Largest Cruise Ship Ever Constructed to Begin Sea Trials

Meyer Turku announces Icon of the Seas' sea trials will begin this weekend, the first time the largest cruise ship in the world heads to sea.

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Meyer Turku, the renowned Finnish shipyard, announced the world’s biggest cruise ship, Icon of the Seas, will embark on her maiden set of sea trials.

Once completed, Icon of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship ever constructed by gross tonnage. However, before she can finally set sail with guests, she will need to successfully complete the upcoming sea trials to ensure all the state-of-the-art systems onboard are functioning as expected. 

First Sea Trials: Testing the Waters and Systems

Icon of the Seas will set off on its first set of sea trials this weekend, starting Saturday, June 16, the Meyer Turku shipyard announced.

Sea trials are an essential phase of a ship’s construction process, crucial in ensuring that every component and system is working impeccably. Icon of the Seas, featuring many new, state-of-the-art systems, will put these to the test during these initial sea trials.

The Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland is constructing Icon of the Seas, the same shipyard responsible for the construction of some of the Excel-class cruise ships for Carnival Corporation, as well as Oasis and Allure of the Seas at the shipyard’s predecessor STX Europe.

“Icon will depart from the Turku shipyard for the first time ever during the weekend when Icon’s week-long sea trials begin.”

“We are once again very happy that we get to celebrate yet another significant achievement as Icon leaves the outfitting pier for the first time and continues her journey through the Turku archipelago towards the sea. The sea trial will involve testing Icon’s systems and features that can’t be tested while docked,” Meyer Turku shared. 

What Will Be Tested During Sea Trials?

The trials, expected to last a week, will involve testing of Icon’s systems and features that can’t be evaluated while docked, such as speed and maneuverability, safety systems, propulsion, seaworthiness, and navigational systems. Perhaps most important for guests, the vessel will also be pushed to its limits to test noise and vibration levels onboard.

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

Meyer Turku announced on its social media channels: “Sea trials are one of the most important milestones on a ship’s road to completion. Sea trials are a way to test all the ship’s features that cannot be tested while docked, and that every function onboard is working as intended.”

“Sea trials are also used to make sure the noise and vibration levels are where they should be. Icon’s early sea trials are important to ensure that all the ship’s main equipment such as propulsion equipment, main engines and power plant, thrusters, and fin stabilizers are working as they should.”

Read Also: Top 10 Biggest Cruise Ships in the World

This first set of trials marks a significant milestone for the Icon project. Given that the vessel is the first in its class, it is anticipated that this will be one of several trials the ship will undertake before she is deemed ready for commercial cruising.

Following these initial sea trials, the Icon of the Seas will return to the Meyer Turku shipyard for further outfitting and adjustments based on the trial outcomes. She is expected to commence sailing in early 2024.

Meyer Turku expressed its gratitude for everyone involved in the Icon project: “Thank you to everyone involved in the Icon project! Icon’s seaworthiness is the result of the combined expertise of Meyer’s top professionals from many different fields. Let’s wish a good voyage to Icon of the Seas and prepare to welcome Icon back to the shipyard after her trials!”

Largest Cruise Ship Ever

Icon of the Seas will be one of the most spectacular cruise ships ever built, and, at 250,800 gross tons, also the largest cruise ship in the world by gross tonnage.

Powering the huge cruise ship is a state-of-the-art Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system and fuel-cell technology, marking a significant stride towards cleaner, more sustainable cruising.

The ship promises an unparalleled guest experience. With 20 decks, seven pools, and six record-breaking water slides, the Icon of the Seas can host up to 7,600 guests at maximum capacity. 

Onboard the Icon of the Seas, guests can explore eight distinct neighborhoods, each featuring a variety of bars, restaurants, and experiences. While the ship will have several new concepts onboard, guest favorites such as the Windjammer Cafe, Playmakers Sports Bar, Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, and steaks at Chops Grille will all be available.

What’s Next for the Icon of the Seas?

After completing sea trials and final touches at Meyer Turku, Icon of the Seas will sail her maiden voyage on January 27, 2024, from her homeport, PortMiami, Florida.

The seven-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary includes visits to Basseterre, St. Kitts, St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, and Perfect Day at Coco Cay. 

After the inaugural cruise, Icon of the Seas will sail a mix of 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. The Western Caribbean cruises will include visits to Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico, and Roatan, Honduras. 

Eastern Caribbean cruises include a visit to St. Maarten instead of St Kitts on select voyages. All cruises include a call to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

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