Southampton has welcomed the world's largest cruise ship into its docks in preparation for its first ever voyage, which begins next week (22 May 2016). Built by STX France for Royal Caribbean International, Harmony of the Seas is 361m long – 37m longer than the Eiffel Tower and more than three times the length of the Elizabeth Tower in London (home of the Big Ben bell), making the Royal Caribbean's latest addition the world's largest cruise ship at 227,000 gross registered tonnes.
It is the widest cruise ship ever built, and cost close to one billion euros (£783.2m) to construct. It has 16 decks and will be able to carry 6,410 passengers and 2,100 crew members and 2,747 staterooms. From giant water slides to Bionic Bars (where robots serve you drinks) the cruise ship is the most lavish and expensive ship in the global cruise line's 25-strong-fleet.