122,000-tonne cruise ship negotiates locks and channels designed for barges and leisure craft

With just inches to spare, a brand new cruise ship made its maiden voyage to the sea yesterday through locks and waterways designed for barges and leisure craft.

The 122,000-tonne Celebrity Eclipse took more than 12 hours to make the 42km journey from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenberg, Germany, to the Ems barrier.

“I am accustomed to docking in tight ports”, said captain Panagiotis Skylogiannis.

It is just as well because the ship’s large beam left her just two feet to spare as she negotiated some of the locks, and in some places there was less than a foot of water beneath her keel.

Celebrity Eclipse can accommodate more than 2,850 passengers, and on her top deck there is a 2,000 sq m area of grass where passengers can play golf.

She is due to arrive in Southampton in April for her official naming ceremony, after which she will embark on a series of summer cruises from the UK.