It’s a day to remember in cruise ship history, as Icon of the Seas has officially been delivered to Royal Caribbean International, marking the end of the ship’s construction as she joins the Royal Caribbean fleet.
The ceremony was attended by hundreds of crew members, shipyard workers, and executives at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, as the papers were signed to officially deliver the massive – and massively innovative – cruise ship.
Icon of the Seas Delivered
Just two months before she will welcome her first guests, Icon of the Seas has officially become part of the Royal Caribbean fleet as the ship was delivered to the cruise line in a remarkable ceremony in Turku, Finland on Monday, November 27, 2023.
This ends the 900 days of actual construction since the ship’s first steel was cut in June 2021, and more than seven years of design and development.
More than 1,200 crew members and shipyard workers were present at the handover ceremony, as well as Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley, and Meyer Turku CEO Tim Meyer.
“Today, we are celebrating more than a new ship; it’s also the celebration of the culmination of more than 50 years of innovation and dreaming at Royal Caribbean to create the ultimate vacation experience,” said Liberty.
“Delivering Icon of the Seas represents all that can be accomplished with strong partnerships and a commitment to delivering memorable vacations responsibly, and we thank Meyer Turku and an incredible village of skilled partners for joining us on this journey.”
After final outfitting and an empty transatlantic cruise to bring her to her homeport in Miami, Florida, Icon of the Seas will welcome her first guests on January 27, 2024 with a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise to St. Kitts, St. Thomas, and Perfect Day at CocoCay.
The ship will offer alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings, each time bringing aboard 5,610 guests at double occupancy, or up to 7,600 passengers if fully booked with all berths filled. Also onboard are more than 2,300 international crew members to ensure that every traveler has a truly iconic vacation with all the ship has to offer.
An Amazing Accomplishment
The ceremony marks more than just the completion of a new ship, but is also the culmination of a great deal of technical expertise and engineering skill that has made the world’s most advanced and innovative ship possible.
Several never-before-seen accomplishments were necessary to bring Icon of the Seas to life, including installing the AquaDome, the largest glass and steel structure ever to be lifted onto a cruise ship, which encloses a transformative space where the cruise line’s ever popular aqua shows will dazzle guests, including a 55-foot-tall water curtain.
Icon of the Seas also needed special engineering to bring more water onboard than ever before, with seven pools spread throughout the vessel and six unique waterslides making up Thrill Island. Splashaway Bay, Baby Bay, multiple hot tubs, and more are all onboard, giving every passenger a chance to take a dip in whatever way they enjoy best.
“Welcoming Icon of the Seas to the Royal Caribbean family is a remarkable accomplishment years in the making for thousands of innovators, engineers, architects and designers,” said Bayley.
“Seven years ago, we had an ambitious idea to create the first vacation truly made for every type of family and adventurer; now, it’s in our hands, and in this final stretch, we’ll bring it all to life for the biggest debut in our history in January 2024.”
Special engineering even had to figure in to the ship’s overall structure, resulting in an innovation now known as The Pearl to connect decks, deliver light to the ship’s interior, and create a multi-sensory kinetic art sculpture guests will love.
“It’s beautiful, it’s artistic, it’s incredibly creative. There is nothing else like it on the planet,” said Bayley.
Icon of the Seas also features behind-the-scenes innovations, not only to create amazing vacations, but to ensure efficiency and the ultimate in environmental responsibility. The ship is powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), and has the first ever waste-to-energy plant at sea.
So Much to Experience
The biggest innovation of all aboard Icon of the Seas is the many ways the ship will provide the ultimate family vacation, no matter what that may mean to different families.
“The memories millions of families and vacationers will make on Icon will be our greatest accomplishment yet,” said Liberty.
From swim-up bars to the family-centered Surfside neighborhood to the exclusive Hideaway with the first suspended infinity pool at sea, to more than 40 restaurants, bars, and lounges and 28 different types of staterooms, every type of family will find their cruise vacation dreams coming true aboard Icon of the Seas.
Classic favorites aren’t forgotten aboard the ship either, with the Royal Promenade still remaining the heart of the vessel and a great gathering place night and day. Rock climbing, ice skating, the Crown’s Edge ropes course, and more are all part of the ship, with something new to discover on every sailing.