The World’s Largest Cruise Ship: Icon of the Seas

photo of icon of the seas

Royal Caribbean Group and Finland announced plans in October 2016 to build the world’s largest cruise ship by the end of 2025. The ship will feature two classes: the Icon Class Ship (Icon of the Seas) and the Star of the Seas, both for Royal Caribbean International.

Royal Caribbean International (RCI), formerly known as Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL), is a renowned cruise line brand founded in 1968 in Norway. Since 1997, it has operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Group. With its headquarters in Miami, Florida, RCI holds the position of the largest cruise line in terms of revenue and ranks second in passenger counts.

The builders of this ship, Meyer Turku, located in Turku, Finland, commenced their operations in June 2021. The process began with the steel cutting group, and the installation of the Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) tank followed in October 2021. The floating engine and other crucial installations were completed in December 2021. The keel, which provides stability to the ship, was laid in April 2022.

photo of icon of the seas ship under construction
icon of the seas cruise ship under construction

The designers of the ship confirmed that the Icon of the Seas cruise ship is the largest in the world, surpassing the size of all previously built Oasis-class ships.

Outstanding Features on Icon of the Seas

The ship boasts a crew of 2,350 and can accommodate 5,610 passengers at double occupancy, or a maximum of 7,600 passengers. Icon of the Seas spans 20 decks, offering seven swimming pools and six water slides to provide a diverse range of aquatic entertainment.

Innovative Features on the Ship

The designers introduced other notable features which includes: Aquadome, a unique diving and performance venue situated under a glass dome on the ship’s top deck. The Pearl stands out as a structural marvel, designed as a dynamic art installation on the Royal Promenade. Additional attractions include Absolute Zero, an ice-skating rink and entertainment venue, Surfside, a family-oriented neighborhood, The Hideaway, a beach club featuring the first suspended infinity pool on any ship, Thrill Island, the largest waterpark at sea with six different water slides, and Swim & Tonic, celebrating the title of the largest swim-up bar at sea.

First trial sail for Icon of the Seas and Completion

photo of icon of the seas on first trial
icon of the seas on its first trial moment

Icon of the Seas sailed for its first sea trial on June 2023. However, the ship was subsequently returned to the Meyer Turku shipyard on the same month for necessary adjustments to its systems, as well as to finalize the completion and furnishing of interior spaces. All remaining finishing touches on the ship were completed in December 2023.

Launching of the Ship (Icon of the Seas)

The ship was officially launched on January 23, 2024, with the launch sponsored by Lionel Messi. The team of builders from Royal Caribbean Group and Finland, the ship’s owners, and the operators, Royal Caribbean International, were all present to grace the occasion.

The Maiden Voyage of Icon of the Seas

The ship’s first official voyage took place on Saturday, January 27, 2024. The experience was great, and you can’t afford to miss out on such a memorable sea adventure.

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