Royal Caribbean International has taken delivery of the world’s largest ship, Harmony of the Seas.
The 227,700 gross tonne ship was welcomed in a traditional delivery and flag changing ceremony in Saint Nazaire, France following 32 months of construction at the STX shipyard.
The company said the vessel, which is the 25th in the fleet, cost more than $1billion to make, and is now home to 2,100 crew members from 77 different nationalities.
Richard D Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises said: “Harmony of the Seas is the product of our zealous spirit of continuous improvement, where we have combined revolutionary ship design with the technological strides that have defined the Royal Caribbean brand.
“Thank you to STX France for their ongoing partnership in building our ships, which continue to introduce unexpected industry innovations.”
Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, added: “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.
“The ship is the ‘best of the best’ of what our guests love most about Royal Caribbean, combined with new and thrilling experiences never before found in one place but it is the passion and dedication of our crew that will make everlasting memories for our guests.”
The vessel, part of the Oasis-class with Oasis and Allure of the Seas, features a 100-foot drop with Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea, 23 swimming pools, whirlpools and two FlowRider surf simulators and waterslides.
It will also boast the first double-storey Wonderland speciality restaurant, which was debuted on its Quantum-class ships. Grease, the hit Broadway musical, will also debut.
Harmony of the Seas will homeport in Barcelona, Spain and embark on the first of 34 seven-night sailings in the western Mediterranean on June 7.
It arrives in Southampton on Tuesday May 17 ahead of the Clia Conference.