Rainbow Bridge record broken

The 63,000-ton luxury cruise ship Volendam on Saturday became the biggest ship ever to pass under Tokyo’s Rainbow Bridge, setting the record on its first visit to the Japanese capital.

The Netherlands-flagged ship passed under the suspension bridge, built in 1993, that soars across Tokyo Bay during its approach to Harumi wharf

The liner, operated by Seattle-based Holland America Line Westours Inc., is 237 meters long and rises nearly 50 meters from the surface of the water.

The Volendam, with 1,850 people aboard, was welcomed by ship enthusiasts and fireboats shooting jets of water as it slowly approached the metropolitan waterfront around 7:30 a.m.

On Sept. 23, the gigantic vessel left Vancouver with about 1,200 passengers, mostly Americans, for a 64-day cruise in the Pacific, according to a tour operator. It arrived in Tokyo via Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, the operator said.

It was scheduled to leave Tokyo on Sunday evening, making a stop at Osaka on Monday and Nagasaki on Wednesday, the operator said. It is scheduled to return to Los Angeles at the end of November after visiting countries in Southeast Asia and Oceania.