France tests world's largest cruise ship

media captionHarmony of the Seas sets sail

Harmony of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship, has begun its first sea trial in western France.

Thousands of people gathered to watch in the port of Saint-Nazaire as the 70m (230ft) high vessel was guided out to sea by six tugs on Thursday.

The €1bn (£783m; $1.1bn) ship is being built for the Royal Caribbean International (RCI) cruise company.

The 227,000-tonne vessel is expected to be delivered to the US-based firm in two months.

The trial will continue until Sunday.

image copyrightAFP
image captionCrowds gathered ashore to watch the vessel leave the port
image copyrightAFP
image captionHarmony will be able to accommodate more than 6,000 passengers

The 16-deck Harmony of the Seas is 362m long - 50m longer than the Eiffel Tower is high.

After completion, it will be able to accommodate more than 6,000 passengers.

About 2,000 crew members will cater for their needs.

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