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Water Sheep

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 This article is a C-class article. It is written satisfactorily but needs improvement. This article is part of Altverse II.
Liberty Of The Seas GC 12-22-16.jpg
Water Sheep anchored in Cabo San Lucas on December 22, 2016 with a tender by her starboard.
West Indies
Name: Water Sheep
Owner: Red Star Line flag.svg Red Star Line
Port of registry: Civil Flag of Guyana.svg Kingston, West Indies

Caribbean, East Pacific

Homeports: Sierra Cancún, Bajaría, K.S. (summertime)

Sierra Grands Ballons, Gold Coast, K.S. (wintertime)
Builder: Sweden Sotenäsvarvet, Västra shipyard, Sweden
Cost: KS$830 million
Christened: July 17, 2008 by Valeria Schiaparelli
Maiden voyage: July 18, 2008
In service: July 17, 2008
Status: In service
General characteristics
Class and type: Birch-class cruise ship
Tonnage: 155,889 GT
Length: 1,111.94 ft (338.92 m)
  • 126.70 ft (38.618 m) (waterline)
  • 128.06 ft (39.034 m) (max)
Draught: 29.61 ft (9.026 m)
Decks: 18 total decks, 15 passenger decks
Installed power:
  • 6 × Jöergen 15G51 (6 × 12,600 kW))
  • 2 × OVS 3516B (2 × 2,500 kW)
  • Diesel-electric
  • 2 × Kjellberg 399
  • 1 × Kjellberg Meatball
  • 4 × Sven tunnel thrusters
Speed: 21.6 knots (40.0 km/h; 24.9 mph)
Capacity: 3,798 (double occupancy)
Crew: 1,300 (average)
Water Sheep is a Birch-class cruise ship owned and operated by the Sierran-Belgian company Red Star Line. She was built in 2006 by the Swedish shipbuilding company Sotenäsvarvet in the Västra shipyard, before she entered regular service operations on July 17, 2008. At the time of her maiden voyage, she became the world's largest operating cruise ship, before she was succeeded by her sister ship, the Boat Cow in June 17, 2010. She is capable of holding nearly 3,800 passengers, including 1,300 crew members, with over 155,800 in gross tonnage. She sailed on her first trip from Cancún to Grands Ballons, Gold Coast. The two ports currently serve as Water Sheep's homeport, with the former during the summer and the latter during the winter. She conducts weekly or biweekly scheduled cruises in the Caribbean from Galveston and the East Pacific from Grands Ballons. During her two repositioning cruises, she tours the Nicaragua Canal and select locations in Central America. The ship is registered with Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies and flies the West Indian flag as its flag of convenience.


The Red Star Line contracted longtime Swedish partner Sotenäsvarvet to build a Birch-class cruise ship in June 2005. It was initially referred to as "Project Jeb_". Shortly after the order was confirmed, the Red Star Line announced that the name of the ship would be known as Water Sheep. Her keel was laid down on April 9, 2006. She was floated out on August 11, 2007 and began outfitting until March 23, 2008. On March 24, 2008 she was officially completed and was turned over to the Red Star Line, and underwent two separate sea trials. She received minor refits and further renovations after it was discovered that the propulsion machinery was not strong enough than initially desired by Red Star Line. She proceeded towards her future homeport in Galveston from Sweden, traveling across the English Channel along the way, and arriving in the Brazorian port on May 19, 2008. She made her maiden voyage on July 18, 2008, a day after she was officially christened by her godmother Valeria Schiaparelli, an Italian fashion designer.

Amenities and facilities

Water Sheep features 15 publicly accessible passenger decks and 3 decks for the crew, officers, and captain. The ship contains 1875 staterooms, 7 restaurants, 15 lounges, 8 bars, 4 main pools, 3 water slides, 12 jacuzzies, a spa and massage therapy center, 2 fitness centers, a casino, a theater, 10 bowling alleys, 16 elevators, an arcade room, an interactive escape room, a card room, a library, 15 onboard stores, and a chapel. It also has two daycare centers, youth clubs, teenage clubs, and comedy clubs. Room service, laundry services, and special accommodations are provided to guests at no extra charge, although a daily gratuity is charged for each stateroom per guest. Onboard wi-fi connection is available through free, complimentary internet for all guests and two tiers of paid internet with faster connections. There is a full-time service medical clinic, a helipad, and a morgue that can store up to 8 cadavers at once.

In June 2019, it installed a zip-line and the Red Star Line announced that Water Sheep would partner with Tokki in coordinating themed events, activities, and parties using licensed Tokki characters.

Cruise routes and itineraries

The Water Sheep sails according to two main cruises: its 7-day Pacific cruise and its 7-day Caribbean cruise. Occasionally, due to market fluctuations and other circumstances, the Water Sheep may conduct 3-day or 5-day cruises, and during its repositioning cruises, they take 14 days.

The Pacific cruise is offered during the wintertime between the months of October and April, and generally follow either routes shown below:

Los Pacíficos and the Channels Tour (7 Days)

Mexican Riviera Tour (7 Days)

The Caribbean cruise is offered during the summertime between the months of May and September, and generally follow either routes shown below:

West Caribbean Tour (7 Days)

Cuba Tour (7 Days)


On February 23, 2006, Brazorian crew member Hailey Barclay was reported missing after she failed to report to work during her morning service. Video surveillance indicated that she fell overboard from the ship's fore early in the morning around 1:35 AM, approximately 70 miles off the coast of Pacífico Sur. Investigators ruled out foul play and believed that Barclay climbed the ship's railings intentionally, indicating it may have been a case of suicide.

On July 13, 2019, 99 of 3,382 passengers on board became sick with norovirus and experienced gastrointestinal-related symptoms during a seven-night cruise in the Caribbean. The ship docked at its port of call in Cancún where affected patients were treated at local hospitals and the ship was grounded for inspections. Red Star Line offered to pay for the medical expenses of the affected passengers and refunded half of the cruise to all of its customers, as well as for their flights and overnight accommodations, and offered every guest credit to cover half of another seven-night cruise. 30% of guests reportedly declined the offer.

COVID-19 cases

On January 24, 2020, a 72-year old guest from Shanghai arrived to Grands Ballons by plane and embarked the ship. He disembarked on January 31 and returned to China. Five days after returning, he visited a local hospital where he was tested positive for coronavirus. On the next voyage, on February 6, 2020, the ship was in Mexican waters when 14 passengers were diagnosed with 2019 novel virus during the 2019–20 China coronavirus outbreak. A total of 3,750 passengers and crew were quarantined by the Mexican Ministry of Public Health and Safety for a 14-day period, off the Port of Puerto Vallarta. On February 10, the total number of people on board with confirmed coronavirus infections grew to 82.

See also