It’s been into the Grand Canyon, given people a virtual tour of the Great Barrier Reef – and Google Street View has now taken its first step into the slightly more prosaic world of cruise liners.
Royal Caribbean International is now using Google Maps Business View – the commercial arm of Google’s Street View – to take people on a virtual tour of Allure of the Seas, the company’s gargantuan flagship and the largest cruise ship in the world.
Unlike Google street view available in cities, for example, the technology is a finite series of short snippets on board the 362-metre ship – which takes a total of 6296 passengers – rather than a seamless non-stop tour.
Visitors to the website select from a series of options to enable them to "tour" the ship’s restaurants, cabins and pools as well as the ship's “unique activities”, which include a surfing machine, rock-climbing wall and zip wire.
Jo Briody of the cruise line said: “Consumers go online to research their holidays and this is the closest they can get to actually being on board.”
But for an extra 5cm in length the ship is almost identical to the line's Oasis of the Seas – perhaps as a result of a difference in temperature when they were both measured.
The Street View images were taken using a basic DSLR camera with a fisheye lens and a panoramic head resting on a tripod.
Take the tour below:
The Telegraph, London