Massive crowd sees off world's largest cruise ship in France
SAINT-NAZAIRE, France – Tens of thousands of people turned out Sunday, May 15, in France to see off the world's biggest-ever cruise ship, the 120,000-ton Harmony of the Seas, as it set sail for the first time.
At 66 meters (217 feet), it is the widest cruise ship ever built, while its 362-meter length makes it 50 meters longer than the height of the Eiffel Tower.
As the massive boat pulled away from a shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, where it was built on France's Atlantic shore, some 70,000 people watched from along the coast, local authorities said.
The crowd waved, cheered, and clapped as the boat – built for the US-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL) – eased away from France.
"It's gone," said Christine, who did not give her full name. "We watched it develop and grow over 3 years. It's like a child leaving home."
The floating town, which cost close to one billion euros, has 16 decks and will be able to carry 6,360 passengers and 2,100 crew members.
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. – Rappler.com