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Royal Caribbean gives brief update on Icon Class cruise ships

In:
Category: 
16Sep2020

Royal Caribbean's next-gen cruise ship class, the Icon Class, has been the subject of a lot of interest and very little detail thus far, but we have a small update to share today.

During a webinar with travel agents, Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President, Architectural Design (Newbuilding & Innovation) Kelly Gonzalez was asked about what we can expect with the Icon Class.

Ms. Gonzalez did not have much to share, but did talk about a few important details about these new ships.

"I guess what I can say is that we've been working on Icon for a little more than two years now, so we are still in the early stages."

Ms. Gonzalez confirmed a few key details:

  • The concepts are still being developed.
  • The ship will be built in Finland (Meyer Turku shipyard).
  • Delivery for the ship is planned between 2022-2024.

With other new ships being delayed due to the current cruise industry shutdown, it is interesting to hear Ms. Gonzalez speak to the timeline of the new Icon Class ships.

Royal Caribbean has three Icon Class ships on order from the Meyer Turku shipyard.

Each Icon class ship will accommodate approximately 5,000 passengers and be powered by a combination of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fuel cell technology.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is envisioned as the primary fuel for the new vessels, which would dramatically reduce or even eliminate emission of nitrogen oxide (NOX), sulphur oxide (SOX) and particulates, as well as cutting carbon dioxide (CO2). The ICON Class will also introduce fuel cell technology, which in combination with hull air lubrication means that the ships could potentially be some of the most fuel efficient cruise vessels ever constructed. 

At 200,000 tons, the as-yet-unnamed vessels will be bigger than Royal Caribbean's Quantum class ships but not as big as the Oasis class ships.

Royal Caribbean has not even announced names for any of the ships, but it has filed a trademark for Icon of the Seas.

Could this be the next new concept for a Royal Caribbean sports deck?

In:
01Aug2020

A Chinese architectural firm posted renderings that look like a brand new concept for family fun on Royal Caribbean's activity and sports deck.

100architects posted a series of artist renderings from two different projects for a two-deck playground space on an unnamed Royal Caribbean ship.

None of these renderings, nor the project itself, have been announced by Royal Caribbean.  It is entirely possible these will not be used on any cruise ship, as project designs, budgets, and needs can change

Waves Splash

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The first project is noted as having been done for Royal Caribbean in September 2019, and is described as "a colorful playscape for the top deck of an international cruise boat".

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The architects were inspired by the ocean waves, and designed this colorful playscape for the top deck of a Royal Caribbean ship. The firm's website lists it as a design for the Icon Class of ships.

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It is an hyper stimulating playground for the top deck of ICON’s Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship. The design tries to be appealing not only for kids, but for yougsters, millenials and adults alike.

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There are 7 waves and each of them has a different and particular function to offer for different age groups.

Funky Tree Houses

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A second project on 100architects website lists as Funky Tree Houses.

The firm notes that this area is both a playground and an open public space, where kids and adults can find fun activities to explore.

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There is also a 9 hole mini golf course as part of the design.

As you can see from the renderings, the area has a very colorful playscape look that takes inspiration from surrealism.  The architects note that it intends to immerse guests, "in a surrealist world, where big flowers work as sun shading objects and tree houses including playful features to free kids’ imagination."

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Each house contains a different activity taking into account both, aspects of children’s development, as well as being fun and safe to use.

Royal Caribbean orders third Icon Class cruise ship

In:
02Jul2019

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced today it has ordered a third Icon Class ship for delivery in 2025.

The agreement to build a third ship was placed with shipbuilder Meyer Turku.

Once complete, the ship will join sister Icon Class ships, which are set to be delivered in 2022 and 2024.

Very little is publicly known about Royal Caribbean's Icon Class ships, other than they will accommodate approximately 5,000 passengers and be powered by a combination of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fuel cell technology.

"We are thrilled to announce the newest addition to our Icon-class fleet that affirms our commitment to clean-power technologies at sea," said Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.  "We've designed a class of ships powered by liquefied natural gas that leverages the latest, environmentally-friendly applications.  We believe that innovative shipbuilding can reduce our carbon footprint and boost energy efficiencies to help to build a cleaner future."

"These are exciting times for Royal Caribbean, and we have an incredible partner in Meyer Turku to bring to life now three vessels of what will be a remarkable class of ships," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Building on our vision with the addition of a third order is a testament to our confidence in the innovative design and energy-efficient technology and engineering that will, without a doubt, make Icon class a game changer."

This order is contingent upon financing.

Royal Caribbean CEO talks tech and Icon Class

In:
25Jan2019

Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley spoke to TTG about a variety of topics related to the future of Royal Caribbean, and touched upon a few topics that revealed a few hints of what is to come.

When questions about the features and innovations of sister cruise brand Celebrity Cruises, Michael Bayley confirmed that the cruise line is looking at bringing the Infinite Veranda idea over to Royal Caribbean, “Edge has a lot of innovation. We need time to assess what works well and what doesn’t but we will take on some elements and put them on the new class of ship – Icon class and potentially Oasis 5."

Bayley's comments follow up on guest surveys from last year that showed off a possible Infinite Veranda for Royal Caribbean.

Mr. Bayley also commented on the status of the cruise line's new smart phone app, saying the new tech rollout will be available on around 12 ships by the end of year and the rest by "early 2020". He added, “We’re looking at facial recognition and notifications based on the profile of the passenger.”

Royal Caribbean Icon Class ships will be classed by DNV GL

In:
08May2018

The shipyard charged to build Royal Caribbean's two Icon Class cruise ships has signed a contract for the classification of the ships with DNV GL Maritime.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is envisioned as the primary fuel for the new vessels, which would dramatically reduce or even eliminate emission of nitrogen oxide (NOX), sulphur oxide (SOX) and particulates, as well as cutting carbon dioxide (CO2). The ICON Class will also introduce fuel cell technology, which in combination with hull air lubrication means that the ships could potentially be some of the most fuel efficient cruise vessels ever constructed.  The ship will also take advantage of hull air lubrication, which has been used on other ships in the fleet

The final concept for the first vessel is currently being discussed, and the concept design phase is expected to start this spring. The initial building phase of the first ship will begin next year, with keel laying planned for October 2019.

Shipyard lists Royal Caribbean's Project Icon ship gross tonnage

In:
Category: 
14Feb2018

Ship builder Meyer Werft has listed the gross tonnage for Royal Caribbean's next class of cruise ships, which sheds a bit of light onto how large these ships will be.

The Project Icon ships were announced in late 2016 with few details, but the ship yard lists the ships will have a gross tonnage of 200,00 tons.

In comparison, 200,000 tons puts the ship between the size of Royal Caribbean's Oasis and Quantum class ships.

  1. Oasis of the Seas: 225,282 tons
  2. Project Icon: 200,000 tons
  3. Quantum of the Seas 168,666 tons
  4. Freedom of the Seas 154,407 tons

Gross tonnage is a nonlinear measure of a ship's overall internal volume.

At the time of the project's announcement, Royal Caribbean said these ships would accommodate approximately 5,000 passengers. The new ships are scheduled for delivery in the second quarters of 2022 and 2024.

ABB to deliver first fuel cell system for Royal Caribbean

In:
13Nov2017

Heavy electrical company ABB announced it will deliver its first fuel cell system to be piloted on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.  This will be the first fuel cell system to provide an energy source for a luxury cruise ship.

The pilot installation, including control, converter and transformer technology from ABB, will generate 100 kW of energy, and has been fully developed, marinized, assembled and tested by ABB Marine & Ports. ABB selected an FCvelocity® proton exchange membrane (PEM) pure hydrogen fuel cell engine from Ballard Power Systems for its pilot system.

Fuel cells generate energy by exploiting an electrochemical reaction at the interface between the anode or cathode and the electrolyte membrane. They involve no combustion, converting fuel directly to electricity and heat.

"Our goal is to take the smoke out of the smokestacks", said Harri Kulovaara, Executive Vice President of Maritime and Newbuilding, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We are dedicated to innovation, continuous improvement, and environmental responsibility, and using fuel cell technology gives us the opportunity to deliver against all three of these pillars."

This test installation is part of Royal Caribbean's drive to include emissions-free fuel cell technology as part of the powering for its forthcoming Icon-class ships.

Royal Caribbean files trademark for Icon of the Seas ship name

In:
Category: 
22Oct2016

A little over a week after announcing it would build a next-generation type of cruise ship dubbed the Icon-class, Royal Caribbean registered a trademark for one of those ships.

On October 17, Royal Caribbean filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for "Icon of the Seas".

Royal Caribbean had previously announced it was ordering two cruise ships for this new class of ships that would be powered by liquefied natural gas and fuel cell technology.

Royal Caribbean orders new class of cruise ships to be powered by liquefied natural gas and fuel cell tech

In:
Category: 
10Oct2016

Royal Caribbean announced today it has said that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with shipbuilder Meyer Turku to build a new class of cruise ships that will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The new cruise ships will join Royal Caribbean's fleet and are under the project name "Icon". The Icon ships would likely accommodate approximately 5,000 passengers, but details are still being worked out.

The vessels will be delivered in the second quarters of 2022 and 2024. In the meantime, the company said, it will begin testing fuel cell technology on an existing Oasis-class ship in 2017, and will also run progressively larger fuel cell projects on new Quantum class vessels being built in the next several years.

According to Royal Caribbean, the use of LNG and the introduction of fuel cell technology will usher in a new era of shipbuilding that will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"With Icon class, we move further in the journey to take the smoke out of our smokestacks," said Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. "We are dedicated to innovation, continuous improvement, and environmental responsibility, and Icon gives us the opportunity to deliver against all three of these pillars."

"Our guests expect us to push every envelope we can," said Michael Bayley, president and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean International. "And on this new class of ship, we began by challenging ourselves to find a new approach to power and propulsion that is safe, reliable, and more energy-efficient than ever before." Bayley added that exciting and innovative new guest experience elements of the Icon class design will be revealed later in the development process.

The switch to LNG provides further momentum for the technology, which has begun making significant inroads in the maritime industry. "Increasing the commitment to LNG makes it easier for suppliers to make their own infrastructure commitments," said Fain. "As more ships are built for LNG, the number of ports that support it will grow." The Icon ships are expected to run primarily on LNG but will also be able to run on distillate fuel, to accommodate occasional itineraries that call on ports without LNG infrastructure.

This order is contingent upon the completion of contractual conditions, including documentation and financing.  Final contracts are expected to be completed by year end.  Based upon current ship orders, projected capital expenditures for full year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 are $2.4 billion, $0.5 billion, $2.6 billion, $1.5 billion and $2.0 billion, respectively.  Capacity increases for 2016 through 2020 remain unchanged and do not include potential ship sales or additions that the company may elect to make in the future.