Royal Caribbean plans to introduce one of the biggest passenger ships in the world on a route to and from Japan in 2018. The Oasis-class ship will have a gross tonnage of around 220,000 tons and is capable of carrying 5,400 passengers.
Royal Caribbean has yet to decide where the mega ship will call in Japan. Currently, no port in Japan can accept such a big vessel. The line is sounding out various cruise ports, including that of Yatsushiro (Kumamoto Prefecture, western Japan) on willingness to make upgrades.
Partly due to Japan's easing up on visa regulations, the number of Asians who cruise to Japan is increasing.
Royal Caribbean currently owns 2 Oasis-class ships and is taking delivery of two more - one in 2016 (Harmony Of The Seas) and the other in 2018. The company plans to deploy one vessel to a hub in Asia (Hong Kong, Shanghai or Singapore) and use it on a route that serves Japan.
The number of foreign tourists who arrive in Japan on cruise vessels operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises is expected to uprise 160% to 800,000 in 2017 from 2015, according to the company.