First Steel Cut for Next Royal Caribbean Icon-Class Ship

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Royal Caribbean International is striding quickly toward the next generation of cruise ships, and construction is now underway for the second Icon-class vessel, due to set sail in 2025.

The first steel was cut for the new ship on February 14, 2023, at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, in a traditional ceremony to mark the beginning of the vessel’s physical construction.

Steel Cutting for Next Icon-Class Ship

Little is known about the second Icon-class ship, but excitement is already high as the vessel’s construction has now officially begun. The traditional steel-cutting ceremony was attended by officials from Royal Caribbean International as well as Meyer Turku to celebrate the beginning of the venture that will further position Royal Caribbean as a world leader in oceangoing family getaways.

The ship has been in the planning stages for years, and the physical construction will last many months as blocks for the ship are built and assembled, key systems are put in place, and outfitting is completed.

Royal Caribbean Icon-class Steel Cutting
Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

No debut date other than 2025 has yet been announced, nor have any details about the ship’s deployment, itineraries, or special features yet been revealed.

As a sister ship to the much-anticipated Icon of the Seas, the ship will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), and is sure to have a range of amazing neighborhoods and high-energy amenities, venues, and activities for everyone to enjoy.

Statistics for the ship are not yet finalized, but its weight is estimated to be approximately 250,800 gross tons, with a passenger capacity of roughly 5,600 guests at double occupancy, similar to sister ship Icon of the Seas.

Name Yet to Be Announced

No name has been announced for the second Icon-class ship, which is currently known only as “Project NB-1401” though the name should be revealed soon.

Royal Caribbean Icon-class Steel Cutting
Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

Traditionally, Royal Caribbean ships have somewhat related names, with the first vessel in each class bearing the class name. Therefore, Icon of the Seas is the first Icon-class ship.

Synonyms that could make possible names for the second ship include idol, epitome, essence, emblem, paradigm, luminary, and magnate. Of course, the name could be completely different as well.

About the Icon Class

The goal of Royal Caribbean’s new class of ships is to create a new era of vacations combining the best of all vacation types on land – resort getaways, beachside retreats, theme park adventures, and more.

To do so, the cruise line is creating innovative “neighborhoods” throughout the ship, integrating food and beverage services, onboard activities, gathering spaces, and more so that no one needs to compromise on what they prefer for their vacation.

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

While there is no guarantee that the new ship will be identical to Icon of the Seas, many of the features – such as the family-oriented Surfside neighborhood – are likely to be similar.

Further details about Icon of the Seas are being revealed in additional episodes of the cruise line’s “Making an Icon” video series, details that are sure to be similar to the second ship as well. Already, Icon of the Seas is the most anticipated cruise ship under construction, and when bookings opened, the vessel shattered single-day booking records for the cruise line.

Anticipation and excitement for the second Icon-class ship, as well as the third in the class, scheduled to debut in 2026, is sure to be high as well. Stay tuned to Cruise Hive for further updates on all of these outstanding ships!

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