Tens of thousands of French well-wishers waved goodbye to the largest luxurious cruise ship named “Harmony of the Seas”as it set sail on its maiden voyage to the U.K. after 32 months in a French shipyard in Saint-Nazaire.
The $1 billion Harmony of the Seas cut a gargantuan silhouette Sunday as it left the western port town of Saint-Nazaire.
The 120,000-tonne giant is the widest — 66 meters — and the longest — 362 meters — cruise ship ever built. At 362 metres (1,187 feet) long, the 16-deck ship is bigger than the Eiffel Tower and holds the record for being the widest cruise ship ever built — boasting a 6,360-passenger capacity.
It’s been compared to a floating city with more than 2,500 staterooms, 20 dining venues, 23 swimming pools and a park with more than 10,000 plants and 50 trees.
"Harmony is truly magnificent in every sense of the word, from her architecture and design to the level of care and attention to detail with which our incredible crew are taking to prepare for our first guests," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International said during the ceremony.
The enormous ship was built by STX France for the US-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL). It also took more than two years and 2,500 workers to build, giving it almost legendary status in this Atlantic coastal city that has a long maritime and fishing tradition.
For the eco-friendly, “Harmony of the Seas” also offers some good news, according to its owners and manufactures: the giant vessel produces 20 per cent less carbon emissions than the two largest ships in its class, due, in some part, to a system of pumping air into the hull to lighten its load.
The ship is headed for Southampton in southern England and is to embark on its official maiden voyage on May 22 to its new home port of Barcelona.