Royal Caribbean International plans to use more than 12,000 plants to create Central Park -- a large green space in the center of its behemoth cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas. The $1.5 billion, 220,000-ton ship will travel from Finland to Florida in November. Around Nov. 11, the ship will have coffee and pineapple plants, as well as 56 adult trees, placed in the ship's Central Park. The park will be about the size of a football field, and feature more than 12,000 plants in all.
The 2,700-stateroom Oasis of the Seas is scheduled to make its maiden voyage on December 5 to the Caribbean. The Oasis of the Seas almost was lost earlier this year when Royal Caribbean's financing dried up. With help from the Finnish government, Royal Caribbean was able to finish the ship -- made in Turku, Finland.
I think the luxurious touch of a gardens on a cruise ship is exactly what Royal Caribbean was aiming for, creating an almost fantasy experience that couldn't be duplicated by other cruises. In another few years, we will see if the cruise line's very large investment will pay off or if other cruise operators will take up the challenge.