Premature Evacuation on Royal Caribbean’s Newest Ship Before its Official Debut

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The Utopia of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International has not yet had its formal induction into the fleet but it managed to perform a successful medical evacuation. This event took place during the vessel’s sea trials that recently wrapped up in the Bay of Biscay, off the western coast of France.

On the date of Saturday, May 11, 2024, the ship announced the presence of an injured individual on board. At the time, the ship was positioned eight nautical miles (9 miles / 15 kilometers) away from the coast of Belle-Île, at exactly 4:21 p.m. This petite island can be found in the northern area of the Bay of Biscay, due west from the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard, the location where the Utopia of the Seas was constructed.

A helicopter was deployed to air-lift the injured party, who was safely delivered to a hospital in Vannes, approximately 30 miles northeast of Belle-Île. The operation, beginning from the initial call to the successful evacuation, took just over two hours.

#PREMAR | 11.05, 16h21:
The passenger ship 🇧🇸 “Utopia of the Seas”, sailing 8nq off Belle-Île, reports an injured on board.#CROSSAEtel co-ordinates helicopter airlift by 🚁Dragon 29.
Patient dropped off at the 🏥 of Vannes at 18h33.

The nature of the injury is not known, nor the name of the affected person. Almost 900 engineers, technicians, designers, officers, and staff were on Utopia of the Seas as part of her comprehensive sea trials testing.

It is unclear if the injury was directly related to any testing and no further updates on the individual’s status have been shared.

Utopia of the Seas began her five extensive days of sea trials on Tuesday, May 7, and has since returned to the shipyard. The results of the testing are still under review and have not been officially declared.

Sea trials unveil a cruise ship’s competence through a rigorous period of final testing. The ship’s maiden voyage into open waters allows for detailed scrutiny of all essential operations including navigation, propulsion, maneuvering, and emergency functions. The sea trials for Utopia of the Seas spanned a comprehensive journey of over 1,000 miles to guarantee full and complete operation.

Once the sea trials conclude, the final phase of construction commences, which includes the boat’s final outfitting and design work. Upon completion, ownership of the ship is transferred from the shipyard to the cruise line, officially heralding the start of her service.

Slated to host her inaugural guests on July 19, Utopia of the Seas embarks on her journeys from her homeport of Port Canaveral. Distinguishable from her Oasis-class counterparts, Utopia of the Seas is tailored to guarantee succinct sailings without any compromise on a traveler’s experience. As a 236,860-gross-ton ship, she is an epitome of all the Oasis fleet features, ranging from appealing shows and exquisite culinary experiences to the thrill of an onboard zipline, and numerous other attractions.

Guests have the choice between 3 and 4-night Bahamas cruises, each of which includes a stopover at the award-winning private island of Royal Caribbean International, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Depending on the cruise departure date and sailing length, the ship will also be visiting Nassau, and select sailings feature full days at sea for travelers to experience all the ship has to offer.

Read Also: Oasis Class Cruise Ships – What You Need to Know

Also coming up for the new ship will be her official christening, which has not yet been announced. Traditionally, a ship’s ceremonial godmother or godfather would help name the ship in a time-honored event with blessings for everyone aboard the ship during her service life.

At this time, Royal Caribbean has not revealed who will be godmother to Utopia of the Seas. The most recent Oasis-class ship, Wonder of the Seas, features “Wonder Mom” Marie McCrea chosen from a contest of mothers as the ship’s godmother, while Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Icon of the Seas features champion footballer Lionel Messi as the “Icon of Icon” – the ship’s ceremonial godfather.

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