Gigantic cruise ship leaves Papenburg dry dock

The largest cruise ship ever to be built in Germany has left the dry dock of the Meyer shipyards in the northern city of Papenburg.

Gigantic cruise ship leaves Papenburg dry dock
Photo: DPA

With several thousand onlookers watching, the “Celebrity Solstice” was slowly eased into the water on Sunday.

“We’ve got the ship tied to the dock now, but there’s countless testing still to be done,” shipyard spokesman Peter Hackmann said.

The ship, which cost US cruise line Celebrity Cruises €500 million, is 315 metres long, 36.8 metres long and has capacity for 2,900 passengers. Approximately 85 percent of all cabins have their own balcony. “There’s even a theatre for more than 1,000 people,” Hackmann said.

The ship’s massive smokes stacks will be attached on Monday and once pierside work is finished, the “Celebrity Solstice” head down the Ems River to the Dutch port Eemhaven on September 27. The ship’s first cruise in the Caribbean is scheduled for November 23.

The Papenburg shipyards in the German state of Lower Saxony build two or three cruise ships each year and its order books are full through 2012 as the cruise industry continues to boom.