Passengers held their breath as their cruise liner became the largest ship to pass through Greece’s narrow Corinth Canal last Wednesday, according to its operator.

Passengers on board the 22.5m-wide MS Braemar could reach out and touch the sides of the canal – 24m wide at its narrowest point.

Carrying more than 1,200 passengers and crew, the 196m-long ship was assisted by a tugboat to avoid any bumps along the way.

The 24,344-tonne Braemar, owned by Britain-based Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, made history last Wednesday as it became the longest boat to make the journey, with a stunning video showing just how close it got to the walls of the canal.

The 6.4km-long Corinth Canal separates mainland Greece from the Peloponnesian Peninsula, and connects the Corinthian and Saronic Gulfs. It shortens the sea route from Italian ports to the port of Athens.

Ms Clare Ward of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines said the voyage was a “tremendous milestone” in the company’s history. “We are thrilled to have been able to share it with our guests.”