First Engine Started on Massive New Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

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With Royal Caribbean’s largest cruise ship in the world, Icon of the Seas, currently under construction in Finland, any milestone is significant! That includes when the engines are turned on for the very first time.

The shipyard confirmed that the first of six multi-fuel engines was activated. It comes as progress continues on the first Icon-class vessel, which will be completed at the end of 2023, and ready for sailing in early 2024.

Icon of the Seas Engines Started for the First Time

Royal Caribbean’s new LNG-powered Icon of the Seas has already reached some major milestones while under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland. Now, the ship has reached another milestone, with the first of six engines getting started for the very first time.

These engines will ensure the giant new class vessel is fully powered as over 7,000 passengers and crew are busy on board working or enjoying. The first engine was started on March 15 using diesel fuel. However, the main engines can be powered by fuel and gas.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas at Shipyard
Icon of the Seas at Meyer Turku (Photo Credit: Meyer Turku)

Chief engineer Tuomas Auvinen says: “Icon of the Seas has six Wärtsilä main engines. The first of them (number 2) was started today, Wednesday 15.3. at 11:00 a.m. Both diesel and natural gas can be used as fuel in the main engines, Wednesday’s start was made with diesel.”

With the complex technology involved, it’s a huge milestone for the workers at the shipyard. It shows that the installation has succeeded, which is especially important for a new design.

“The first main engine start on a ship largely tells a lot about the ship’s readiness. It is a sign that the various departments throughout the yard have achieved something significant. To achieve this milestone, all professional groups are needed, and for that, big thanks to everyone!” Auvinen added.

Royal Caribbean plans to use the six multi-fuel engines with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), each providing 67,500 KW of energy to run the ship. The cruise line will scrutinize kilowatts to ensure the Icon of the Seas is energy efficient and reduces emissions.

The ship will be shore power ready, use fuel cell technology, have waste heat capture and air lubrication systems, and even have one of the best water management systems at sea.

World’s Largest Cruise Ship Under Construction

Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas has been under construction at Meyer Turku since the first piece of steel was cut on June 16, 2021. Since then, the cruise ship has come together block by block. Construction milestones included the keel being laid for the first time in April 2022 and the ship floating out onto the water on December 2022.

The ship is well on its way to completion, focusing very much now on the interior spaces. And oh my, are there a lot of spaces that need work!

When Icon of the Seas is delivered to the cruise line, she will become the new world’s largest cruise ship at 250,800 gross tons, with a maximum guest capacity of 7,600 and 2,350 crew members across a total of 20 decks.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas Cruise Ship
Render Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

With all that capacity and space comes eight neighborhoods, each with its own features and styles, including the Aquadome, Central park, Chill Island, Royal Promenade, Surf Side, Suite Neighbourhood, The Hideaway, and Thrill Island.

Icon of the Seas will be delivered at the end of 2023 following the necessary sea trials. The ship will debut out of Miami, Florida, on January 27. the first guest sailing will be a seven-night Caribbean itinerary with visits to St. Kitts, St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, and the Royal Caribbean private island of Perfect Day at CocoCay.

The ship will sail year-round from PortMiami, offering seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. Guests will be happy to know a second Icon-class cruise ship is already under construction and will be completed in 2025. Are third in the same will class will also be constructed, with delivery in 2026.

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