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Harmony of the Seas completes sea trials

With just over a few months to go until her first sailing, Royal Caribbean is making the final tweaks to their new ship, Harmony of the Seas. Having been ordered in December 2012, the ship has been under construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique and is almost ready for launch.

Earlier this week, the progress of the ship’s construction was showcased to the world after successfully completing a range of initial sea trials. On May 10th, she sailed nearly around 1,000 nautical miles over the course of three days – which saw the vessel’s power plant capacity, propulsion and manoeuvrability put to the test.

Upon launch, Harmony of the Seas will become the largest cruise ship in the world, with a total gross tonnage of 227,000 and a length of 362 metres. This makes her the largest ship of the Oasis-class fleet, with sister ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas both 1,700 less in terms of overall gross tonnage. The 16-deck tall vessel will be able to carry 6,400 passengers, who will be served on board by a crew of 2,100. It is thought that the overall cost of the behemoth vessel is between £800million and £1.1billion.

Popular amenities from Quantum-class and Oasis-class ships will feature on board the new vessel, including the Bionic Bar, Central Park, Aqua Theatre and a range of indulgent restaurants. As well as these, Harmony of the Seas will also play host a range of exciting new features including colourful water slides and an ‘Ultimate Abyss’ slide, which will see thrill seekers plunge 10 storeys down a spiralling chute to the lower decks of the ship.

Harmony of the Seas will undergo further tests next month, following the successful tests earlier this month, with a view to commencing itineraries from May 2016. Passengers looking to sail on board this exciting new ship will be able to board one of two short cruises out of Southampton, following the ship's launch on May 20th, 2016. The first of these two three-night round-trip sailings will see guests travel to Rotterdam, Netherlands before returning to Southampton, whilst the other will see guests completing a roundtrip to Cherbourg, France.

Following these sailings out of Southampton, she will travel to Barcelona, where she will be permanently docked and complete sailings around the western Mediterranean. In October, she will complete a transatlantic sailing before operating sailings in the Caribbean.

Fans of Royal Caribbean cruises have a lot to look forward to this year, with the launch of both Harmony of the Seas and the new Quantum-class vessel, Ovation of the Seas. These vessels will be followed by a fourth unnamed Oasis-class vessel and two more unnamed Quantum-class vessels, which are due to launch in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively.

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