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World's largest cruise ship arrives in UK

Press AssociationPress Association 17/05/2016

The world's largest cruise ship has arrived at Southampton ahead of its maiden voyage.

The 362-metre-long Harmony of the Seas cost $US1 billion ($A1.37 billion), can carry 6780 guests and 2100 crew, and took more than two-and-a-half years to construct.

The Royal Caribbean ship, which has 20 restaurants on board, will set sail for its first trip, a four-night cruise from Southampton to Rotterdam, on May 22.

The liner features a 10-storey water slide called the Ultimate Abyss, which features a 30m drop, making it the tallest at sea.

Other facilities on board the "seven-neighbourhood" ship include the deepest pool at sea, which will feature diving performances. The ship also boasts a production of the musical Grease.

It has its own park, which contains 10,587 plants, 48 vine plants and 52 trees, while a total of 11,252 works of art are showcased across the vessel.

Stuart Leven, managing director UK and Ireland, Royal Caribbean International, said: "Cruising is changing - it's becoming a holiday for all the family, it's not just white tablecloths and ties at dinnertime - now the sort of holiday you get at all-inclusive resorts on land can be replicated on the seas.

"We have a 10-storey slide, surf machines, plenty of restaurants like Jamie Oliver's Italian on board, a great choice, and you can wake up with a different view from your balcony each day.

"My favourite facility is the robotic bartenders where you go in with an iPad to place your order and they will mix your cocktail. We are really pushing the boundaries.

"It's all about variety - when you have a ship of this scale, you can offer so many things."

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