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Aerial photos show Icon of the Seas cruise ship construction progress

26 Aug 2022
Matt Hochberg

While Royal Caribbean has been quiet about what Icon of the Seas will look like when completed, we have our own construction photos to share of the progress.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from August 2022

Icon of the Seas is the next new cruise ship Royal Caribbean is building, and it's a brand new class of cruise ship. This means we don't yet know any details about the features or activities offered onboard, or even what the ship design looks like.

Royal Caribbean has been keeping the entire project as secretive as possible up to now in order to maintain a competitive edge, as well as to likely drum up intrigue among cruise fans eager to know more.

While we wait for an official update from Royal Caribbean, RoyalCaribbeanBlog comissioned its own aerial drone photos to share what we can see so far from the shipyard.

Since these are exclusive photos, please do not share these photos on social media.

Construction of Icon of the Seas began in June 2021 with a steel cutting ceremony at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland.

Icon of the Seas is being built behind the new Carnival Celebration cruise ship.

These photos were taken earlier this week, and you can see the bottom half of the hull is mostly there, with just the bow missing.

Icon already has a baby blue hull color to it, which has been a design change Royal Caribbean has been steadily making with its newer ships.  Instead of a plain white hull color, new ships are debuting with a light blue hue to it.

In a slightly elevated aerial view, we can see there are at least three open air sections visible.

Read more3 hints what Icon of the Seas could look like

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from August 2022

The Oasis Class ships first introduced the idea of open parts of the ship for the Boardwalk and Central Park neighborhoods. 

Whether Icon has its own Boardwalk and Central Park, or Royal Caribbean is developing a new concept, remains unknown.

A view of the rear of the ship shows an opening at the end of Icon that could be theater of some kind at the very bottom.

We also have a better look at one of the open air sections, which certainly mirrors the Boardwalk general layout.

The ship's name is not yet painted onto the back of the hull.

It also appears the shipyard is working on what is likely a feature for the front of Icon of the Seas. 

While we don't yet know what this is, the overall design reminds me of the glass enclosure that sits atop of the Solarium on the front of other Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

The Solarium glass for Wonder of the Seas seems to have a similar look to it.

Much of the middle of the ship will be the future home for stateroom balconies.

You'll notice most of the cabins are still wrapped up. Cruise ship cabins are assembled elsewhere and then inserted into the ship later as a more efficient construction method.

Some of the balconies towards the rear of the ship are unwrapped, which provide a glimpse of what to expect elsewhere.

Icon of the Seas is scheduled to start sailing in late 2023.

It's not quite clear yet when exactly Royal Caribbean intends to reveal the look of the ship, but earlier this summer, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley hinted at September 2022.

One other key detail about Icon of the Seas is it could be bigger than the Oasis Class ships.

Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations, Sean Treacy, said in May 2022 that Icon of the Seas will be larger than the Oasis class cruise ships.

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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