Posted by: cruise2 | 2 June, 2016

Harmony of the Seas Enters Service

by Kevin Griffin writing for cybercruises.com

When Harmony of the Seas arrived in Southampton recently she looked a little different than her earlier fleetmates, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

Harmony of the Seas has an array of five shelters protecting her Solarium

Harmony of the Seas has an array of five shelters protecting her Solarium

Not only was her top-hamper different above the bridge.

She had an array of five shelters protecting her Solarium in lieu of three on the earlier ships. And aft, her new water-slides gave her a very different appearance, with brightly coloured children’s play tubes rather detracting from her lines, such as they are.

In terms of size, the Harmony exceeds her near sister ships Oasis and Allure of the Seas by less than 1% in tonnage and in length, but she is 96 feet longer than one of the US Navy’s ten “Nimitz” class nuclear aircraft carriers, which carry a crew of 3,200 and an air wing of 2,480.

The USS Nimitz off of Victoria, BC

USS Nimitz off Victoria, BC

These large cruise ships can handle in excess of 5,400 passengers with a crew of 2,164, for more than 7,500 on board compared to 5,680 on the carriers. But where Harmony of the Seas cost $1 billion the “Nimitz” class ships each cost $4.5 million.

This comparison shows just how wide these ships are compared to the more conventional and more streamlined “Quantum” class ships (which are still longer than the aircraft carriers):

Compared to other merchant ships, however, CMA CGM’s new 18,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent container unit) container ships exceed the dimensions of Harmony of the Seas and even the “Nimitz” class aircraft carriers by length.

Here are the comparisons:

Although registered in London, CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin calls Southampton her home port and now runs in CMA CGM’s French Asia Line 1 between Europe and Asia, including China.

The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin in Long Beach. Far, in the background a Carnival Cruise Line's ship and the Queen Mary (Courtesy of CMA CGM)

CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin in Long Beach. Far, in the background a Carnival Cruise Line ship and Queen Mary (Courtesy of CMA CGM)

Five months ago she became the largest container ship ever to call at a North American port when she arrived at Long Beach on December 26, 2015, on an experimental Transpacific crossing.

The half dozen ships of this class each carry either eight or ten passengers.

Compared to cruise ships, they are substantially wider than Queen Mary 2 and the “Quantum” class ships.

The latest pair of “Oasis” class ships (a fourth is under way at St Nazaire for delivery in early 2018) incorporate many of the public areas and features of the more recent 4,180-berth “Quantum”class ships, chief among these being two robot bartenders.

Harmony of the Seas (Photo courtesy Royal Caribbean International)

Harmony of the Seas (Photo courtesy Royal Caribbean International)

They are also the first of the “Oasis” class ships to incorporate three water-slides plus a 10-deck slide called the Ultimate Abyss.

Harmony’s design is significantly more efficient than the original “Oasis” class duo, with a combination of hull design and bubbler system, making them 20% more fuel efficient than the originals, as well as a scrubber system to reduce emissions. Much of the new “Quantum” class check-in technology has also been incorporated into the new “Harmony” class ships.

Royal Caribbean has announced it will hold a contest in schools to determine who will sponsor its new flagship. Meanwhile, she sailed from Southampton on her first revenue voyage to Barcelona on Sunday May 22.

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