship company MSC Cruises has ordered not one, but two 5,700 passenger cruise liners that will each need 1,500 crew to look after all those passengers – and its put in an option for a further two more of similar gargantuan size it thinks it will need to keep up with continually-growing cruise-holiday demand.


Yet big as they'll be, these two will not be the world's largest passenger ships: that honour stays with Royal Caribbean International whose Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas can each carry 5,412 passengers in double cabins, and a total 6,300 each with some cabins having additional bedding. And each needs 2,400 crew to look after all those passengers.


MSC's two newies, that are yet to be allocated names, will be built in France and will launch in 2017 and 2018.


And at the other end of the scale, two of the world's smallest but most highly-rated boutique passenger vessels, SeaDream I and SeaDream II of SeaDream Yacht Club, each weigh-in at a mere 4,300 tonnes, and carry a maximum of  just 112 guests served by 95 crew.


Our picture shows the difference between those biggest and smallest, with SeaDream I dwarfed at St Thomas in the Caribbean by Oasis of the Seas.


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