Icon of the Seas is at the Meier Turku shipyard in Finland, undergoing assembly, and we commissioned aerial drone photos to observe the progress being made for our readers.
These drone photos were taken on the morning of February 14, 2023.
Icon of the Seas will make her maiden voyage in January 2024, and the ship is already incredibly popular based on the bookings Royal Caribbean has seen so far.
“That ship was literally the best-selling product in the history of our business,” Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bailey said on an earnings call with investors last week.
“It’s been absolutely outstanding in terms of the demand and prices we’re generating.”
Icon is the first ship in a new class of Royal Caribbean cruise ships, which means it introduces a number of new innovations and concepts that have resonated with consumers.
The Icon of the Seas will have 26 new features never before seen on a Royal Caribbean ship, including 15 new experiences on the water.
It will feature more than 40 food and beverage concepts, 23 of which are brand new to Royal Caribbean.
The 20-deck vessel will feature a number of new ideas for the fleet, such as a water park, a Vegas-style pool, an indoor AquaTheater, a neighborhood aimed at young families, and more.
Royal Caribbean has also added new types of cabins designed to accommodate more guests.
The new ship will be 250,600 tons in size and will hold the title of the largest cruise ship in the world.
Icon of the Seas maiden voyage will be a seven-night cruise from her home port of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean on January 27, 2024.
Icon will then alternate between the Eastern and Western Caribbean until April 2025.
Much of the construction shows that more cabins have been added since our last photo update.
The cabins are built elsewhere and then retracted into the ship’s superstructure when the slot for them is ready.
The Icon of the seas was floated for the first time in early December 2022.
Royal Caribbean shared a timeline of events for the Icon in December, with the new ship scheduled to undergo its first sea trials in May 2023.
Sea trials are when a new cruise ship tests its systems at sea to assess performance and stability.
Second sea trials of the Icon are scheduled for June 2023, with delivery in the second half of 2023.
When completed, it will be slightly longer and taller than the Wonder of the Sea, which is currently the largest ship in the world.
The Icon will have two more passenger decks than the Wonder and will be about 10 feet long.
Icon of the Seas can accommodate up to 5,610 passengers at double occupancy (7,600 passengers if you’ve maxed out every berth).
It will also be the first Royal Caribbean ship to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fuel cell technology.
Icon of the Seas is the first of at least three Icon-class cruise ships.
The next one will be completed in 2025, and the third in 2026.
Apart from the Icon class, Royal Caribbean has no current orders for more ships, but the company has not ruled anything out.
Speaking to Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty in December 2022, he said there was more time to order ships than a few years ago: “The level of demand for new ships was so high that you had to order ships much further to have access to those slots. So you saw people ordering ships six or seven years later.”
“If you think about Icon One and Icon Two, there’s a little bit more time that we have to get those orders in because of that structural change before the pandemic.”