Explorer of the Seas

Explorer of the Seas is a Voyager-class cruise ship owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International, completed in 2000. She can accommodate over 3,000 guests, including scientists making use of a built-in atmospheric and oceanographic laboratory operated by the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. (The manned lab with its attendant educational and outreach programs for passengers was discontinued in 2007. An automated system for gathering data was installed in 2008.[6]) At launch, Explorer of the Seas had a tonnage of 137,308 GT, exceeding that of her sister ship Voyager of the Seas by 32 GT and making her the world's largest passenger ship. She held that record until being overtaken by Navigator of the Seas in 2002. In early 2015, Explorer of the Seas received major upgrades, including the replacement of the inline skating rink with a Flowrider surfing simulator and increasing her tonnage to 138,194 GT.[7][8] The ship's godmother is American athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee.[9]

Explorer of the Seas in 2015
Name: Explorer of the Seas
Operator: Royal Caribbean International
Port of registry:
Route: Bahamas, Bermuda, Eastern Caribbean, and New England itineraries (Australia)itineraries of Bayonne, New Jersey, Baltic ports
Builder: Kværner Masa-Yards Turku New Shipyard, Finland
Yard number: 1345
Laid down: 15 June 1998
Launched: 4 November 1999
Completed: 28 September 2000
Maiden voyage: 28 October 2000
Status: In service
Notes: [2][1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Voyager-class cruise ship
  • 138,194 GT
  • 108,654 NT
  • 11,000 DWT
Length: 311 m (1,020 ft)
  • 38.6 m (127 ft) - Waterline[3]
  • 49.1 m (161 ft) - Max[1]
Draught: 8.3 m (27 ft)
Depth: 11.7 m (38 ft)
Decks: 15
Deck clearance: 3,400 m (11,200 ft)
Installed power: 6 × Wärtsilä 12V46 (6 × 12,600 kW)
Speed: 23.7 knots (43.9 km/h; 27.3 mph)
Capacity: 3,114 passengers
Crew: 1,180
Notes: [2][1][4][5]

Ports of call

In fall 2014, she sailed 5 to 9 day Caribbean cruises out of Port Canaveral, Florida.[10] After dry-dock refurbishment in the spring of 2015, Explorer began to sail Northern Europe, Mediterranean, and Madeira, Azores and Canary Islands itineraries out of Southampton, Hampshire, United Kingdom.[11]

From November 2015 to 23 April 2016 Explorer of the Seas was based in Sydney, Australia, for the summer cruise season. A 24-day cruise relocated the ship to Seattle for the summer 2016 season.

Accidents and incidents

Rescue of Tumbleweed

On 16 February 2008, while en route from Bayonne, New Jersey, on a nine-day cruise to the Caribbean the bridge crew heard a faint mayday call over the radio. This turned out to be the crew from Tumbleweed, a 39-foot sailing vessel,[12] which had a planned sail from Baltimore to the Florida Keys. The crew reportedly had a mechanical breakdown of both engine and sails. The vessel drifted for 11 days to the location N32.35 W 72.49–roughly 275 miles southeast of North Carolina. Explorer of the Seas located and rescued the three men, who then departed the ship in Puerto Rico on 21 February 2008.[12]

Crew overboard

On 5 May 2010, 26-year-old bartender Satianand Buddaru was caught on surveillance jumping overboard. The ship turned around to rescue him but was unable to locate the bartender.[13]

Norwegian Star collision

On 14 September 2012, Explorer of the Seas was moored in Bermuda when heavy winds pushed Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Star at its stern. Neither ship suffered any significant damage.[14]

Norovirus outbreak

On 24 January 2014, 281 passengers and 22 crew members aboard Explorer of the Seas fell ill, reporting symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. Due to the number of passengers sick, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a Sanitation Program Officer and an epidemiologist to the ship on Sunday, 26 January 2014, when it was docked in St. Thomas.[15] By 27 January 2014 the number of ill increased to 564 passengers and 47 crew members and a decision was made to end the cruise early.[16] After Explorer of the Seas returned to port, 684 of the 4,237 aboard had symptoms of norovirus.[17]

Gastro outbreak

On 16 December 2015, A total of 182 passengers out of the 3566 on board Explorer of the Seas contracted infectious diarrhea. The ship’s operator contacted South Eastern Sydney Local Health District before arriving in Sydney at 6am. None of the passengers were taken to hospital.[18]


  1. "Explorer of the Seas (19903)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  2. "Advanced Masterdata for the Vessel Explorer of the Seas". VesselTracker. 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  3. "Explorer of the Seas". STX Finland. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  4. "Cruise Ship Guide". Cruise Travel. Lakeside Publishing Company: 37–43. January–February 2009. ISSN 0199-5111.
  5. "Carnival Destiny (16001)". Port State Information Exchange. United States Coast Guard.
  6. "Explorer of the Seas Oceanlab Research Program". Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  7. "Now Our Best Ship Is Every Ship" (PDF). Royal Caribbean International. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  8. "VOYAGER CLASS FLOWRIDER REFURBISHMENT". Mobimar.com. Archived from the original on 7 March 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  9. http://www.royalcaribbean.com/connect/ship-godmothers-with-serious-sports-status/ Joyner-Kersee
  10. "Cruise Calendar". Royal Caribbean International. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  11. "Explorer of the Seas to Homeport in Southampton, and Sail European Waters in 2015". Royal Caribbean Press Center. Royal Caribbean International. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  12. Silverstein, Erica (27 February 2008). "Royal Caribbean Ship Rescues Sailors in Distress". The Independent Traveler. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  13. "Satyanand Buddaru". Cruise Ship Missing. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  14. Greg (15 September 2012). "Norwegian Star Breaks Moorings in Bermuda". CruiseInd.
  15. "281 passengers ill aboard Royal Caribbean cruise". cp24.com. 25 January 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  16. David McFadden (27 January 2014). "Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas cruise ended after hundreds sick with diarrhea, vomiting". The National Post. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  17. Aleccia, JoNel (29 January 2014), 'We made it!': Nearly 700 sick as illness-plagued cruise ship returns home, NBC News, archived from the original on 29 January 2014, At least 630 of the ship's 3,071 passengers and at least 54 of the 1,166 crew members came down with diarrhea and vomiting—classic signs of norovirus.
  18. "Gastro outbreak aboard cruise ship bound for Sydney hits 182 passengers". News.com.au. 16 December 2015.

Further reading

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