World’s Largest Cruise Ship Takes to Water for First Time


World’s largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas, takes to water for first time

The construction of Symphony of the Seas, the largest cruise ship ever, hit a major milestone on Friday as the ship took to the water for the first time.

The 230,000-ton Royal Caribbean vessel was floated out from a dry dock at the giant STX shipbuilding facility in St. Nazaire, France, where it has been under construction for more than a year. The float out marks the end of exterior work on the ship. It now will undergo months of finishing work to its interior.

Scheduled to debut in April, Symphony will be more than 3,000 tons bigger than the current size leader in the cruise world, Royal Caribbean’s 226,963-ton Harmony of the Seas. Like Harmony, Symphony will be part of Royal Caribbean’s record-breaking Oasis Class of ships, though it won’t be an exact copy of its sisters. Royal Caribbean has said Symphony will boast several new features and additional cabins.

Symphony is scheduled to sail to the Caribbean out of Miami starting in November 2018. It’ll move to the city after spending its first few months operating voyages in the Mediterranean.

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class vessels have made waves in the cruise industry since they began debuting in 2009. All three of the Oasis Class ships currently at sea are in excess of 225,000 tons — more than 30% larger than the next largest cruise ships.

With the arrival of Symphony, Royal Caribbean will have 25 vessels.

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