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It is the length of three Wembley pitches, has 16 decks, weighs 227,000 tonnes and is 210 feet tall.

And the enormous Harmony of the Seas, the world’s biggest cruise ship, took serenely to the water for its maiden voyage on Thursday.

The £800 million vessel left dry dock at Saint-Nazaire, western France, for the first time yesterday as it undertook its first sea trial.



Tug boats were use to help the huge ship out to sea (Reuters)

The trial is set to continue until Sunday.

If all goes well, the huge ship will soon have 6,000 passengers and 2,000 crew on board very soon as it begins its work as a major cruise liner.

The ship will be delivered to its owners, Royal Caribbean International, within two months.

The boat, which unsurprisingly can be seen for miles, has been a huge presence in the French port for months and hundreds of people turned out to watch it take to the water.

Some 500 people, including crew and officials, are on board for the duration of the trial.

Just getting the boat onto the water was tricky enough.

It was helped out to sea by six tug boats who had three specially-trained pilots on board, all of who have trained on a simulator in nearby Nantes for the past year, to help the cruise liner’s captain navigate the tricky manoeuvres needed to guide it out of the Saint-Nazaire estuary.



Harmony of the Seas at Saint-Nazaire (Reuters)

The tugs first helped the ship back out of its berth before turning it around and then guiding it out to the open sea.

The pilots leave the vessel once it is 20km (12 miles) out at sea.




Facilities on board include a park, a theatre, a waterpark, two flowriders as well as numerous restaurants, bars and swimming pools.

The ship boasts a park, theatre and pools (Royal Caribbean)

There are also two flowriders on board (Royal Caribbean)

Building work started on Harmony in 2013.

The next trial will take place before the end of April, with delivery set for May 12.

Once it begins its work, it will make its maiden commercial voyage out of Southampton in May, setting sail for Barcelona as part of a cruise around the Mediterranean.

(Reuters)

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