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Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas prepares for her maiden voyage

She contains an ice rink, water park and full-size basketball court along with 2,700 cabins. 

And today, the world’s biggest cruiseliner, the Symphony of the Seas, was handed over by French shipbuilder STX to US giant Royal Caribbean International ahead of her maiden voyage in the Mediterranean.

The ship cost a staggering £959million ($1.35bn), weighs 228,000 tonnes and is 362 metres (1,188 feet) long – just 20 metres shy of the length of the Empire State Building.

This makes the behemoth marginally bigger than its sister ship, the Harmony of the Seas, which STX France delivered to Royal Caribbean in 2016. 

 

Symphony of the Seas – the world’s biggest cruiseliner – was today handed over by French shipbuilder STX to US giant Royal Caribbean International ahead of her maiden voyage in the Mediterranean. Pictured, a view from a deck towards the central park

The ship cost £959million ($1.35bn) and is 362 metres (1,188 feet) long - just 20 metres shy of the length of the Empire State Building. Above, robotic bartenders on board

The ship cost £959million ($1.35bn) and is 362 metres (1,188 feet) long – just 20 metres shy of the length of the Empire State Building. Above, robotic bartenders on board

The 228,000-tonne vessel has been called 'the ultimate playground for guests of all ages'

The 228,000-tonne vessel has been called ‘the ultimate playground for guests of all ages’

Built over two years, the Symphony can hold up to 8,000 people including 2,200 staff

Built over two years, the Symphony can hold up to 8,000 people including 2,200 staff

The Symphony will start its maiden voyage on Saturday morning, heading to Malaga in Spain and spending its first season in the Mediterranean before heading to its home port of Miami

The Symphony will start its maiden voyage on Saturday morning, heading to Malaga in Spain and spending its first season in the Mediterranean before heading to its home port of Miami

Symphony is marginally bigger than its sister ship, the Harmony of the Seas, which STX France delivered to Royal Caribbean in 2016. Above, a casino on the liner

Symphony is marginally bigger than its sister ship, the Harmony of the Seas, which STX France delivered to Royal Caribbean in 2016. Above, a casino on the liner

‘We said thank you in a fairly tangible way. We actually said it a billion times and each one was one euro,’ joked Royal Caribbean boss Richard Fain, referring to the ship’s pricetag.

‘The Symphony of the Seas is the biggest liner in the world by less than one percent,’ STX boss Laurent Castaing told a handover ceremony in the western French port of Saint-Nazaire.

‘That one percent extra shows that together we can always make our ships better.’

Built over two years, the Symphony can hold up to 8,000 people including 2,200 staff and is billed as faster and quieter than the Harmony.

The Symphony will start its maiden voyage on Saturday morning, heading to Malaga in Spain and spending its first season in the Mediterranean before heading to its home port of Miami. 

'The Symphony of the Seas is the biggest liner in the world by less than one percent,' STX boss Laurent Castaing told a handover ceremony in the western French port of Saint-Nazaire

‘The Symphony of the Seas is the biggest liner in the world by less than one percent,’ STX boss Laurent Castaing told a handover ceremony in the western French port of Saint-Nazaire

The vessel is the 13th ship that STX has built for Royal Caribbean and comes as the French manufacturer returns to good times, with orders for two ships a year until 2020 - a rate it has not enjoyed for 15 years

The vessel is the 13th ship that STX has built for Royal Caribbean and comes as the French manufacturer returns to good times, with orders for two ships a year until 2020 – a rate it has not enjoyed for 15 years

Attractions include a zip wire, ice rink, mini golf course, climbing walls, surf simulator and a full-size basketball court

Attractions include a zip wire, ice rink, mini golf course, climbing walls, surf simulator and a full-size basketball court

'We said thank you in a fairly tangible way. We actually said it a billion times and each one was one euro,' joked Royal Caribbean boss Richard Fain, referring to the ship's pricetag

‘We said thank you in a fairly tangible way. We actually said it a billion times and each one was one euro,’ joked Royal Caribbean boss Richard Fain, referring to the ship’s pricetag

In February, Italian company Fincantieri announced it had reached an agreement to buy 50 percent of STX, after a bitter row between Paris and Rome over the shipyard last year

In February, Italian company Fincantieri announced it had reached an agreement to buy 50 percent of STX, after a bitter row between Paris and Rome over the shipyard last year

Moving to the evening, there is a state-of-the-art theatre where Broadway-style shows will entertain guests on a nightly basis

Moving to the evening, there is a state-of-the-art theatre where Broadway-style shows will entertain guests on a nightly basis

The Symphony is the 13th ship that STX has built for Royal Caribbean and comes as the French manufacturer returns to good times, with orders for two ships a year until 2020 – a rate it has not enjoyed for 15 years.

STX, which has a staff of 8,000 and also builds warships, is currently also building the Celebrity Edge, the first of a series of smaller and more luxurious liners for Royal Caribbean.

In February, Italian company Fincantieri announced it had reached an agreement to buy 50 percent of STX, after a bitter row between Paris and Rome over the shipyard last year.

French President Emmanuel Macron temporarily nationalised STX last July despite a sales deal his predecessor Francois Hollande had struck with Italy.

The French government said it was ready to seek other buyers if Italy refused a 50-50 split – a proposal angrily rebuffed by Rome, but which it has since accepted.

One of the bionic bar servers, which can muddle, stir, shake and strain to create the drink of your choice

One of the bionic bar servers, which can muddle, stir, shake and strain to create the drink of your choice

President Emmanuel Macron temporarily nationalised STX last July despite a sales deal his predecessor Francois Hollande had struck with Italy

President Emmanuel Macron temporarily nationalised STX last July despite a sales deal his predecessor Francois Hollande had struck with Italy

Along with having 20 restaurants, there are plenty of bars, where robots rustle up the cocktails

Along with having 20 restaurants, there are plenty of bars, where robots rustle up the cocktails

Beginning on November 24, the adventure-packed ship will make Miami, Florida, her year-round home, taking holidaymakers on seven-night Caribbean voyages

Beginning on November 24, the adventure-packed ship will make Miami, Florida, her year-round home, taking holidaymakers on seven-night Caribbean voyages

There are 23 pools and waterslides for guests to cool off on. One slide will earn the title for being 'the tallest slide at sea', with a 100-foot drop

There are 23 pools and waterslides for guests to cool off on. One slide will earn the title for being ‘the tallest slide at sea’, with a 100-foot drop

The main body of the monster liner was completed last June. Above, workers apply finishing touches today

The main body of the monster liner was completed last June. Above, workers apply finishing touches today

STX, which has a staff of 8,000 and also builds warships, is currently also building the Celebrity Edge, the first of a series of smaller and more luxurious liners for Royal Caribbean. Above, a worker leaves the Symphony this afternoon

STX, which has a staff of 8,000 and also builds warships, is currently also building the Celebrity Edge, the first of a series of smaller and more luxurious liners for Royal Caribbean. Above, a worker leaves the Symphony this afternoon



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk