A vessel that’s set to be the world’s biggest cruise ship has completed construction at a shipyard in Finland and has made its first foray into open water for sea trials ahead of likely delivery in October this year.
It’s being built at Meyer Turku shipyard, one of Europe’s leading shipbuilders, in Turku, Finland. At an on-site press panel earlier this year, Royal Caribbean International president and chief executive Michael Bayley told media that the vessel was on track to join the Royal Caribbean fleet on October 26, ahead of its 2024 debut. The current title holder of world’s largest cruise ship is another vessel in the Royal Caribbean fleet, Wonder of the Seas, which made its inaugural voyage just last year and is a slightly teensier 1,188 feet in length, with a mere 18 decks to explore. Royal Caribbean International is pitching Icon of the Seas as the cruise line’s evolutionary peak, using the latest technology and building on 50 years of learnings through the company’s history.
Perfect Home Base
The ship promises more than 40 ways to dine, drink and be entertained, many of which are included in the cruise fare. With 20 decks and eight neighborhoods to explore, the idea is to cater to every type of vacationer, with everything from areas dedicated to young families, to adults-only spaces such as Royal Caribbean International’s first dueling pianos bar. There are 28 different types of accommodations, with more categories for families, more layouts with ocean views and more space for group travelers. The cruise line says it’s the longest time frame it’s ever dedicated to “designing the perfect home base.” Icon of the Seas is also Royal Caribbean International’s first ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fuel cell technology, as part of the company’s move to a clean-energy future.
Record Breaking Sales
Buzz about the ship is such that advance sales have been record-breaking. Michael Bayley is reported to have described Icon of the Seas during the company’s quarterly financial results as “literally the best-performing new product launch we’ve ever had.” Icon of the Seas will sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations from Miami all year round. Every sailing will include a visit to Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s award-winning private island destination, as well as its new expansion, Hideaway Beach.
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