On a sunny June day in Trieste, Italy, a crowd of shipyard workers, dignitaries, journalists and executives from P&O Cruises assembled at Fincantieri's Monfalcone shipyard. The occasion? The ceremonial float out of U.K.-based P&O Cruises' newest superliner (that's British for mega-ship!), Azura, which is due to launch in April 2010 in Southampton.
A float out, in basic terms, is the process of introducing water to the dry dock in which exterior construction of a vessel is taking place. It's not an instant rush of water; over a period of hours, Azura's dock is slowly filled, and the 116,000-ton, 3,080-passenger vessel eventually rises, floating for the very first time -- officially becoming a ship!
Join us for a tour of the under-construction ship, and see what's involved in a float out ceremony.