Harmony of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world, has begun three days of sea trials. The 1,188-ft ship left the STX yard in St Nazaire shortly after 2.00 pm today for three days of tests in the Bay of Biscay.
There are 500 technicians and crew on board, including three pilots who have been trained on simulators.
The ship, a slightly bigger sister to Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, will be put through manoeuvres designed to check its handling, speed, propulsion, and turning capacity.
As the chart (courtesy of Marine Traffic) shows, it headed first for the island of Noirmoutier. It is expected to return to St Nazaire on Sunday morning. A further series of tests is scheduled to take place in four weeks’ time.
Harmony, which will carry 5,800 passengers, is expected to be handed over to Royal Caribbean on May 12. The ship will pay a brief visit to Southampton before spending the summer in the Mediterranean and re-positioning to the Florida port of Fort Lauderdale in October.