Royal Caribbean International has reached a critical milestone with its largest, most ambitious, and most innovative ship ever, as Icon of the Seas has been floated out at the Meyer Turku shipyard. This event brings the ship one step closer to completion and its January 2024 debut.
Icon of the Seas Floated Out at Shipyard
Icon of the Seas has officially touched water for the first time, as the ship was floated out at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Turku, in southern Finland. This marks the completion of the ship’s exterior hull, and the vessel now moves to the next phase of construction.
“The float out of a new ship is a defining moment, and in the case of Icon of the Seas, it marks the next step in the start of a new era of vacations,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “That is now a reality more than ever as Icon touches water for the first time.”
The ship’s new design, including shore power connections, waste heat recovery systems, underwater hull lubrication to improve efficiency, and engines powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), make it an engineering masterpiece and a fine step toward further sustainability in the cruise industry, great accomplishments by the shipyard.
“Icon of the Seas is a state-of-the-art ship that challenges the know-how of our shipyard and raises the entire Finnish shipbuilding industry to a new level,” said Tim Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku.
“We are proud to be responsible for the design and construction of Icon of the Seas in cooperation with the customer and all our partner companies. This is also a significant step for the sustainable development of the shipbuilding industry.”
Next Construction Phase
To continue building the already highly anticipated vessel, the ship will be moved to the outfitting dock, where interior work will continue to bring the ship, with its eight distinctive neighborhoods, to life. For Icon of the Seas, this is a massive venture with many never-before-seen features.
“We set out to create the world’s best family vacation more than five years ago, the culmination of 53 years of Royal Caribbean firsts and favorites that combine the best of every vacation,” said Bayley.
Icon of the Seas will do just that with an astonishing variety of new and record-breaking features, such as the “Thrill Island” waterpark, the largest ever waterpark at sea, with six different waterslides. The ship will also feature the 40,000 gallon Royal Bay pool, the largest pool ever on a cruise ship.
The “Crown’s Edge” rope’s course will include a high plank skywalk, and the classic Royal Caribbean favorites – the Flowrider surf simulator and rock climbing wall, will also be onboard for thill-seekers.
The massive AquaDome over the ship’s bow is another phenomenal first, and will serve as a transformative space with cutting-edge technology to take the cruise line’s signature AquaTheater shows to the next level.
“Icon of the Seas is going to take our already best in the industry entertainment to a whole new level,” said Nick Weir, Senior Vice President, Entertainment, for Royal Caribbean International. “This is going to be the best entertainment ever seen.”
Not only is Icon of the Seas breaking records for its amazing features and overall size – at 1,198 feet long and weighing in at approximately 250,800 gross tons, she will be the largest cruise ship ever built – but interest in her debut is also breaking records.
When reservations for the ship opened in late October, the cruise line saw the highest single-day booking records ever in its 53-year history.
Icon of the Seas will set sail in January 2024, and is scheduled to be homeported from PortMiami. Stay tuned to Cruise Hive in the coming months as further details of this amazing ship are revealed!