Icon of the Seas is on her way to Spain following her delivery at the end of November, and along the way the massive ship has crossed a momentous landmark by passing beneath the Great Belt Bridge.
The 20-deck-tall ship had just feet to spare as she sailed smoothly beneath the span. Before doing so, Icon of the Seas had to perform an engineering feat that has not been done since the Oasis-class Allure of the Seas sailed beneath the bridge in 2010.
Icon of the Seas Clears Bridge on First Journey
Icon of the Seas was officially delivered on November 27, 2023, in Turku, Finland, two months to the day before she will welcome her first guests in Miami, Florida. The nearly 6,700-mile-journey (10,780 kilometers) between the shipyard and the ship’s official homeport, however, has several milestones the ship must cross.
The first major seagoing landmark is the Great Belt Bridge (Storebæltsbroen in Danish), a major connecting bridge in Denmark. The total length of the span is 11 miles, including a railway tunnel section, and the clearance is just 213 feet from the surface of the water.
On Friday, December 1, 2023, Icon of the Seas approached this landmark at good speed, passing beneath the span with just feet to spare between the deck of the bridge and the ship’s funnels, communication and radar towers, and the impressive AquaDome.
To make the passage safely, the ship’s funnels were lowered and secured, giving extra clearance to ensure there would be no contact between the ship and the bridge.
“The entire crew contributed their expertise in innovation and engineering to ensure the ship cleared the bridge safely,” Royal Caribbean stated in an impressive video of the momentous passage.
On final approach to the bridge, crew members onboard gathered in the AquaDome and along the decks to celebrate the historic moment. Cheers erupted as the bridge’s span passed over the tremendous glass dome.
The last massive ship to pass beneath this landmark was Allure of the Seas in 2010. Wonder of the Seas, the largest of the Oasis-class vessels and the current title holder as largest cruise ship in the world – until Icon of the Seas welcomes guests – never passed under the span, as Wonder of the Seas was built in France rather than Finland.
All of Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis-class, Quantum-class, and now Icon-class ships have retractable funnels so they can pass beneath bridges more safely, no matter where in the world they may sail.
Where Icon of the Seas Is Heading Next
While Icon of the Seas will debut in January 2024 in Miami, the ship is not heading immediately to Florida.
Instead, Icon of the Seas is now in Cadiz, Spain, where she will continue final outfitting before her maiden voyage. Additional supplies will be loaded and more crew members will also join the ship in Spain, before she makes her first journey across the Atlantic Ocean.
The massive 250,800-gross-ton ship will arrive in Florida in late January. On Saturday, January 27, 2024, she will welcome her very first guests with great celebration and fanfare for what is sure to be a gloriously iconic vacation.
Icon of the Seas can welcome 5,610 passengers at double occupancy. The ship has many family-friendly features, however, including the Thrill Island waterpark with six record-breaking waterslides, the dedicated family Surfside neighborhood, the expansive Central Park, and much more.
When fully booked with all berths filled, Icon of the Seas can host as many as 7,600 travelers. Also onboard are 2,350 international crew members.
From January, the ship will offer both Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean itineraries, with all the 7-night sailings, including a visit to the cruise line’s private island in the Bahamas, Perfect Day at Cococay.