First Look as Biggest-Ever Cruise Ship Departs on Sea Trials

After a slight delay, Icon of the Seas has set off on her sea trials, the first images released by Royal Caribbean and Meyer Turku show.

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In an update following Friday’s news, Meyer Turku shipyard has released the first images of Icon of the Seas as she sets out for her inaugural set of sea trials. 

Initially scheduled for the weekend, the departure had to be postponed until today, Monday, June 19, due to harsh wind conditions. Icon of the Seas is expected to stay at sea for about one week, during which the shipyard will be testing some of the onboard systems, which cannot be tested while the ship is docked. 

A Glimpse into the Future of Cruising

Icon of the Seas has set sail on her first sea trials. While her initial departure was planned over the weekend, the weather conditions led to a rescheduled departure on Monday morning. The shipyard in charge of constructing the world’s largest cruise ship, Meyer Turku in Finland, and Royal Caribbean International both released several images of the occasion.

Icon of the Seas Sea Trials
Icon of the Seas Sea Trials (Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean)

The first pictures showcase the ship’s forward section and the huge Aquatheater as she navigates through the Turku Archipelago, assisted by a pair of tug boats. An alternative angle reveals the sprawling size of the ship with multiple distinguished features already discernible on the open decks. 

A standout shot provided by the Meyer Turku shipyard offers a comprehensive view of the aft end of the ship. Despite being under construction, locations for the Flowrider and the largest waterpark ever constructed onboard a cruise ship are taking shape, with several slides nearing completion.

Icon of the Seas Sea Trials
Icon of the Seas Sea Trials (Photo Courtesy: Meyer Turku)

On Deck 7, Splashaway Bay can be observed, occupying a surprisingly large space, while other features like the Hideaway bar, pool, and lounge area are becoming increasingly distinct. Other areas, such as Surfside and Chill Island, remain less visible.

Icon of the Seas Begins Her Journey

A video posted on YouTube further captures Icon of the Seas slowly advancing through the archipelago. The footage promises a glimpse of the spectacular experience awaiting guests once the ship is complete and fully operational.

As previously reported on Cruise Hive, sea trials are an indispensable part of the shipbuilding process. The Finnish shipyard, renowned for building some of the world’s largest cruise ships, continues to uphold its reputation with the Icon of the Seas, an incredible vessel that tops the charts at a staggering 250,800 gross tons. With 20 decks and a capacity for up to 7,600 guests, the ship is set to offer an unmatched cruising experience.

“Sea trials are one of the most important milestones on a ship’s road to completion. Sea trials are a way to test all the ship’s features that cannot be tested while docked, and that every function onboard is working as intended,” said Meyer Turku in a social media update earlier.

Once the sea trials are successfully completed, the first set is expected to last about a week, the ship will return to the Meyer Turku shipyard for final adjustments and outfitting. The ship, the first of its kind, is expected to undergo several trials before she is declared ready for commercial cruising.

Towards Cleaner, More Sustainable Cruising

Icon of the Seas, powered by an innovative Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system and fuel-cell technology, is a substantial leap towards greener, more sustainable cruising.

The ship will redefine the guest experience with eight unique neighborhoods offering a variety of bars, restaurants, and experiences, all designed to deliver the ultimate family vacation.

Icon of the Seas Sea Trials
Icon of the Seas Sea Trials (Photo Courtesy: Meyer Turku)

After completing her sea trials and receiving the final touches at Meyer Turku, Icon of the Seas is scheduled to embark on her maiden voyage on January 27, 2024, from her homeport, PortMiami, Florida.

The maiden voyage will be a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise, which includes stops in Basseterre, St. Kitts, and St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, as well as a day at Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island.

Following her maiden voyage, Icon of the Seas will offer a mix of 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. Ports of call include Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico, Roatan, Honduras, St Kitts, St. Maarten, and Perfect Day at CocoCay.

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