The world’s largest cruise ship is being floated out at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland.
Royal Caribbean’s first Icon-class vessel, Icon of the Seas, touched water for the first time when her dry dock was flooded today. This weekend, the dry dock gates will open and Icon will float out to the outfitting pier, where construction will continue until it’s time for sea trials.
“The float out of a new ship is a defining moment, and in the case of Icon of the Seas, it marks the next step in the start of a new era of vacations,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We set out to create the world’s best family vacation more than five years ago, the culmination of 53 years of Royal Caribbean firsts and favorites that combine the best of every vacation. That is now a reality more than ever as Icon touches water for the first time.”
The massive 250,800 gross ton Icon of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship by over 13,000 gross tons, surpassing fellow Royal Caribbean ship Wonder of the Seas which has a tonnage of nearly 237,000. It is Royal Caribbean’s first ship to run on liquefied natural gas and use fuel cell technology.
Tim Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku, said “Icon of the Seas is a state-of-the-art ship that challenges the know-how of our shipyard and raises the entire Finnish shipbuilding industry to a new level. We are proud to be responsible for the design and construction of Icon of the Seas in cooperation with the customer and all our partner companies. This is also a significant step for the sustainable development of the shipbuilding industry.”
Like Royal’s Oasis-class ships, Icon of the Seas’ public areas will be divided up into neighborhoods. It will have eight neighborhoods, five of which will be brand-new. Highlights of the ship include the largest water park at sea, Swim & Tonic swim-up bar, an entire neighborhood made for young families called Surfside, The Hideaway beach club-esque sundeck with a suspended infinity pool, and the enclosed AquaDome with the AquaTheater.
Icon of the Seas is scheduled to debut in January 2024, operating seven-night eastern and western Caribbean voyages year-round from Miami.