Floating city: Modifications may have to be made to the North Channel in order to handle the Quantum of the Seas, which has a bigger draft than the Norwegian Breakaway. *Illustration courtesy of Royal Caribbean
Floating city: Modifications may have to be made to the North Channel in order to handle the Quantum of the Seas, which has a bigger draft than the Norwegian Breakaway. *Illustration courtesy of Royal Caribbean

Simulation tests to determine whether a new mega-cruise ship will be able negotiate to Bermuda’s channels have been undertaken in Baltimore.

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas would be the biggest ship ever to sail to the island if a Bermuda itinerary was given the go-ahead by Government and cruise line bosses.

But it is understood modifications may have to be made to the North Channel in order to accommodate the Quantum, which has a bigger draft than the Norwegian Breakaway.

The Bermuda Sun revealed earlier this year that Royal Caribbean was looking to send its newest and biggest ship to Bermuda for the 2015 summer season.

And Bermuda also appeared on the cruise giant’s website as a likely destination when the new liner enters service.

But Government officials told the Sun that a final decision had not been made yet.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Transport and Tourism said: “A decision on the Quantum of the Seas sailing to Bermuda for the 2015 season has not yet been made.

“However, the Bermuda Government continues to work very closely with Royal Caribbean International principals and technical officers and a decision will be made in due course.

“The Quantum of the Seas vessel simulation exercise was completed by the Department of Marine & Ports Senior Branch Pilots on November 13 and 14 at the MITAG facility located in Baltimore.

“The information and data obtained from simulation exercises will assist in determining if modifications are required to our channels to ensure safe transit of the vessel. Once the report is presented a decision will be made based on the channel modification requirements and the associated timelines to complete.” n

The Quantum of the Seas is the first of two 167,800-ton, 4,180-passenger Royal Caribbean cruise ships to debut.

She will launch November 2014 and will sail between Cape Liberty in Bayonne, to the Bahamas, the Eastern Caribbean and the Southern Caribbean.

The ship is fitted with 2,090 cabins including 373 virtual balconies inside cabins that feature real-time views of the ocean and destinations.

The Bermuda Sun contacted Royal Caribbean but we did not receive a response to our questions. n