Celebrity Cruises latest Solstice class ship has edged its way out of its inland shipyard to make its journey to the sea travelling backwards.
The £500 million Celebrity Silhouette’s so called conveyance along the River Ems involved negotiating narrow locks with only 1.5 metres to spare.
Travelling on an aqueduct over a motorway, major infrastructure including power lines and railway tracks had to be removed for the ship’s passage, which took place at high tide to ensure there was enough water in the river.
The 2,852-passenger ships’ transit from Papenburg in Germany, which started yesterday, saw it travel in reverse at less than four miles an hour for 26 miles with the assistance of tugs.
The completion of the 12-hour journey will see the vessel emerge into open sea at Emshaven in Holland where final touches will be completed prior to it cruising to Hamburg for its formal naming in the German city on July 21.
Celebrity Silhouette, the fourth of five Solstice class ships, will sail from Hamburg to Civitavecchia, the port of Rome, where it will run 12-night eastern Mediterranean sailings through the summer before transferring to Cape Liberty in New Jersey to operate 12-night Caribbean cruises.
New features on board include the Lawn Club Grill, a tree-house Hideaway and private cabanas on the top deck overlooking the lawn.