Royal Caribbean International has taken delivery of the world’s largest cruise ship, Icon of the Seas, from Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland. Delivery comes after more than seven years since the order was placed and 900 days of design and construction.
Icon of the Seas is the first vessel in a series of three Icon Class ships for Royal Caribbean. With a record-breaking 250,800 gross tonnes, the ship has the capacity to accommodate up to 5,610 passengers in double occupancy, or a maximum capacity of 7,600 guests, along with 2,350 crew members. The second ship in this class is scheduled for delivery in 2025, followed by the third in 2026.
Icon of the Seas also marks Royal Caribbean’s first ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Alongside a range of energy efficiency measures and industry-leading environmental programs on board, including the first waste-to-energy plant at sea, the ship is 24% more energy efficient than the current standards for ship design—marking an important step in Royal Caribbean Group’s journey to introduce a net-zero cruise ship by 2035.
The first two ships in the class were ordered in 2016, with original delivery dates in 2022 and 2024, but were delayed due to the pandemic.
Royal Caribbean held a ceremony on Monday to commemorate the delivery. The event was attended by over 1,200 crew members and workers, as well as Jason Liberty, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, and Tim Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku.
“Delivering Icon of the Seas represents all that can be accomplished with strong partnerships and a commitment to delivering memorable vacations responsibly. The memories millions of families and vacationers will make on Icon will be our greatest accomplishment yet,” said Liberty.
The ship also features the first “AquaDome,” the largest glass and steel structure ever lifted onto a cruise ship, as well as engineering innovations to provide more water on board than ever before, featuring seven pools and six record-breaking waterslides.
Icon of the Seas will sail from Turku to Cadiz, Spain, where the final touches will be put in place before the ship’s highly anticipated debut in Miami in January 2024.
“Welcoming Icon of the Seas to the Royal Caribbean family is a remarkable achievement years in the making,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “Seven years ago, we had an ambitious idea to create the first vacation truly made for every type of family and adventurer, and now, it’s in our hands. We’ll bring it all to life for the biggest debut in our history in January 2024.”