Visit our travel agent friends at MEI Travel

Photos show Icon of the Seas beginning her sea trials

19 Jun 2023
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship has made it out to sea.

Icon of the Seas sea trials

Icon of the Seas left her pier at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland to commence her sea trials.

Icon of the Seas will be conducting week-long series of sea trials where the ship's maneuvering and onboard technology are tested in real-life conditions.

There are over 450 specialists on the ship to carry out crucial, preliminary tests with Icon’s main engines, hull, lifeboats, thrusters and more.

Icon of the Seas sea trials

This is the first sea trial for Icon, and this round will prepare the vessel for the second round of sea trials later this year. That is when Royal Caribbean says the ship will be, "pushed to its limits".

Before you pack your bags, there's still quite a bit of time left before she is ready to take on passengers.

Icon still needs plenty of work and fine tuning, and she's not slated to have her first cruise with paying passengers until January 2024.

Icon of the Seas sea trials

On a webinar last week, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley talked about the excitement building now for Icon, "I think for all of the teams who've been involved in Icon for the past five years, the excitement level is beginning to really increase. You can feel it."

The shipyard is equally excited for the sea trials beginning, "We are once again very happy that we get to celebrate yet another significant achievement, as Icon leaves the outfitting pier for the first time, and continues her journey through the Turku archipelago towards the sea."

Icon of the Seas sea trials

Not only is Icon of the Seas a new ship, but it it's a new direction for what a cruise ship can offer families on a vacation.

The ship is packed with just about everything Royal Caribbean thinks families will want on their trip.

There's a water park, more pools than ever, lots of new dining choices, adult-only spaces, an entire neighborhood for kids and more superlatives than you can associate with a cruise ship.

What are sea trials?

Icon of the Seas sea trials

Sea trials are tests of a cruise ship's navigational and technical systems, which are the final part of cruise ship construction prior to delivery.

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

Icon of the Seas sea trials

Sea trials range in duration, sometimes one or two sessions is common.

The sea trials are conducted with a combination of Royal Caribbean crew members, as well as shipyard workers. 

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.

Get our newsletter

Stay up-to-date with cruise news & advice

    We never share your information with third parties and will protect it in accordance with our Privacy Policy