Icon of the Seas Returns to Shipyard After Acing First Sea Trials

Construction of Icon of the Seas proceeds as planned as the future world's largest cruise ship returns from a successful first sea trials.

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Royal Caribbean’s latest mega-ship, Icon of the Seas, has successfully completed its first sea trials. The news was confirmed from Meyer Turku, the Finnish shipyard responsible for the vessel’s construction.

Upon completion, Icon of the Seas will claim the title of the largest cruise ship ever built. Royal Caribbean International’s vision aims to redefine family vacationing. The ship will have eight distinct neighborhoods, each designed to create an unmatched and unforgettable family vacation experience.

Icon Achieves A Key Milestone

Royal Caribbean International’s newest cruise ship, Icon of the Seas, under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, has achieved another major milestone. On June 22, the Icon-class cruise ship returned successfully from its first set of sea trials.

Sea trials are an indispensable part of the shipbuilding process. Originally scheduled to start on June 16, the trials were delayed due to challenging wind conditions. The ship departed for her trials a few days later on June 19, with engineers testing the ship’s systems.

The tests involved evaluating speed, maneuverability, safety systems, propulsion, seaworthiness, and navigational systems. Even noise and vibration levels were thoroughly checked.

The shipyard said the following:  “Icon of the Seas has returned to the shipyard from her successful sea trials on Thursday 22.6. Work on Icon continues, and the next major event on Icon’s road to delivery will be her second sea trials later this year. Icon’s maiden voyage is scheduled to be in January 2024, when Icon will set sail from Miami for a week-long cruise in the Caribbean.

The return of Icon of the Seas to the shipyard after a four-day sea trial period suggests a successful testing phase. A prompt return often indicates that all systems performed as expected, meeting or exceeding the specifications. This is a positive sign for Royal Caribbean International, signaling that the ship is on track for delivery later this year.

Outfitting of Icon of the Seas

Now Icon of the Seas has completed the first set of sea trials; she is back at Meyer Turku’s shipyard for final adjustments and completing outfitting that started after the ship floated out on January 23

The focus will be on the interior of the ship. All interior spaces must be completed and furnished, including guest cabins, public areas, and service spaces. This includes the installation of all interior walls, floors, ceilings, electrical fixtures, plumbing, and HVAC systems.

Icon of the Seas at Meyer Turku
Icon of the Seas at Meyer Turku (Photo Credit: Meyer Turku)

All interior guest amenities, such as dining rooms, entertainment venues, bars, spas, and gyms, are constructed and outfitted during this stage.

The last steps include completing any outdoor amenities such as pools, outdoor dining areas, and recreational facilities. Preparation for subsequent sea trials is ongoing and expected to occur later this year.

A Game-Changer in the Cruise Industry

Icon of the Seas has raised the bar for cruise ships, claiming the title of the largest vessel ever constructed at an impressive 250,800 gross tons. The ship boasts a state-of-the-art Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system and fuel-cell technology, aligning with Royal Caribbean’s commitment to cleaner and more sustainable cruising.

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

An unparalleled experience awaits on the ship’s 20 decks able to accommodate up to 7,600 guests. With eight distinct neighborhoods, the biggest waterpark ever constructed on a cruise ship, the biggest pool ever, and a huge amount of bars and restaurants, guests will be spoilt for choice during their cruise.

“Icon of the Seas includes many features that guarantee an unforgettable vacation experience, such as the largest waterpark at sea with six record-breaking waterslides, an all-new family-focused neighborhood, six pools, and much more!” said Meyer Turku.

Maiden Voyage in January 2024

Icon of the Seas‘ maiden voyage has been confirmed for January 2024, departing from PortMiami. Guests will embark on a week-long cruise in the Caribbean, including popular destinations such as Basseterre, St. Kitts, and St. Thomas, and a day at Royal Caribbean’s private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Following her inaugural voyage, Icon of the Seas will sail on a series of seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises.

Western Caribbean itineraries will stop at Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico and, in some cases, Roatan, Honduras. On Eastern Caribbean cruises, the ship will dock at Philipsburg in St. Maarten or Basseterre, St. Kitts, and St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. All cruises stop at PerfectDay at CocoCay for a day of fun in the sun.

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