As the weekend approaches, the world’s largest cruise ship is all set to begin her second set of sea trials. Icon of the Seas set sail earlier this year on her first test voyage, with the vessel now being subjected to even more trials to ensure she is ready for her first voyage early next year.
Icon of the Seas, the first of three Icon-class cruise ships Royal Caribbean International has on order, will sail from Miami, Florida, on seven-day cruises to the Caribbean. Subsequent Icon-class cruise ships will be launched in 2025 and 2026.
Icon of the Seas Second Round of Sea Trials
Meyer Turku, the shipyard in charge of constructing the largest cruise ship in history, revealed today that Icon of the Seas will be setting sail on its second set of sea trials this weekend, likely casting off from the dock on Saturday evening, October 27.
When a ship departs for sea trials, it’s an important moment in its construction phase. Sea trials are paramount in evaluating various integral systems that cannot be inspected while the ship remains at the dock. The primary objective is to ensure every feature operates as intended before the official handover to the cruise line.
Meyer Turku wrote on its Facebook page: “We’ve been getting Icon ready for her second sea trials. Now it’s almost time to wish her a safe journey and succesful sea trials! Icon is scheduled to leave for the second sea trials this Saturday evening.”
Typically, there can be one or two sea trial sessions during the construction of a ship. The number and duration depend on the ship’s size, complexity, and any subsequent modifications or rectifications that might arise from the initial trial.
In the case of Icon of the Seas, the first sea trials took place starting on June 19, 2023, spanning four days. This initial test assessed the vessel’s main engines, hull integrity, brake systems, and steering and observed noise and vibration levels.
Although she cleared the sea trials with flying colors, the second round is often more rigorous, designed to challenge the ship’s performance and functionality. This would include achieving top speed, going from full speed to a dead stop, heavy maneuvers, and much more.
From Steel to Sea
Construction of Icon of the Seas began with the ceremonial cutting of the first steel back in 2021, now more than two years ago. After the steel-cutting, the ship’s hull was laid down, and on January 23, 2023, she was floated out. Now, as she prepares for her second set of sea trials, her maiden voyage isn’t far away.
On January 27, 2024, Icon of the Seas will depart from Miami, Florida, on her maiden seven-day cruise to the Caribbean. Guests will visit popular destinations like Basseterre, St. Kitts, and St. Thomas, as well as a day at Royal Caribbean’s private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay.
After her inaugural voyage, the Icon-Class cruise ship will continue to sail on seven-night cruises, covering Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. The Western Caribbean routes include stops in Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, and in some cases, Roatan, Honduras.
On Eastern Caribbean cruises, the ship will dock at Philipsburg in St. Maarten, Basseterre, St. Kitts, and St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. All cruises will include a stop at Perfect Day at CocoCay.
Tipping the scales at 250,800 gross tons, and with space for 7,600 passengers at maximum capacity, Icon of the Seas will be larger in size than the current largest cruise ships in the world, the Oasis-Class ships.
But she won’t be the lone giant for long. Star of the Seas is expected to accompany her in the summer of 2025, and a third yet-to-be-named Icon Class ship is on the horizon for 2026.