Harmony of the Seas, the world's largest luxury cruise ship took to the seas for the first time on Thursday afternoon as it slides into the waters of western France, in the port of Saint Nazaire.
Thousands of people gathered at the dock to watch as the 120,000-tonne ship was helped out to sea by six tugs. Some 500 people – mostly crew as well as engineers, suppliers and Royal Caribbean International staff – were on board for the trial, which is set to continue until Sunday.
The next trials will take place before the end of April, with delivery set for May 12.
Harmony of the Seas, built by STX France at a cost of $1.1bn (£770m), is 362m (1,187 ft) long and weighs 227,000 tonnes. Stood on its end it would be 50m (164ft) taller than the Eiffel Tower and is almost 100m (328ft) longer than the Titantic.
Harmony is also a meter wider than the current twin ocean-going monsters of the pleasure cruise world, which are also 362 meters long.
"Allure of the Seas" and "Oasis of the Seas" were the world's previous biggest cruise ships in service, both being 65 meters wide and weighing 225,000 tons each. The trio belongs to Royal Caribbean International cruise lines.
The giant vessel is due to sail from Southampton to Barcelona on its maiden voyage.
The 18-deck ship will feature the line's first full-size water park as well as a pair of twisting dry slides called The Ultimate Abyss, dropping riders 10 decks (that's 100 feet) from the Pool and Sports Zone on Deck 16 to the Boardwalk on Deck 6.