Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, set off on Thursday on its first sea trial from Saint-Nazaire, western France, with just two months to go to delivery. The city’s STX France shipyards began building the €1bn ($1.1bn) mammoth for US shipbuilder Royal Caribbean International (RCI) in September 2013.
Thousands of people gathered at the dock to watch as the 120,000-tonne ship was helped out to sea by six tugs. Some 500 people, mostly crew as well as officials from the owners and engineers and suppliers, were on board for the first trial, set to continue until Sunday. The ship, with a height of 70m (210 feet), has been an imposing presence in Saint-Nazaire, visible from miles away.
For months, tourists have been allowed on board to gape at the innards of the ship that has 16 decks and stretches 362m (1,187 feet), 50m longer than the height of the Eiffel Tower. Read more