OSLO May 9 Royal Caribbean, the world's second-largest cruise operator, has ordered its fourth Oasis-class vessel, the world's biggest cruise ship, increasing its capital spending plans by $1.8 billion.
South Korea's STX, which has built two of the 225,300 tonne vessels for Royal Caribbean and is working on a third, will build the new ship as well, the firm said in a statement on Friday.
With 16 decks and more than 2,700 passenger rooms, Oasis-class vessels can accommodate 6,300 passengers and almost 2,400 crew.
The firm did not disclose the vessel's price but analysts estimate that its previous Oasis-class ships cost around $1.4 billion each. Royal Caribbean also said it now sees capital expenditure of $6.8 billion through 2018, up from an earlier guidance for $5 billion through 2017.
Royal Caribbean last month raised its earnings guidance on a strong rise in bookings, in a signal that the global cruise industry is slowly recovering from several lean years.
The vessel will be built by STX France, 66.6 percent-owned by STX and 33.3 percent by the French state.
The first two Oasis-class ships were built in Turku, Finland while the third vessel, two tonnes bigger than its sisters, is being built in Saint-Nazaire, France. It is scheduled for delivery in mid-2016. (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; editing by Susan Thomas)