Image: Allure of the seas passes Danish waters
Jens Norgaard Larsen  /  EPA
With only five feet of free space, the Finnish-built cruise ship MS Allure of the Seas passes under the Store Belt Bridge at low tides on Saturday.
updated 10/30/2010 2:25:44 PM ET 2010-10-30T18:25:44

The brand new sister ship of the world's largest cruise liner narrowly passed under a Danish bridge Saturday, a feat that required smooth seas and adjustable smokestacks, officials said.

The Allure of the Seas — a twin to Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, which made the same narrow squeeze under the Great Belt Fixed Link a year ago — measures around four football fields and accommodates 8,300 people, including crew members.

Hans Nilsen, an official at the Korsoer Naval Station, said the passage went fine, with about a 20-inch gap and 1.5 inches to spare to the safety margin when it squeezed under at around 1420 GMT after lowering its telescopic smokestacks.

"It went great," Nilsen said.

He said traffic on the bridge did not have to be stopped during the passage because the voyage was made during daytime, reducing any risks.

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The Allure of the Seas is worth about $1.5 billion. It left the shipyard in Turku, Finland, on Friday and is expected to reach its new home port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in a few weeks.

The cruise liner measures 1,200 feet from bow to stern, and its height from sea level is 236 feet.

Aside from a two-deck high dance hall, a 1,380-seat theater and an ice skating rink, a number of pools, spas, gyms, it also houses bars, restaurants and cafes as well as a shopping street with a park with trees.

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The building of the ship began by shipyard owner STX Finland in February 2008.

STX Finland is part of the international STX Europe Group, with shipyards in Brazil, Norway, France, Romania and Vietnam.

The shipping line said that cruise travel, especially in the United States, had picked up since the global downturn and that their cruise bookings were nearly full.

"Markets have developed well. We are not in the same situation as we were before 2008," said Harri Kulovaara, a deputy director at Royal Caribbean. "Our bookings have been full for a year, down to almost the last berth."

Construction of the Allure of the Sea at STX Finland's Turku yard began in February 2008. The company employs 3,300 people in Finland, of whom 1,100 are currently laid off. More layoffs are expected with no new projects until next autumn when the Turku yard is expected to begin the construction of a passenger ferry.

STX Finland is part of the international STX Europe Group, with shipyards in Brazil, Norway, France, Romania and Vietnam.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: Allure of the Seas

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  1. World's biggest ship

    The Allure of the Seas sets sail from Turku, Finland, for Florida on Oct. 29, 2010. Royal Caribbean's brand new ship will be the largest in the world, barely edging out her sister, Oasis of the Seas. (Lehtikuva / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. First Starbucks at sea

    The Allure of the Seas features the first Starbucks on a cruise ship. (Royal Caribbean) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Onboard entertainment

    The Move On! Move On! Parade on the Royal Promenade features characters from DreamWorks Animation's "Madagascar." (Royal Caribbean) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. A floating city

    Allure of the Seas has 16 passenger decks, 2,700 cabins, and can accommodate 6,300 passengers and 3,000 crewmembers. (Markku Ulander / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Carousel at sea

    A carousel can be found on the Boardwalk aboard the Allure of the Seas. (Royal Caribbean) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Recreation

    The outdoor play area aboard Allure of the Seas includes a multifunctional court which can host games of basketball, volleyball and badminton. (Lehtikuva / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Behemoth

    The gigantic vessel is the sister ship of the Oasis of the Seas, which Royal Caribbean has been running since its delivery in December 2009. Like Oasis, Allure of the Seas cost the cruise line about $1.5 billion. (Lehtikuva / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. 'Something for everyone'

    "There's something for everyone to discover on the grandest ships the world has ever seen," Royal Caribbean boasts on its website. (Lehtikuva / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Entertaining options

    Allure of the Seas features an ice rink and entertainment including the Broadway musical "Chicago" and the aerial acrobatic show "Blue Planet." (Royal Caribbean) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Just desserts

    There's no shortage of sweet treats aboard the Allure of the Seas, which has an onboard cupcake shop, ice cream parlor and doughnut shop. (Royal Caribbean) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A thrilling ride

    The Allure of the Seas features a zipline that soars across an open-air atrium. (Rob Lovitt) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. One big ship

    The Allure of the Seas measures nearly 1,200 feet long, towers 236 feet above the waterline and weighs 225,282 tons — 12 times more than the Eiffel Tower. (Roni Lehti / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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Video: Largest cruise liner just makes it under bridge

  1. Transcript of: Largest cruise liner just makes it under bridge

    LESTER HOLT, anchor: picture caught our attention today, the brand-new sister ship of the world's biggest cruise liner in a very close encounter as it passed under a bridge in Denmark on its way to a new home port in Fort Lauderdale , Florida . Adjustable smokestacks helped The Allure of the Sea make it past the bridge, and it is as close as it looks. It was about 20 inches to spare.

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