The World’s Biggest Cruise Ship Nears Completion at Finnish Shipyard
Icon of the Seas Prepares for Delivery and Sea Trials
Turku, Finland – The construction of what is set to become the world’s largest cruise ship has been successfully concluded at a shipyard in Finland. The impressive vessel, Icon of the Seas, recently embarked on its first voyage in open waters for sea trials in anticipation of its possible delivery in October of this year.
The sheer magnitude of the Icon of the Seas is awe-inspiring, measuring a colossal 365 meters (nearly 1,200 feet) in length and boasting a projected weight of 250,800 tonnes. To put this into perspective, it is akin to floating two CN Towers simultaneously.
When the ship sets sail on the Caribbean waters in January 2024, it will comfortably accommodate approximately 5,610 passengers and 2,350 crew members. The ship’s crowning feature will be its grand Category 6 waterpark, officially becoming the largest of its kind at sea. This magnificent attraction will showcase six record-breaking water slides, while guests seeking a more leisurely experience can luxuriate in the ship’s seven pools and nine whirlpools.
Built at the esteemed Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, renowned as one of Europe’s premier shipbuilders, Icon of the Seas is on track to join the esteemed Royal Caribbean fleet on October 26, ahead of its highly anticipated debut in 2024, as stated by Royal Caribbean International President and CEO, Michael Bayley, during a press panel held earlier this year.
The current holder of the world’s most significant cruise ship title is another vessel within the Royal Caribbean fleet, Wonder of the Seas, which embarked on its inaugural voyage just last year. The wonder of the Seas, although slightly smaller at 1,188 feet in length and 18 decks to explore, has now passed the baton to the awe-inspiring Icon of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean International presents Icon of the Seas as the culmination of their cruise line’s evolution. It incorporates cutting-edge technology and draws upon 50 years of experience and insights from the company’s illustrious history. “We are positioning it as the ultimate family vacation, and when you step back and look at all the energy and time that has gone into creating this ship, it is mind-blowing,” expressed Bayley.
On June 22, the Icon completed its initial round of sea trials, as confirmed in an official statement by Royal Caribbean. The rigorous testing encompassed hundreds of miles, evaluating the vessel’s main engines, hull, brake systems, steering, noise levels, and vibrations. The ship’s schedule met all expectations despite a slight departure delay due to wind conditions.
A Floating Paradise Awaits
With over 40 options for dining, entertainment, and beverages, many of which are included in the cruise fare, Icon of the Seas promises an unmatched experience. Spanning 20 decks and featuring eight distinct neighborhoods, the ship aims to cater to every type of vacationer. From dedicated areas for young families to adults-only spaces such as Royal Caribbean International’s first dueling pianos bar, there is something for everyone.
The ship offers an extensive selection of 28 accommodations, including various categories tailored to families, numerous layouts with breathtaking ocean views, and expanded spaces for group travelers. Royal Caribbean proudly states that they have invested their longest-ever time frame in designing the perfect home base for guests.
As a testament to Royal Caribbean International’s commitment to a sustainable future, Icon of the Seas will become the company’s inaugural ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fuel cell technology.
A Team Effort and Anticipated Success
A remarkable workforce of 2,600 individuals has tirelessly labored on the construction of the Icon of the Seas daily. During the sea trials, hundreds of specialists were aboard to assess the ship’s performance over four days meticulously. Royal Caribbean plans to conduct a second set of sea trials in 2023.
The tremendous buzz surrounding the ship has translated into record-breaking advance sales. During the company’s quarterly financial results announcement, Michael Bayley declared Icon of the Seas “literally the best-performing new product launch we’ve ever had.”
Icon of the Seas will embark on annual seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages from Miami. Each itinerary will include visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s renowned private island destination, and its new expansion, Hideaway Beach. Passengers can anticipate a remarkable journey filled with adventure and relaxation on this monumental floating marvel.