World’s largest cruise ship arrives in Southampton

World's largest cruise ship arrives in Southampton

Royal Caribbean International’s $1 billion new mega ship, Harmony of the Seas, arrives in Southampton today ahead of being showcased to agents attending the 10th annual Clia Conference.

Heralded as the world’s largest cruise ship, the third Oasis-class vessel will be shown off to agents at the event on Friday.

New features include the Ultimate Abyss, claimed to be the tallest slide on a ship with a 10-storey drop, and The Perfect Storm – three waterslides

The ship combines the seven neighbourhood concept that the line’s Oasis class ships are known for, with the top technological features from its Quantum class ships, such as the robot-powered Bionic Bar.

Entertainment ranges from hit musical Grease through to aquatic performances at the AquaTheatre and ice shows.

The 5,497-passenger ship’s 20 dining include Jamie’s Italian by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and a Wonderland restaurant.

The ship is running two short preview sailings from Southampton before relocating to the Mediterranean for summer sailings from Barcelona and Civitavecchia, the port of Rome, and seven-night winter itineraries in the Caribbean from Port Everglades in Florida.

Construction on the fourth ship in the series started at the St Nazaire ship yard in France last autumn with the as-yet unnamed vessel due to enter service in spring 2018.

Monster of the deep: World’s largest cruise ship is so vast that guests will have to use GPS to find their rooms!


Giant: Weighing 227,000 tons – and 124ft longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall – Harmony Of The Seas is the largest cruise ship ever to set sail

  • At 124ft longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall – the new Harmony Of The Seas is the largest cruise ship ever to set sail
  • It’s so vast it even houses scaled down version of New York’s Central Park complete with 10,587 plants and 52 trees
  • Across 18 decks, the ship, which cost over £800 million to build, has 16 restaurants, cafes and boutique shopping
  • Harmony Of The Seas also has a state of the art 1,380-seat theatre where guests can enjoy musicals such as Grease

She is a true leviathan of the oceans. Weighing in at 227,000 tons – and 124ft longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall – the new Harmony Of The Seas is the largest cruise ship ever to set sail.

The awesome vessel – which set out on its maiden trial voyage last week – is so vast it even houses a scaled down version of New York’s Central Park within its 18 decks – complete with 10,587 plants and 52 trees up to 20ft tall.

An astonishing feat of engineering, built at a cost more than £800 million, Harmony Of The Seas pulled slowly out of Saint-Nazaire in France, where she was built, with no fewer than three pilots on board – specially trained on computer simulators – to guide her through the difficult manoeuvres needed to exit the estuary.

Size: Harmony Of The Seas is 330ft longer than the Titanic and is as high as seven double decker buses stacked on top of each other

Size: Harmony Of The Seas is 330ft longer than the Titanic and is as high as seven double decker buses stacked on top of each other

Entertainment: Thrill seekers can test their mettle on four onboard water slides (left) or those hoping to enjoy a song and dance, can head to the 1,380-seat theatre where they can enjoy shows including Broadway’s hit musical Grease and high-flying acrobatics

Such is the scale of the quarter-of-a-mile long Royal Caribbean International ship, when its first 6,000 passengers board in Southampton in May they will be issued with GPS-style wrist trackers so they won’t get lost in her labyrinthine interiors.

And a squad of ‘Royal Genie’ butlers will be at the beck and call of VIP guests. Thrill seekers will be able to choose from four onboard slides, including the Ultimate Abyss, the world’s tallest slide at sea, boasting an impressive 100ft plunge.

Elsewhere, a zipwire will whizz adventurous guests nine decks above the open-air atrium, robots will pour cocktails at a ‘bionic bar’, and passengers can learn to surf on a ship-board wave simulator.

Entertainment includes Broadway’s hit musical, Grease in the full-size theatre, a state-of the-art multimedia ice rink spectacular and high-flying acrobatics.

Engine room: Three power pods, each with 20ft propellers, along with four bow thrusters for manoeuvring, power the ship forward
Engine room: Three power pods, each with 20ft propellers, along with four bow thrusters for manoeuvring, power the ship forward

The ship has 16 restaurants and cafes – including a Jamie’s Italian – boutique shopping on the Royal Promenade, and high-speed wi-fi in the staterooms. And for voyagers wanting a challenge, there’s the Escape Room where guests have to try to break out by solving a series of puzzles.

Vast and full of surprises, Harmony Of The Seas is like something from the imagination of Jules Verne.