World’s largest cruise ship takes to the seas

Harmony of the Seas embarks on sea trials in France
Harmony of the Seas embarks on sea trials in France

Royal Caribbean International’s latest mega-ship, Harmony of the Seas, has embarked on its first sea trials.

The new 227,000-gross tonne vessel is the latest addition to the company’s huge Oasis Class fleet, but will be slightly larger and able to hold more passengers than the existing 225,282-gross tonne Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, which are the largest cruise ships operating in the world today.

Harmony of the Seas will have a total of 2,747 staterooms for a maximum capacity of 6,410 passengers, who will be served by a crew of 2,100. The ship will measure 362 metres long and 66 metres wide, and the 18 decks will be accessible using a total of 24 passenger elevators.

Onboard the sea trials
Onboard the sea trials

The ship exited the Saint-Nazaire shipyard in France on Thursday, where its four, 7,500-horsepower bow thrusters were powered up for the ship’s first sea trials. The operational tests will continue through April, ahead of the official delivery of the Harmony of the Seas to Royal Caribbean and maiden voyage on 29 May 2016.

Once onboard, passengers will be offers a vast array of entertainment options, including seven separate “neighbourhoods”: Central Park, The Boardwalk, Royal Promenade, Pool & Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone.

The ship is targeting the family market, with a series of aquatic activities for children including the Splashaway Bay kids’ water-park, a trio of water-slides called ‘The Perfect Storm’ and two huge 10-storey slides called ‘Ultimate Abyss’, which cascade down the outside of the ship and into the deepest freshwater pools found at sea.

The Broadway show ‘Grease’ will also be performed at the ship’s theatre.

The arrival of Harmony of the Seas will mean that Royal Caribbean will lay claim to the five largest cruise ships operating in the world today, with the Quantum and Anthem of the Seas in fourth and fifth places, following the three Oasis Class vessels. And the company is planning to launch another as-yet-unnamed 227,000-gross tonne vessel in 2018 to rival Harmony of the Seas.

FACTS & FIGURES

Length:          362 metres
Width:           66 metres
Decks:            18
Staterooms:  2,747
Capacity:       5,497 (double occupancy)
6,410 (maximum)
Speed:           22 knots (40.7kph)

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