Royal Caribbean has marked the keel laying milestone in the construction of its new Icon of the Seas cruise ship at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland.
Icon of the Seas is the first in the cruise line’s new Icon-class series of ships, with two more on order through 2026.
The keel laying for Icon of the Seas marks the start of the ship’s assembly, with hundreds of individual ‘blocks’ having been prefabricated so that they can be welded together in the construction dry-dock.
Icon of the Seas is due for delivery in 2023, and is scheduled to undertake her first cruises in the fall next year.
“Five years ago, we began dreaming of Icon of the Seas, and now the next phase of this iconic adventure is beginning,” said Michael Bayley, President & CEO, Royal Caribbean International.
“As this game-changing ship takes shape, the excitement from families and travelers alike, travel advisors and our partners continues to build. Later this year, we’ll reveal the lineup of firsts and favorites that will set a new standard for vacations come fall 2023,” he added.
The working teams behind the construction of Icon of the Seas were joined by Jason Liberty, President &CEO, Royal Caribbean Group; Richard Fain, Chairman, Royal Caribbean Group; Bernard Meyer, Managing Partner, Meyer Group; and Meyer Turku CEO Tim Meyer.
In addition to being the first in a whole new class of ships for Royal Caribbean, Icon of the Seas will also be the first in the fleet to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). When her sister ships are delivered in 2025 and 2026, they too will be powered by LNG.
Royal Caribbean has yet to release many details about the ship. What we do know is that she will be 200,000 gross tons, slipping between the Oasis-class and Quantum-class ships, and will carry 5,600 passengers.
In addition to running on LNG, which is a much cleaner fuel than convention diesel or heavy fuel oil, Icon of the Seas will also feature additional environmentally friendly applications, such as shore power connection, and fuel cell technology that will boost energy efficiencies and reduce its carbon footprint.
More details about Icon’s advanced environmental technologies will be revealed at a future date, along with the ship’s features, such as dining, entertainment, cabins, and at-sea attractions.