Royal Caribbean Launches New Program for Icon of the Seas

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Royal Caribbean has issued a call-to-artists for a project that will bring unique Caribbean artwork to the line’s newest ship, Icon of the Seas. The line’s Artist Discovery Program invites up-and-coming artists to compete for a chance to contribute their talents to a series of collections that will be seen by millions of cruise ship guests.

Celebration of Caribbean Culture on Icon of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s new Artist Discovery Program will bring the works of Caribbean-based artists into the line’s new flagship, Icon of the Seas, scheduled to launch in January 2024.

The project aims to highlight the cultures of Caribbean destinations the ship will visit when she begins sailing 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries year-round from her homeport of Miami.

Icon of the Seas Art Program
Render Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

Every Icon of the Seas cruise will visit Royal Caribbean’s private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas, along with a mix of port calls such as Cozumel, Mexico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Basseterre, St. Kitts.

In the first phase of the ongoing program, Royal Caribbean will commission selected artists to paint 9 large murals in three locations: the embarkation area at the Port of Miami, in the Royal Promenade, the central thoroughfare onboard the ship, and in the Suite Sundeck, a VIP area for suite guests.

Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley said, ”The Artist Discovery Program is a project close to our hearts at Royal Caribbean International because the destinations we visit are family. And it’s only fitting that we begin our search for up-and-coming artists who are in the Caribbean; it’s where we got our start more than 50 years ago.”

He added, “Vacationers want to immerse themselves in the places they visit. This is a way to spotlight the beauty of the local cultures and people in the places they see and enjoy every day on their cruise, beginning with large-scale canvases on a first-of-its-kind adventure – Icon of the Seas.”

Icon of the Seas Art Program
Render Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

The cruise line will award monetary grants to each artist selected, from $20,000 to $100,000-plus, to create their artwork. The artists will work with Royal Caribbean’s new-build team to install the art onboard the ship while it is under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, the line said. The timeline for installation is from June 10 to August 14, 2023. Artists are asked to submit work samples as part of the application process.

Largest Cruise Ship at Sea

When she debuts in early 2024, the 250,800 gross ton Icon of the Seas will become the largest cruise ship at sea, accommodating 5,610 guests in double occupancy. The largest ship sailing today is another Royal Caribbean ship, Wonder of the Seas, which debuted in March 2022 and weighs 236,857 gross tons.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas Cruise Ship
Render Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

Icon of the Seas, voted Most Anticipated New Cruise Ship for 2023 by Cruise Hive readers, will feature eight neighborhoods and several new experiences including the largest waterpark at sea, called the AquaDome, a free-fall slide, and a suspended infinity pool, among others.

Cruisers eager to get an early glimpse of the mega-ship’s features can do so with the computer game Fortnite. Royal Caribbean on March 6 announced that gamers can check out the ship’s Thrill Island and The Hideaway neighborhoods, plus the waterpark, a skywalk and ropes course, and the infinity pool by playing Royal Caribbean: Hide ’N Sea on Fortnite.

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