The world's largest and most lavish cruise ship ‘Oasis Of the Seas' prepared to cross the Atlantic, stopping briefly to drop off 300 workers who were putting finishing touches to the sealiner.
Towering above the seas and dwarfing the ferry passing by, the cruise ship, once in Florida, will embark on its maiden voyage to Haiti, reports The Mail, London.
Enthusiasts flocked to the cliffs of Hampshire in the hope of catching a glimpse of the ship - not that they could miss it. It is three times the size of the QE2 - and five times as big as the Titanic.
It is en route from its shipyard in Finland before crossing the Atlantic for its official unveiling in Florida.
The £855million vessel can accommodate a staggering 6,360 passengers and 2,160 crew in recession-defying luxury, with cabins including 'multi-level urban-style loft suites' boasting floor-to-ceiling windows.
On-board entertainment will be enough to satisfy even the most jaded millionaire, including the aquatic amphitheatre, handcrafted carousel, zip-wire racing diagonally down nine decks and even what is billed as the world's first floating park.
Oasis of the Seas passed the USS Ramage at anchor as she sailed through the Solent before continuing her journey to the U.S.
It also features not one but four swimming pools plus various whirlpools, volleyball and basketball courts, rock climbing wall and a 'youth zone' with theme parks and children's science labs.
The ship is so vast it is divided up into 'neighbourhoods' with special themes, including a tropical zone with palm trees and vines among the total 12,000 plants on board.
Hundreds of people gathered on beaches at both ends of the Great Belt Bridge, which connects the Danish islands of Zealand and Funen, to see the ship make its way out of the Baltic Sea.
It was a very tight squeeze indeed considering there was only a 2ft gap between the ship and the bridge as it passed beneath. It only cleared it by lowering its telescopic smokestacks.
'It was fantastic to see it glide under the bridge. Boy, it was big,' said Kurt Hal, 56.
Once the drop-off has been made, the Oasis will make its way across the Atlantic where operators Royal Caribbean - who have already ordered a sister ship, Allure of the Seas - will officially name it before its first cruise, to Haiti next month.
Company officials are banking that its novelty will help guarantee its success.
Sensitive to charges of conspicuous consumption, its builders say it is also the world's most environmentally-friendly cruise ship, reusing all its water and discharging no sewage into the sea.
The Oasis Of The Seas lowered its smokestacks to squeeze under the Great Belt Bridge as it leaves the Baltic Sea with barely 2ft to spare
The cruise liner is so vast it is divided up into 'neighbourhoods' with special themes. It boasts 21 swimming pools, a carousel, a rock climbing wall and even a science lab
OASIS OF THE SEAS:
Length - 1,180ft; weight - 225,282 tons; decks - 16; passengers - 6,360; crew - 2,160
Cost to build - £800million; price for a two-week cruise - from £1,300
630,000 gallons of paint needed to decorate it
2,300 tons of water in its swimming pools
12,000 plants on board including hundreds of palm trees
3,300 miles of electrical cables to keep the lights in its 2,700 cabins blazing