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Icon of the Seas aerial drone photos show construction progress recently made

In:
14 Feb 2023
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Let's take a peek at the what Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship looks like while still under construction.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from February 2023

Icon of the Seas is at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, where she is being assembled.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com commissioned a set of aerial drone photos to survey the progress being made for the benefit our readers.

These drone photos were taken on the morning of February 14, 2023.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from February 2023

Icon of the Seas will have her inaugural sailing January 2024, and the ship is already incredibly popular based on the bookings Royal Caribbean has seen so far.

"That ship literally has been the best-selling product in the history of our business," said Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley during last week's earnings call with investors.

"It's been absolutely outstanding in terms of the demand and the pricing that we're generating."

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from February 2023

Icon is the first ship in a new class of Royal Caribbean cruise ships, and that means it introduces a host of new innovations and concepts that have resonated with consumers.

Icon of the Seas will have 26 new features never before seen on a Royal Caribbean ship, which includes 15 new water experiences.

It will have have more than 40 food and beverage concepts, with 23 of them completely new to Royal Caribbean.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from February 2023

The 20-deck-high vessel will feature a variety of new-to-fleet ideas, such as a water park, Vegas-style pool area, indoor AquaTheater, dedicated neighborhood for young families and so much more.

Royal Caribbean has also added new types of cabins that are designed to hold more guests.

The new ship will be 250,600 tons in size and take the title of the biggest cruise ship in the world.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from February 2023

The first sailing of Icon of the Seas will be a seven-night cruise from her homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean on January 27, 2024.

Icon will then alternate between Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries through April 2025.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from February 2023

Much of the construction shows more cabins have been added since our last photo update.

Cabins are constructed elsewhere and then slid into the superstructure of the ship once the slot for them is ready.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from February 2023
Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from February 2023
Cabins being installed on Icon of the Seas

Icon of the Seas was floated out for the first time in early December 2022.

Royal Caribbean shared a timeline of events for Icon in December, and the plan is for the new ship to have her first sea trials in May 2023.

Sea trials are when a new cruise ship tests out her systems at sea in order to evaluate performance and stability.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from February 2023

Icon's second sea trials are scheduled for June 2023, with deliver in the second half of 2023.

Once complete, she'll be a bit longer and higher than Wonder of the Seas, which is currently the largest ship in the world.

Icon will have two more passenger decks than Wonder, and about 10 feet longer.

Icon can accommodate up to 5,610 passengers at double occupancy (7,600 passengers if you maxed out every bed).

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from February 2023

She will also be Royal Caribbean's first ship to use liquified 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.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from February 2023

Beyond the Icon Class, Royal Caribbean has no current orders for more ships, but the company hasn't ruled anything out.

Speaking with Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty in December 2022, he said there is 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 out in order to have access to those slots. So you were seeing people order ships six or seven years out."

"If you think about the Icon one's and the Icon two's, there's a little bit more breathing time for us to have to place in those orders because of that structural change pre-pandemic."


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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