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MS Oasis of the Seas is an Oasis-class cruise ship in the fleet of Royal Caribbean International. The first of her class, she is expected to be joined by her sister ship Allure of the Seas in December 2010. Both vessels are expected to cruise the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She set a new record of carrying over 6,000 passengers. The ship surpasses the Freedom-class cruise ships (also owned by Royal Caribbean) as the world's largest passenger vessel. The vessel was ordered in February 2006 and designed under the name "Project Genesis". Her keel was laid down on 12 November 2007 at STX Europe (formerly Aker Yards) in Turku, Finland. The company announced that full funding for Oasis of the Seas was secured on 15 April 2009. The name Oasis of the Seas resulted from a competition held in May 2008. The ship was completed and turned over to Royal Caribbean on 28 October 2009. Two days later, she departed Finland for the United States. While exiting the Baltic Sea, the vessel passed underneath the Great Belt Fixed Link in Denmark on 1 November 2009. The bridge has a clearance of 65 m (213 ft) above the water; Oasis normally has an air draft of 72 m (236 ft). The passage under the bridge was possible due to retraction of the telescoping funnels, and an additional 30 cm (12 in) was gained by the squat effect whereby vessels travelling at speed in a shallow channel will be drawn deeper into the water. Approaching the bridge at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph), the ship passed under it with less than 2 feet (60 cm) of clearance. The ship's power comes from six marine diesel engines, three Wärtsilä 16-cylinder common rail diesels producing 25,290 hp each, and three similar 12-cylinder engines each producing 18,590 hp. The total output of these prime movers, some 130,110 hp, is converted to electricity, used in hotel power for operation of the lights, elevators, electronics, galleys, water treatment plant, and all of the other systems used on the operation of the vessel, as well as propulsion. Propulsion is not provided by screws on the end of long shafts piercing the hull, as on most prior ships, but by three, 20,000 kilowatts (26,800 hp) "Azipods", ABB's brand of azimuth thrusters. These pods, suspended under the stern, contain electric motors driving 20-foot (6 m) propellers. Because they are rotatable, no rudders are needed to steer the ship. Docking is assisted by four 5,500 kilowatts (7,380 hp) bow thrusters in tunnels. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
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