THIS week marks the one year to go milestone to the launch of Royal Caribbean International’s newest and most technologically developed cruise ship which will be based in Southampton – Anthem of the Seas.

Sailing from the Hampshire port, Anthem of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean International’s second Quantum-class ship and is due to feature a number of game-changing “firsts at sea” including a Jamie’s Italian, a skydiving experience called RipCord by iFLY and the North Star, an engineering marvel featuring a jewel like capsule that extends 300 feet above the ocean to deliver 360-degree views for guests.

Other cutting-edge transformative venues onboard include SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; and the cruise line’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever.

Anthem of the Seas will offer 19 Mediterranean sailings beginning on April 22, 2015 before heading to Cape Liberty in November 2015.

The new itineraries on offer range from three to 16 nights with a strong focus on ‘taster’ cruises designed to attract a new breed of British holidaymaker who hasn’t previously considered a cruise holiday.

More than 80,000 people will be embarking in Southampton in 2015 alone and this is expected to deliver £50 million in knock-on economic impacts to the surrounding area.

At a cost of €170,000 per berth, Anthem of the Seas is one of the most architecturally and technologically advanced ships ever built.

It will replace Royal Caribbean International’s 3,634-guest Independence of the Seas which has sailed from Southampton since its launch in 2008. At the time, Independence of the Seas was the largest cruise ship in the world.

At 167,800 gross register tonnage Anthem of the Seas is 348m long, 41m wide and has 16 guest decks.

This is almost the equivalent in length of 32 London buses, three and a half football pitches, or nearly five of the world’s largest passenger aeroplane, the A380.

The space allows Anthem of the Seas to offer more activities than any other cruise ship that has ever sailed from the UK.