The world’s largest cruise ship pulled into the Port of Southampton on Tuesday ahead of its maiden cruise later this month.
The Harmony of the Seas was delivered to Royal Caribbean last week following 32 months of construction at the STX France shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France.
The cruise ship is the third vessel in Royal Caribbean’s record-breaking Oasis-class, measuring 362 meters (1,188 feet) long and weighing in at 226,963 gross registered tons. Harmony of the Seas is slightly larger than it’s two predecessors, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, which are 225,282 GRT. Both ships were built at the former STX Europe shipyard in Turku, Finland (now Meyer Turku).
STX Europe was won the contract to build Oasis 3 in 2012, providing a much-needed boost to the French shipbuilding industry and a huge blow to Finland, so much so that the Finnish government asked the European Commission probe deal. The contract for Oasis 3 at the time was said to be in excess of €1 billion, or approximately US $1.33 billion.
The ship has the capacity to carry a staggering 5,479 guests in 2,747 staterooms, and is home to 2,100 crew.
Harmony of the Seas will sail from Southampton on a series of short cruises to Northern Europe before embarking on her maiden cruise on May 29, arriving in Barcelona, Spain on June 5, where it will spend its inaugural summer season sailing seven-night cruises to the western Mediterranean.
In November 2016, the ship will arrive at her homeport of Port Everglades, Florida where the vessel will offer seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings. Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas are also homeported on the east coast of Florida in Port Canaveral and Port Everglades respectively.