Central Park is moving to the ocean — sort of. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said yesterday that an area resembling New York’s Central Park will be featured in the centre of its Project Genesis ship when it is delivered in late 2009 as the world’s largest cruise vessel.

Spanning the length of a football field, Central Park will include lush foliage, quiet walkways, restaurants, boutiques, an art gallery and a moving bar, the world’s No. 2 cruise operator said yesterday.

The area also will feature concerts and street performances, providing the feeling of an outdoor space on a 225,000-gross ton cruise ship that will carry 5,400 passengers and sail from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. (A gross ton is a standard measurement of carrying capacity that is equivalent to about 100 cubic feet.)

The Central Park design is one of seven “neighbourhoods” to be featured on Project Genesis, and it is the first major architectural detail to be divulged after several years of planning and secrecy.

More details will be disclosed as the ship gets closer to launch, said Adam Goldstein, president of Royal Caribbean International.
“I have spent the last two years keeping this a secret even from my immediate family,” Goldstein said in a phone interview ahead of a news conference in New York. “Our level of excitement is equalled only by our fidelity to keep it a secret until now.”

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