MS Freedom of the Seas

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MS Freedom of the Seas, Port Canaveral, Florida.jpg
Freedom of the Seas in Port Canaveral, Florida in 2016, after its 2015 refurbishment
Name: Freedom of the Seas
Owner: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.[1]
Operator: Royal Caribbean International
Port of registry: Nassau, Bahamas,  Bahamas
Route: San Juan, Puerto Rico & Caribbean
Ordered: September 18, 2003[1]
Builder: Aker Yards Turku Shipyard, Finland
Cost: US$800 million
Yard number: 55
Laid down: November 9, 2004
Launched: August 19, 2005[1]
Christened: May 12, 2006[2]
Completed: April 24, 2006[1]
Maiden voyage: 4 June 2006 (Caribbean)[2]
In service: 4 June 2006
Status: In service
General characteristics
Class and type: Freedom-class cruise ship
  • 155,889 GT (2015-present)[1]
  • 154,407 GT (2006-2015)[3]
Length: 1,111.46 ft (338.774 m)[1]
Beam: 126.64 ft (38.60 m) waterline 184 ft (56.08 m) extreme (bridge wings)
Height: 209 ft (63.70 m)
Draught: 29.61 ft (9.026 m)[1]
Decks: 18 total decks, 15 passenger decks
Installed power: 6 × Wärtsilä 12V46 (6 × 12,600 kW)
Speed: 21.6 knots (40.0 km/h; 24.9 mph)[3]
  • 3,782 (double occupancy)
  • 4,515 (maximum occupancy)[4]
Crew: 1,360

MS Freedom of the Seas is a cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean International. It is the namesake of Royal Caribbean's Freedom class, and can accommodate 3,634 passengers and 1,300 crew [4] on fifteen passenger decks. Freedom of the Seas was the largest passenger ship ever built (by gross tonnage) from 2006 until construction of the Royal Caribbean International's Oasis-class ships in late 2009. As of November 2018, she is the 13th largest passenger ship in the world by gross tonnage, at 155,889 GT.

Since May 2018, the ship is home-ported in San Juan, Puerto Rico and sails to the Caribbean. Although the ship is registered in Nassau, The Bahamas, it was homeported in Barcelona, Spain until October 2017, when it moved to Port Everglades, near Fort Lauderdale.


Freedom of the Seas under construction at Turku Shipyard in Turku, Finland on February 23, 2006.

The Freedom of the Seas was built at the Aker Yards Turku Shipyard, Finland, which built the ships of the Voyager class as well as the other ships of the Freedom class. Upon its completion, it became the largest passenger ship ever built, taking that honor from Cunard's Queen Mary 2.

Freedom of the Seas is 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in) narrower than QM2 at the waterline, 6 metres (20 ft) shorter, has 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) less draft, is 8.3 metres (27 ft) less tall and 10 miles per hour (16 km/h) slower. Freedom however is the larger ship in terms of gross tonnage. While its gross tonnage was estimated to range from 154,000 GT[5] to 160,000 GT,[6] its official rating by Det Norske Veritas, a Norwegian marine classification society, was 154,407 GT,[7] compared with QM2's 148,528 GT.[8][9] Freedom of the Seas had the highest gross tonnage of any passenger ship yet built, until the 2009 completion of Oasis of the Seas, the 2010 completion of Allure of the Seas, the 2016 completion of the Harmony of the Seas, and the 2018 completion of the Symphony of the Seas.

The ship has four bow thrusters.[10] When at sea Freedom of the Seas consumes approximately 12,800 kg (28,000 pounds) of fuel per hour.[11]


The ship has an interior promenade 445 feet (136 m) long called the "Royal Promenade".[12]

The ship has three swimming areas: an interactive water park, a dedicated adult pool, and the main pool. The 13th deck has a sports area with a rock climbing wall, the FlowRider surf simulator, a miniature golf course and a full size basketball court. Other items include an ice skating rink, a casino and a three-deck-high broadway-style theater. Many of the ship's interiors were extensively decorated by muralist Clarissa Parish.[13]


Freedom of the Seas off the coast of Cozumel, Mexico on her maiden voyage in 2006.

Freedom of the Seas was christened on May 12, 2006 at Cape Liberty Cruise Port Bayonne, New Jersey, USA on New York Harbor by Katherine Louise Calder[2] She docked at Blohm und Voss in Hamburg, Germany on 17 April 2006 to repair a damaged bearing in one of the three Azipod propulsion units and to put on some of the finishing touches prior to her official handover to Royal Caribbean International on 24 April 2006. She then departed to Oslo, Norway on 25 April for official festivities. She then sailed for Southampton, England on 27 April and arrived at 9am on 29 April. The ship sailed on its first transatlantic crossing on 3 May 2006.

Freedom of the Seas arrived in New York Harbor USA for its official naming ceremony on 12 May 2006 which was broadcast live on NBC's The Today Show from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey (the ship's official New York berth), and thereafter traveled to Boston for the weekend of May 19–22. The ship's godmother was selected as Katherine Louise Calder, a Portland, Oregon foster care provider.[14] It began operations out of Miami with its first cruise and maiden voyage on June 4, sailing to western Caribbean locations in Mexico, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica as well as Labadee, in Haiti, one of Royal Caribbean's private resorts.

On May 4, 2009, Freedom of the Seas moved its home port from the Port of Miami-Dade to Port Canaveral. Then in winter 2016, Freedom of the Seas repositioned to Port Everglades, from where it undertook cruises in the Caribbean.[15] After homeporting in Barcelona in the spring and summer of 2017, Freedom of the Seas will again return to Port Everglades until May 2018. In May 2018, she will start sailing seven-night Southern Caribbean sailings out of San Juan, Puerto Rico until March 2019.

The ship underwent its first dry dock refurbishment in late March 2011.[16][17]

On January 24, 2012, Freedom of the Seas almost collided with Disney Dream.[18]

In January 2015, the ship underwent another 24-day dry dock. During the dry dock some new interior passenger cabins were added.[19]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Freedom of the Seas (25177)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Freedom of the Seas". Royal Caribbean International. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
  3. ^ a b "Freedom of the Seas". Royal Caribbean International. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
  4. ^ a b "Freedom of the Seas Fast Facts". Royal Caribbean Press Center. Royal Caribbean International. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Hjem - Aker ASA".
  6. ^ "Giant cruise ship thrills Hamburg". BBC News. 2006-04-17. Retrieved 2010-05-13.
  7. ^ "Freedom of the Seas (25177)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  8. ^ United States Coast Guard Maritime Information Exchange, Queen Mary 2, Retrieved 2012-03-26
  9. ^ Queen Mary 2[permanent dead link], inquiry for IMO 924106, Ships in Class (registration required). Lloyd's Register. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  10. ^ "Freedom of the Seas". Ship Technology. 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
  11. ^ "Wärtsilä 46F".
  12. ^ [1] Archived November 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Retrieved January 2012
  14. ^ Calder
  15. ^ "Royal Caribbean announces 2016-2017 Caribbean cruise ship deployments". Cruise Critic. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  16. ^ "Port Canaveral". Archived from the original on 2008-04-12.
  17. ^ [2][dead link]
  18. ^ "Two ships near hit at Port Canaveral". YouTube. Waddler Studios. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Completes Dry Dock, Features New Cabins and Restaurants". Cruise Critic.

External links

  • National Geographic Channel
  • Aker Yards, Finland
  • Freedom of the Seas Official Website
  • BBC News "Final polish at Germany's Blohm + Voss shipyard"
  • Aftenposten Norway "World's largest cruise ship in Oslo"
  • BBC News "Massive cruise ship arrives in UK"
  • BBC News "Huge cruise ship leaves UK shores"
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