An iconic new era of cruising travel has arrived, as at approximately 7 a.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2024, Royal Caribbean International’s Icon of the Seas sailed into PortMiami for the very first time.
Great fanfare accompanied the ship’s arrival to her homeport, as this day has been highly anticipated ever since the record-breaking vessel was first announced in 2016 and the first steel was cut for the ship in June 2021.
Icon of the Seas Has Arrived!
A moment that has been years in the making, Icon of the Seas arrived in PortMiami on Wednesday, January 10, 2024. As is customary when welcoming a new ship, the vessel was accompanied by multiple pilot boats, tugs, and the traditional escort of fire boats with water cannons blazing.
Even more fanfare was necessary to welcome such a massive, innovative ship, however, and planes soared above Icon of the Seas towing welcome banners.
On shore, crowds gathered at the official welcome party at the Perez Art Museum Miami to watch as the ship pulled into Biscayne Bay for the first time, some carrying signs to greet the ship and her 2,350 crew members.
A local marching band and cheerleaders were on hand for the celebration, a festive occasion like the world has never seen.
Onboard, crew members lined the decks, waving streamers and clearly excited for the homeport arrival. Also enjoying the excitement was Rover, the “Chief Dog Officer” of the vessel, who was seen greeting crew members and posing for selfies and plenty of petting. Rover also got to enjoy a special birthday cake – could it be the canine’s birthday, or the birth of a new era in Royal Caribbean cruising?
The entire arrival was livestreamed on Royal Caribbean’s Facebook page and other social media, with fun hashtags and greetings like “Knock Knock Miami Your Icon Is Here” and “This Season’s It Girl Has Finally Arrived” showing enthusiasm for the occasion. Drones followed the ship’s arrival, providing unparalleled views of the ship and her crew.
“Miami’s skyline is getting even more iconic,” said Royal Caribbean.
A Journey Completed
The massive ship has been on the move for weeks, first leaving the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland after her official delivery to the cruise line on November 27, 2023. The first major milestone of the voyage was passing underneath the Great Belt Bridge in Denmark, a technical feat only possible because of the ship’s retractable, telescoping funnels.
Icon of the Seas then spent several days in Cadiz, Spain for final outfitting before beginning her transatlantic crossing to Puerto Rico, where she took on new crew members and supplies, as well as underwent some final regulatory testing.
The ship then visited Perfect Day at CocoCay where the crew members were treated to a massive party at the new Hideaway Beach, the adults-only area of the island that will officially debut for guests when Icon of the Seas visits the private port of call.
Finally, the ship has moved to Miami, where she will now continue to take on supplies and prepare for her first guests on January 27, 2024.
Naming Ceremony Announced
The official naming ceremony for Icon of the Seas is the next step in officially welcoming the ship to the Royal Caribbean fleet. That event will take place on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, as the Icon of Icon – famous football star Lionel Messi – will christen the ship.
That event will also include traditional blessings for the ship and her safety, wishing smooth sailings for everyone aboard as she enters what is sure to be a long and phenomenal, even an iconic, service life.
Welcome, Icon of the Seas!