One of the most highly anticipated cruise ships in recent years has successfully completed her second set of sea trials, bringing Icon of the Seas one critical step closer to her January 2024 debut.
These most recent tests took place over the course of a week and have confirmed the ship’s technical operation.
Icon of the Seas Finishes Sea Trial Testing
Royal Caribbean International’s much-anticipated Icon of the Seas returned from her second set of sea trials on Monday, November 6, 2023, having aced the testing and proven her capabilities – just 82 days before she will welcome guests for the first time.
The ship’s first set of sea trials was held in June 2023, which were also a resounding success. It is not unusual for vessels to undergo two separate trials, which not only confirm the results but may also test additional systems after controls may have been adjusted. This is particularly true when a ship will be the first of a new class and as innovative as Icon of the Seas.
Different operational systems are tested during sea trials, including navigational controls, safety and emergency responses, maximum speed, braking, turning, and more.
Meyer Turku, the shipyard constructing Icon of the Seas, detailed some of the testing to give eager cruise fans insights into what these sea trials entailed.
“The ship’s noise, vibration, speed, fin stabilizers, automation, and main engine adjustments are tested. During the first test run in June, informal tests and verifications were made that everything works as it should,” said Olli Jantunen, Icon project manager.
Royal Caribbean International confirmed the success of the second set of trials via social media.
“She aced every test,” the cruise line said. “Icon of the Seas successfully finished her final sea trials after eight days and hundreds of inspections at sea.”
This second set of trials began on Sunday, October 29, 2023, and were conducted in the Baltic Sea south of Finland. The ship has now returned to the shipyard for final outfitting before her official delivery to Royal Caribbean International in the coming weeks.
What Remains to Be Done?
Icon of the Seas is now more than 90% constructed, including interior outfitting and design details. Final flourishes must still be installed and the ship must be fully supplied before her January 2024 debut.
For example, the signature carousel on Deck 7 in the ship’s family-oriented Surfside neighborhood has been only partially installed, with the main structure now operational but the figures yet to be added.
Similarly, the first tests of the always-popular FlowRider surf simulator have been a success, and the stunning “Oculus Fall” in the AquaDome has also been tested.
Once the work at the shipyard is complete, Icon of the Seas will be “handed over” to Royal Caribbean International, a final ceremony that signifies her construction is complete and her ownership has changed from the shipyard to the cruise line. From that point on, the ship will officially be part of the Royal Caribbean fleet as she makes her way to her homeport in Miami, Florida.
Icon of the Seas is slated to debut on January 27, 2024 with a 7-night Eastern Caribbean & Perfect Day itinerary, visiting St. Kitts, St. Thomas, and Perfect Day at CocoCay, the cruise line’s private destination in the Bahamas.
The ship’s visit to CocoCay is also slated to coincide with the debut of the new adults-only Hideaway Beach expansion on CocoCay, offering guests new ways to relax on the private island.
The ship will offer alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises, all with stops at CocoCay. The Western Caribbean voyages will call on Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico, with some itineraries also featuring a visit to Roatan, Honduras. Likewise, some Eastern Caribbean itineraries will visit St. Maarten in lieu of St. Kitts.
Depending on departure date and exact itinerary, other ports of call may include the Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic; Labadee, Haiti; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Icon of the Seas will remain homeported from Miami at least through April 2026, with the approximately 250,800-gross-ton vessel welcoming 5,610 guests aboard at double occupancy, or as many as 7,600 passengers when fully booked with all berths filled. Also onboard will be more than 2,300 crew members to ensure that everyone has a truly iconic cruise vacation.