Celebrating Royal Caribbeans “Freedom of the Seas”

Merlin Fireworks presented Firework Displays on Southampton Water over three consecutive nights to welcome “Freedom of the Seas”, the newest and largest cruise liner to join Royal Caribbeans fleet.


Working closely with Incredible Management, our client’s representative, Merlin’s Pierre-Yves Angoujard designed and choreographed the three displays to a specially commissioned soundtrack. High quality fireworks were very important to our client and Merlin commissioned many of the products for these displays from our longstanding Spanish manufacturer, Pirotecnia Caballer.

The fireworks had to be launched from a floating barge moored on Southampton Water while the guests would all be viewing from the top decks of the Ship. Merlin have been firing barge based displays since 1998 and were no strangers to working at the Port of Southampton.


This display was musical though and required some additional technology. To ensure synchronisation between the fireworks and the music, a digital timecode track was laid alongside the master audio track.  When the soundtrack was played on board the Ship this timecode track was broadcast by radio to the firework controllers on board the barge enabling the fireworks to launch and burst in time with the music playing on board.

A second barge was rigged with six Space Cannons and Lighting Designer Andrew Grant programmed their movement and colour to complement both the music and the Firework design.

DSC00272After a final crew briefing the barges are moved into their positions to await the start of the show.

All three displays went according to plan to great acclaim from clients and local press and public.

In fact Royal Caribbean were so thrilled they commissioned us to repeat the process again for their next two Freedom Class vessels, the “Liberty of the Seas” and “Independence of the Seas”.