World's largest cruise ship begins its inaugural journey

Royal Caribbean's 'Icon of the Seas' cruise ship, the world's largest, sets sail from Miami with cutting-edge technology and environmentally friendly features.

World's largest cruise ship begins its inaugural journey

THE world's largest cruise ship, ‘Icon of the Seas’, equivalent in size to nearly four city blocks, made its inaugural journey, departing from the Port of Miami on Saturday.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas boasts a length of almost 1,200 feet (365 metres) from bow to stern.

As reported by AP, departing from South Florida for its inaugural seven-day tropical island-hopping journey, the ship was formally christened on Tuesday, with soccer legend Lionel Messi and his Inter Miami teammates participating in the ceremony.

“Icon of the Seas is the culmination of more than 50 years of dreaming, innovating and living our mission – to deliver the world’s best vacation experiences responsibly," said Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty, adding, “She is the ultimate multigenerational family vacation, forever changing the status quo in family travel and fulfilling vacation dreams for all ages on board."

Moreover, according to the cruise line, upon its initial unveiling in October 2022, the Icon of the Seas triggered the single most significant booking day and the highest volume booking week in Royal Caribbean's history, which then spanned 53 years.

What's new?

1. Priced at $2 billion, the Icon, the inaugural vessel in Royal Caribbean's new Quantum Class of ships, is equipped with cutting-edge technology. Despite its colossal dimensions, the ship asserts that it is more environmentally friendly than certain smaller cruise ships.

2. The Icon of the Seas is organized into eight neighbourhoods spanning 20 decks. It features six waterslides, seven swimming pools, an ice skating rink, a theatre, and over 40 restaurants, bars, and lounges. 

3. With a maximum capacity of up to 7,600 passengers, the ship can accommodate an additional 2,350 crew members.

4. Propelled by six dual-fuel engines, the Icon of the Seas can run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), a fuel alternative endorsed by the Cruise Lines International Association for its ability to diminish sulfur and greenhouse gas emissions.

5. Royal Caribbean says every kilowatt used on the Icon of the Seas “is scrutinized for energy efficiencies and emission reductions." The ship has six water slides, a carousel, what Royal Caribbean says is the largest ice arena at sea, and more than 40 dining venues and bars, AFP reported.

6. The entertainment lineup will feature 50 musicians and comedians, along with a 16-piece orchestra.

7. AFP further reported that the ship was constructed over 900 days at a shipyard in Turku, Finland, the vessel stands as a testament to its vast size. Longer than the height of the Eiffel Tower, the ship encompasses 20 decks, accommodating over 5,600 passengers (with a maximum capacity of 7,600) and a crew of 2,350.