Actual Construction Begins on Third Icon Class Cruise Ship

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The Meyer Turku Shipyard and Royal Caribbean International celebrated a significant milestone with the start of construction for Icon III, the third Icon-class cruise ship. The event, highlighted by the traditional steel-cutting ceremony, took place on January 12, 2024. 

Icon III is scheduled to begin operations in 2026. She is the sister ship to one of the most spectacular cruise ships in history, Icon of the Seas, and the second in class, Star of the Seas

Steel-Cutting Marks The Beginning of Icon III

Construction of the third Icon-Class cruise ship, aptly named Icon III by the Meyer Turku shipyard, is officially underway. The traditional steel-cutting ceremony took place at the Meyer Turku Shipyard in Turku, Finland, on January 12, 2024. 

The ceremony, graced by representatives from Royal Caribbean Group and Meyer Turku, signals the start of an extensive two-year construction and outfitting period. As with her sisters, around 2,600 people will be working on the construction of the vessel daily.

Upon completion, Icon III, which is officially known only by her hull designation NB1402, is expected to redefine the cruise experience as a part of Royal Caribbean International’s already renowned Icon-Class fleet.

Steel Cutting for Third Icon Class Cruise Ship
Steel Cutting for Third Icon Class Cruise Ship

Tim Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku, emphasized the significance of this project: “With Icon III, we are further strengthening our role as the builder of the world’s most advanced cruise ships. Meyer Turku’s and Royal Caribbean Group’s long-term goals are becoming concrete, and with that we are able to set new standards to strengthen our leadership in the green transition of the maritime industry.”

Where the third Icon-class cruise ship will be operating, how she will be called, and the exact sailing date is at this time unknown. However, Royal Caribbean will very likely be providing more information as construction progresses.

Stage One of Many for Icon III

The steel-cutting ceremony is a traditional event in shipbuilding. It involves cutting the first piece of steel, symbolizing the transition from design to physical creation. The ceremony holds historical importance in maritime traditions and serves as a milestone in the shipbuilding process.

Steel Cutting for Third Icon Class Cruise Ship
Steel Cutting for Third Icon Class Cruise Ship

The process of constructing the third Icon class cruise ship will involve several stages. The next stage will be laying down the keel of the ship, which nowadays means the placement of the first block in the dry dock. Next will be the assembly of the large blocks. Large prefabricated sections are assembled in the dry dock, including the hull, engine, and superstructure.

Once the basic structure is assembled, the ship undergoes outfitting. This involves installing all the internal systems, such as engines, electrical systems, plumbing, and navigational equipment. Additionally, cabins, public spaces, and other amenities are constructed and furnished.

A Continuation of Innovation

Following just 11 months after the steel-cutting ceremony of sister ship Star of the Seas on February 14, 2023, the second Icon-class vessel, Icon III‘s steel cutting, is a testament to how fast progression is in the shipbuilding industry. 

The first of its kind, Icon of the Seas, is set to begin operations on January 24, 2024, having arrived in Miami on January 10.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas

These ships represent the pinnacle of cruise ship innovation. Coming in each at around 250,800 gross tons and accommodating approximately 5,600 guests at double occupancy, the ships are packed with innovation and technological advancements never seen before onboard cruise ships. 

Icon III, scheduled for completion in 2026, is, like her sisters, powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). She will likely feature neighborhoods and amenities similar to those of Icon of the Seas and Star of the Seas, with unique design elements tailored to the ship.

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