Royal Caribbean this week held the naming ceremony for its newest and largest cruise ship Wonder of the Seas, while also floating out its upcoming even larger vessel, Icon of the Seas.
Wonder of the Seas was officially named by Godmother and Wonder Mom Marie McCrea from Pennsylvania, a cancer survivor whose spirit inspired her family to enjoy every moment together despite the hardships they faced.
Icon of the Seas was floated out at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, touching water for the first time and marking the end of the construction process for her internal engineering and hull. She’ll now be moved to a wetdock, where work on her superstructure and interiors will continue.
Wonder and Icon of the Seas are the two newest cruise ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet. Wonder of the Seas is the fifth and penultimate of the cruise line’s Oasis-class vessels. At 236,000 gross tons she is the largest cruise ship ever built.
Icon of the Seas, at 250,000 gross tons, will be even larger, and will be the first in a new design of cruise ships for Royal Caribbean, called the Icon class. When she is delivered at the end of next year she will be the largest cruise ship ever to be operated by any cruise line in history.
Royal Caribbean executives, employees, families, friends, travel advisors, travel partners and members of the media celebrated the naming ceremony for Wonder of the Seas aboard the giant vessel, ahead of the start of her new year-round homeport season in Port Canaveral.
Marie bestowed a blessing of safekeeping on Wonder of the Seas on stage on the pool deck.
Also joining her were Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley, and her daughter, Allie, who nominated her mother for the role as part of a nationwide search started by Royal Caribbean on Mother’s Day.
“Wonder of the Seas exemplifies Royal Caribbean Group’s focus on unparalleled innovation, sustainable cruise ship design and our commitment to delivering world-class, memorable vacations, responsibly,” said Jason Liberty, President & CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. “This milestone represents the culmination of millions of hours of work, from the most innovative minds in the industry, to deliver the world’s latest wonder.”
Designed for memory-making from end to end, Wonder inspires awe and adventure in kids and vacationers of all ages with feats and experiences across eight neighborhoods – a first in the revolutionary Oasis Class.
“Wonder is the adventure of all adventures that combines what families know and love on our revolutionary Oasis Class ships with brand-new experiences, and it’s already delivered memorable vacations to more than 180,500 guests since first setting sail in March,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.
Icon of the Seas float out
Following her float out, Icon of the Seas has now been moved to the outfitting dock, where the fully assembled hull will receive finishing touches, and the interior of the ship will be completed.
“The float out of a new ship is a defining moment, and in the case of Icon of the Seas, it marks the next step in the start of a new era of vacations,” said Michael Bayley, President & CEO, Royal Caribbean International.
“We set out to create the world’s best family vacation more than five years ago, the culmination of 53 years of Royal Caribbean firsts and favorites that combine the best of every vacation. That is now a reality more than ever as Icon touches water for the first time,” he added.
Icon of the Seas will not only be Royal Caribbean’s, and the world’s, largest cruise ship, but also the first Royal Caribbean ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas and utilize fuel cell technology for reduced emissions.
Icon of the Seas is scheduled to be delivered at the end of 2023 and will set sail on her maiden passenger voyage in January 2024. The ship will cruise from Miami year-round in the Eastern and Western Caribbean.