Icon of the Seas vs Titanic: A Giant Comparison

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Cruise ships continue to dazzle the public eye and capture the imaginations of their passengers with their sheer size and sophistication, and that leads us to look at the Icon of the Seas vs Titanic!

Among the many vessels that have carried passengers in luxury and style, two stand out for their record-breaking proportions, unprecedented level of grandeur, and ambitious designs, just some of the mega reasons we’re looking at Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas and the RMS Titanic

Even though they are separated by over 100 years, both of these famous passenger vessels have carved out a significant place in maritime history. Today, we will take a deep look at how these two gargantuan ships compare. In doing so, we will look at their dimensions, passenger capacities, amenities, and even their historical legacies.

Icon of the Seas vs Titanic Comparison

Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas has a gross tonnage of 250,800 compared to the Titanic, at 46,328 gross tons. Icon of the Seas is also much longer at 1,198 feet, compared to Titanic, at 822.5 feet.

If you remove historical context and simply compare the two ships in terms of their dimensions and total guest capacities, it is no surprise that the world’s largest cruise ship, Icon of the Seas, dwarfs the relatively antiquated RMS Titanic.

Naturally, a state-of-the-art cruise ship that was completed in 2024 is going to be larger and more complex than an ocean liner that first set sail in 1917, but that does not mean that the more modern ship was any more revolutionary or innovative.

That said, comparing the two ships by sheer numbers is a good way to grasp how much passenger ship design evolved during the time that separates the two vessels.

Icon of the Seas vs Titanic Measurement Chart

StatsIcon of the SeasRMS Titanic
Ship ClassIcon ClassOlympic Class
Total Decks2010
Length of Ship1,198 Feet (365 Meters)882.5 Feet (269 Meters)
Gross Tonnage250,80046,328
Passenger Capacity5,610 (Double Occupancy)2,435
Crew Capacity2,350874

As expected, the Icon of the Seas is significantly larger than the Titanic, both in terms of its overall length and its weight in gross tons. Now that we have the sheer numbers, we can provide a more contextualized examination of the two ships. 

Size and Scale Comparison Between the Two Ships

A quick overview will tell you that the Icon of the Seas is drastically larger than the Titanic. While the size and complexity of the Titanic when it was first constructed meant that it was considered a true engineering marvel of its time, ship design has moved on. Modern-day cruise ships, especially the world’s largest, eclipse the Titanic and its sister ships in every way imaginable. 

When the Titanic embarked on its tragic maiden voyage in 1912, it was considered to be unlike any other passenger vessel the world had ever seen. At nearly 1,000 feet in length, passengers could not believe how much space they had to explore or how spacious the ship’s first-class accommodations were.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas (Photo Credit: lightmax84)

Like the Titanic did in its heyday, the Icon of the Seas is now considered a giant. While the 1,198 feet of the Icon of the Seas stretch is impressive, it does not tell the whole story regarding the size differences between the two iconic ships.

This is because, in the number of decks, you see how it overshadows its early ancestor. Where the Titanic’s nine passenger decks would have been impressive for the time, the Icon of the Seas doubles this number, plus the decks stretch the entire length of the ship.

Read Also: Icon of the Seas vs Wonder of the Seas – A Giant Comparison

You can also clearly see the difference in size between the two ships when you look at how they weigh up against each other. The staggering 250,800 gross tonnage of the Icon of the Seas makes the 46,328 gross tonnage of the Titanic look minuscule, even though the Titanic was considered a colossus during its time. So, even though the Icon of the Seas is only 35% longer than the Titanic, it weighs more than five times as much.

Icon of the Seas vs Titanic
Icon of the Seas vs Titanic

This vast increase in decks also explains why the maximum capacity of the Icon of the Seas is so much higher than what was possible on the Titanic. When the Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, she was fully loaded with 2,240 passengers and crew.

Worth Reading: Icon of the Seas Cabins and Suites Guide

On the other hand, the Icon of the Seas can carry more than triple this number of passengers alone. With the ability to comfortably take 7,600 passengers at maximum capacity and a crew of 2,350, the Icon of the Seas can carry a number of people in comfort that would have been unfathomable in the early decades of the 20th century. 

Differences Between Amenities and Entertainment Venues on the Icon of the Seas and the Titanic

While the unprecedented size of the Titanic and the tragic circumstances of her sinking tend to be what the ship is most remembered for, its most remarkable feature was its opulence during its time.

With entertainment options and amenities that were never seen on an ocean-crossing passenger vessel, the Titanic symbolized early 20th-century luxury travel.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas (Photo Credit: Ceri Breeze)

Fast forward to the modern day, the Icon of the Seas seeks to captivate the minds of the general public in many of the same ways.

Even though the Titanic was marketed to transatlantic travelers as the most sophisticated way to travel and the Icon of the Seas was designed to be a floating paradise and a venue for the ultimate family vacation, both were designed to redefine what a passenger vessel could be. 

To make the comparison easier to digest, let’s look at what each ship offered in isolation: 

Titanic Décor, Amenities, and Dining Options

Since the Titanic was designed to be a true symbol of opulence and luxury for Europe and North America’s elite, it is no surprise that the ship was outfitted with lavish interiors, numerous dining options, and plenty of amenities that were entirely new for ocean-crossing vessels. 

In addition to lavish accommodations for first-class passengers, the Titanic was centered around a grand staircase that would have looked impressive in any mansion of the time. For dining options, passengers were given options depending on the type of ticket they purchased.

Titanic
Photo Credit: Everett Collection / Shutterstock

First-class passengers could visit a luxurious dining saloon that served gourmet dishes, a more casual and trendy Persian-style café, and the Verandah Café, which sat beneath a large-scale glass dome. Passengers with lower-class tickets also had several options to choose from. 

Beyond dining and luxury accommodations, passengers also had several recreational and leisure amenities that could help them pass the time. This included a swimming pool, luxurious spa, gymnasium, several libraries, and a writing room. The expansive outer decks also featured shuffleboard games, lounge chairs, and purpose-built observation decks.

Titanic's Café Parisien
Titanic’s Café Parisien (Photo Credit: Robert Welch)

Although all of this may seem pretty basic by modern standards, in 1912, the Titanic achieved a level of luxury that was truly unheard of in an ocean liner. 

Icon of the Seas Décor, Amenities, and Dining Options

Like the Titanic and numerous other ships before it, the Icon of the Seas was designed to revolutionize how comfortable and entertaining marine travel could be. As such, it is a true floating paradise of entertainment, recreation, and leisure. Passengers can also choose between numerous accommodation styles and layouts.

Pools and Slides on Icon of the Seas
Pools and Slides on Icon of the Seas

To list all of the amenities the ship is outfitted with would take hours. With a record-breaking six water slides, an escape room, movie theaters, a 363-ton AquaDome Theater for live performances, a rock climbing wall, a miniature golf course, seven full-sized pools, several spas, one of the first swim-up bars ever seen on a ship, a surf simulator, and so much more, it’s safe to say that passengers will have no shortage of things to do while on board this mighty ship.

When it comes to dining options, the ship features more restaurants, bars, and cafés than you would find in a typical American town. From well-known chains like Starbucks to unique, purpose-built restaurants, the ship can cater to the tastes of even the pickiest passengers.

Royal Promenade on Icon of the Seas
Royal Promenade on Icon of the Seas

If you think the sheer number and variety of amenities and dining options would confuse passengers, don’t worry; Royal Caribbean thought of that. It is actually part of the reason why they divided the interior and top decks of the ship into “neighborhoods,” each with its own theme and layout.

Where the Titanic was designed to help passengers pass the time in a luxurious and comfortable way, the Icon of the Seas was designed to make passengers not want to leave it. 

Speed Comparison: Icon of the Seas vs Titanic

Despite the significant differences in size and weight, the two ships actually have a relatively similar cruising speed. Both ships were designed to cruise at a comfortable 21 to 22 knots, roughly equivalent to about 25 miles per hour on land. 

While it may surprise you that a ship over 100 years older would travel at the same speed as a state-of-the-art ship built today, you must remember that cruise ships are not designed for speed. The onboard experience for passengers is meant to be one of leisure rather than transportation.

Titanic Stern
Stern of the Titanic (Photo Credit: Anton_Ivanov)

Where the Titanic was built to transport people to and from Europe and North America, the Icon of the Seas was constructed purely to offer passengers an opportunity to experience a vacation on the water.

In other words, the Titanic was meant to be a transportation vessel that provided passengers with a comfortable and leisurely way to travel while enjoying being on the Icon of the Seas, which is the entire purpose of boarding the vessel.

Icon of the Seas Sailing and Wake
Icon of the Seas Sailing and Wake

If, on the other hand, the Icon of the Seas was designed to be a high-speed ocean liner, modern advancements in engine design would allow her to travel at a much faster speed. The exterior of the ship would also have a different design. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where was the Titanic and the Icon of the Seas built?

The two iconic ships were both constructed in Europe. The Titanic was built in Belfast, Northern Ireland, at the since-disbanded Harland & Wolff Shipyard. On the other hand, the Icon of the Seas was built in Turku, Finland, at the Meyer Turku Shipyard. 

Both ships needed to be built in massive shipyards capable of handling such a massive project. 

How long did it take to build the Titanic and the Icon of the Seas?

Despite their many differences, the two ships had a very similar timescale regarding how long it took them to be built. It took thousands of workers 1,098 days to build the RMS Titanic and 900 days to build the Icon of the Seas

Given advancements in construction methods, materials, and technological improvements that have taken place in the century that divides the two ships, it is fascinating that they had such similar build times. 

How much did building the Titanic and the Icon of the Seas cost?

The Icon of the Seas has an estimated construction cost of over $2 billion, which makes it the most expensive cruise ship ever built. On the other hand, the Titanic cost roughly £1.5 million to make. While estimates vary, this figure would be roughly equivalent to $1.6 billion after you have accounted for historical conversion rates, inflation, and other factors. 

Again, despite the immense period of time that separates the two ships, they share many similarities. 

Final Words

While they may seem incredibly different at first glance, the Titanic and the Icon of the Seas represent important maritime innovation symbols.

Despite being separated for over 100 years, both ships have redefined marine transportation by allowing passengers to travel in unprecedented comfort and extravagance.

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