The world’s largest cruise ship cleared a crucial obstacle Sunday, lowering its smokestacks to squeeze under a bridge in Denmark.
The Oasis of the Seas - which rises about 20 stories high - passed below the Great Belt Fixed Link with a slim margin as it left the Baltic Sea on its maiden voyage to Florida.
Bridge operators said that even after lowering its telescopic smokestacks the giant ship had less than a 2-foot (half-meter) gap.
Hundreds of people gathered on beaches at both ends of the bridge, waiting for hours to watch the brightly lit behemoth sail by shortly after midnight (2300GMT; 7 p.m. EDT).
“It was fantastic to see it glide under the bridge. Boy, it was big,” said Kurt Hal, 56.
Company officials are banking that its novelty will help guarantee its success. Five times larger than the Titanic, the $1.5 billion ship has seven neighborhoods, an ice rink, a small golf course and a 750-seat outdoor amphitheater. It has 2,700 cabins and can accommodate 6,300 passengers and 2,100 crew members.
Accommodations include loft cabins, with floor-to-ceiling windows, and 1,600-square-foot (487-meter) luxury suites with balconies overlooking the sea or promenades.