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Cruise News: the biggest and the other biggest

There's news this week about two "biggest" ships. One is the Allure of the Seas, biggest cruise liner afloat, and the other is a ship under construction, but so far without a name that will be the largest square-rigger sailing ship ever built.

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas is returning from 18 days in drydock, during which carefully-staged crews moved walls and facilities to create 10 more suites, and to divide the main dining room into four separate theme eateries, and some new high-end shops.

The 5400-passenger ship will spend the summer cruising out of Barcelona, and will then return to Fort Lauderdale in November.

Meanwhile, Star Clippers has started construction of its new ship, in Split, Croatia. A midget by Allure standards, it will carry 300 passengers, and is being built as a recreation of France II, the biggest square-rigger ever built.

That's on the outside. On the inside, it will have three pools, an atrium, balcony suites, and more. One of the pools will be glass-walled and go down 6 meters through two decks. Its five masts will carry up to 6350 square meters of canvas.

This is Star Clippers first newly-built ship in 15 years; the previous one was the 227 passenger Royal Clipper, a copy of the early 20th-century Preussen.

Photo top: Wikimedia / colofordoc, bottom: Star Clippers

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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