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Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas floated out in shipyard in Finland

09 Dec 2022
Matt Hochberg

Icon of the Seas is sitting in water for the first time.

Icon of the Seas float out December 2022

The new cruise ship is under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, and earlier today the dock where she is located was filled with water to continue to the next phase of construction. commissioned these photos of Icon of the Seas floated out to share with all of you what this process looks like.

Since these are exclusive photos, please do not redistribute these photos. Feel free to share a link to this article instead.

Icon of the Seas float out December 2022

Essentially what a float out means is when the dry dock is filled with water and it becomes a wet dock. 

Last month, Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider added the float out allows the ship to move forward so another cruise ship can be built behind it.

"It's a super exciting and super momentous occasion for a new ship, especially a new class of ship, because, this will be the first time it ever floats. And so, as you can imagine, that's a pretty big milestone," Mr. Schneider said when talking about the float out process.

More than 10,000 people in Finland and abroad have participated in the construction and design of the Icon of the Seas

Icon of the Seas float out December 2022

In addition to the transition from dry dock to wet dock, we also have a look at the construction progress being made with Icon.

Looking to the back of the ship, we can see water slide supports being installed for the Category 6 water slide.

Icon of the Seas float out December 2022
Icon of the Seas float out December 2022

We can also see more of the aft superstructure installed, along with the name of the ship beginning to be written.

Icon of the Seas float out December 2022
Icon of the Seas float out December 2022

At the front of the ship, the AquaDome is installed, and more progress is being made with cabins installed and other top deck work.

Icon of the Seas float out December 2022
Icon of the Seas float out December 2022

What's next for Icon of the Seas?

Icon of the Seas float out December 2022

The latest timeline Royal Caribbean provided for the Icon of the Seas construction has work continuing at the shipyard for a few more months.

In May or June 2023, sea trials will commence. This is when a cruise ship's navigational and technical systems are tested and it is the final part of cruise ship construction prior to delivery.

Icon of the Seas float out December 2022

Everything from the ship's propulsion, to navigation, to engines are tested before it can be ready to join the fleet.

Following the sea trials, delivery will take place sometime in the second half of 2023 and that's when the ship changes ownership from the shipyard to Royal Caribbean.

The inaugural Icon of the Seas sailing will be January 27, 2024.

Icon of the Seas render at sunset

When completed, the ship will be the world's largest cruise ship and Royal Caribbean's first ship to use liquified natural gas (LNG) and fuel cell technology. The ship is 1,188 feet long and can accommodate up to 5,610 passengers at double occupancy (7,600 passengers if you maxed out every bed).

Meyer Turku is building three Icon class ships. Icon of the Seas is the first of these, and the next one will be completed in 2025 and the third in 2026.

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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