Oasis of the Seas docked at St. Thomas pier.

Royal Caribbean (RCL) hopes to order a new Oasis-type ship–at 5,400 berths, they’re the biggest cruise vessels in the world–by year’s end.

The company’s first Oasis-class ship had a contract price of about $1B back in 2006, but RCL says a new ship should cost less/berth and it doesn’t expect to accept delivery until 2016, giving the company years to build up money.

“The Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas have proven themselves to be exceptionally attractive ships by generating the highest guest satisfaction ratings in the fleet coupled with very compelling financial returns,” said Royal Caribbean chairman, Richard Fain. “Ordering another such ship for delivery in 2016, at a lower cost, with better energy efficiency is very consistent with our balanced goals of prudent growth, return improvement and debt reduction.”

RCL and other cruise lines cooled capacity growth amid the financial crisis, delighting investors with less-emcumbered cash flow. RCL’s plans follows rival Norwegian Cruise’s order of 4,200-berth ship earlier this month, hinting the industry may be coming out of a capacity slumber.

-By Joan Solsman. Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company.

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