Construction work on Royal Caribbean’s second giant Icon-class cruise ship has reached an important milestone. The first block has been lowered into the construction dock, marking a significant milestone and a traditional coin ceremony being held.
Star of the Seas on Schedule for Summer 2025 Launch
Royal Caribbean and the Meyer Turku shipyard have reached a major construction milestone with the second Icon-class mega-ship, Star of the Seas, the sister ship to Icon of the Seas.
The keel laying ceremony was held at the shipyard on December 15, 2023, as a crane lowered a steel block to the bottom of the construction dock.
Representatives from the cruise line and Meyer Turku placed a set of coins under the keel, a tradition thought to bring good fortune and protection. The keel provides the foundation for the vessel and weighs several hundred tons.
“Star of the Seas is very important for both the shipyard and the partner network: the 13,000 man-years spent on building the ship create employment and business in Varsinais-Suomi and, with the supply chains, significantly wider as well,” said Tim Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku.
With the first main block now in place, more blocks will be constructed and come together through 2024. Eventually, all the blocks will make up the entire giant cruise ship, and she will eventually be floated out onto the water for the very first time, which will be the next major construction milestone.
Building any ship, especially the world’s largest, is a long process! In fact, sister ship Icon of the Seas, which was only just recently delivered, took 900 days of construction.
New Ship Set to Join Sister Vessel as World’s Largest
The new Royal Caribbean cruise ship is anticipated to be roughly the same size as Icon of the Seas, which is set to debut in January 2024. Icon of the Seas weighs 250,800 gross tons and has a capacity for 5,610 guests at double occupancy. With all berths occupied, the capacity is 7,600 guests, which makes her the largest cruise ship in the world!
When the features of the Icon of the Seas and Icon Class ships were unveiled in October 2022, it led to the cruise line’s single largest booking day and highest volume booking week in company history.
Royal Caribbean announced the name of Star of the Seas on October 5, 2023. The ship will be the cruise line’s third ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Other environmental programs aboard Star of the Seas – including the capacity for shore power – onboard will advance Royal Caribbean’s quest to introduce a net-zero cruise ship by 2035.
Like Icon of the Seas, Star of the Seas will feature neighborhoods and entertainment areas, including Central Park, AquaDome, Chill Island, Surfside, Thrill Island, and the Hideaway. Guests can enjoy seven pools and six waterslides. Other new features are in the works, Royal Caribbean has promised.
“Once the ship is complete, it will strengthen a completely new kind of cruise experience with the standards set by its sister ship Icon,” Meyer said.
Star of the Seas Readying for Caribbean Deployment
Star of the Seas is expected to begin sailing from Florida’s Port Canaveral in August 2025. Royal Caribbean announced earlier in December that the new ship will sail 7-night vacations on Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. Bookings opened to guests on December 6, 2023.
Also included in the Star of the Seas voyages is a stop at the cruise line’s private island, CocoCay, in the Bahamas. The island offers 13 waterslides, the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, and an adults-only oasis, Hideaway Beach, opening in January 2024.