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Icon of the Seas: Itinerary, features, and more

In:
24 May 2022

Icon of the Seas will be the first of Royal Caribbean's Icon Class cruise ships when she launches, marking the first new type of vessel for the cruise line since 2014.

Royal Caribbean has not divulged many details about Icon of the Seas, but this page will be updated periodically when Royal Caribbean announces what the ship will offer to guests.

There is a lot of excitement about what's planned for Icon of the Seas, with the promise from company executives it will be a "game changer" for the industry.

Here is a look at the most important things we know about Icon of the Seas.

Icon of the Seas facts

Icon of the Seas metal

 

Icon of the Seas is the first Icon Class ship.  Since it's the first, we don't know yet what the ship looks like or any substantial details.

The ship is under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland. The new class of ship was announced in late 2016.

According to filings made by Royal Caribbean, Icon of the Seas will have a capacity of approximately 5,600 passengers.

She will be 200,000 gross tons in size.

This would make the Icon class ships larger than the Quantum Class ships, but slightly smaller than the Oasis Class ships.

Back in April 2021, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley talked briefly about the new ship, "We have the brand new Icon class coming, which is going to be a real game changer."

Royal Caribbean has not announced any onboard activities, entertainment or things to do yet.

When will Icon of the Seas be delivered?

Icon of the Seas plaque

Icon of the Seas is expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2023.

She was originally scheduled to be delivered in second quarter of 2022, but the Covid-19 pandemic caused her construction plans to be delayed by a year.

Next-gen power

Debuting in fall 2023, Icon will be the cruise line’s first of three ships to be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas).

LNG and the state-of-the-art ship’s additional environmentally friendly applications, such as shore power connection, will boost energy efficiencies and reduce carbon footprint. More details about Icon’s advanced environmental technologies will be revealed at a future date.

The LNG fuel tank on Icon of the Seas is 307 tons and 90 feet long.

Traditionally, cruise ships are powered by diesel. The advantage LNG has over diesel is it is more energy-efficient and will reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

In addition, Icon of the Seas will utilize a shore power connection that removes emissions while connected at port.

What is the sphere?

Icon of the Seas sphere installation

 

In January 2022, a large pearl-shaped object appeared in the shipyard that capture the attention of cruise fans who are curious to know what it might be.

Royal Caribbean has not announced what it will be, but it is going to be a feature on Icon of the Seas.

The object was placed about mid-ship, amidst the various blocks of Icon of the Seas during her construction progress.

It measures 46 feet tall and 50 feet in diameter, with 578 aluminum external panels.

Some guessed it could be a LNG fuel tank, but LNG tanks are substantially larger.

Other interesting facts:

  • 9 miles of cables for power & lighting
  • 1,323 feet of air conditioning ducts
  • Steel mounting frames on the inside
  • It required two tugboats to move it to the shipyard
  • 5,600-metric-ton-crane lifted it into position
  • It's taken 45,000 working hours to construct the sphere

Icon of the Seas construction update: mystery sphere installed on ship

In:
24 May 2022

While we don't know what it is yet, the sphere-like object that is part of Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship has been installed onboard.

Icon of the Seas sphere installation

Royal Caribbean released a new construction update teaser that talks about the pearl-shaped object being added to Icon of the Seas.

We first spotted this object in December 2021, and it remains a mystery as to what it possibly could be.  Royal Caribbean has not confirmed what it is, but we do know now where it is located.

In the video update, the object was placed about mid-ship, amidst the various blocks of Icon of the Seas during her construction progress.

Sphere installation

It measures 46 feet tall and 50 feet in diameter, with 578 aluminum external panels.

According to the update, the object is 175-metric tons and was transferred on a barge down to the shipyard for installation.

Icon of the Seas is under construction in Turku, Finland.

Other interesting facts:

  • 9 miles of cables for power & lighting
  • 1,323 feet of air conditioning ducts
  • Steel mounting frames on the inside
  • It required two tugboats to move it to the shipyard
  • 5,600-metric-ton-crane lifted it into position
  • It's taken 45,000 working hours to construct the sphere

What is the sphere?

Since news of the sphere's existence came to light, Royal Caribbean has not confirmed what it is.

In fact, Royal Caribbean has released no information about what the design of the ship will be at all.

In March 2022, Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider said about the new class of ship, "everything you'll see on icon will will be an evolution or revolution."

"And and we'll push forward again us being the at the top of the mantle on the ultimate family vacation."

There has been quite a lot of guesses shared on social media as to what the sphere might be, but it remains a question.

Whatever it ends up being, we'll have to wait for Royal Caribbean to reveal it at a later date.

Icon of the Seas will be the first ship in the Icon Class to launch.  She is scheduled to be delivered in Fall 2023, and there are two other Icon Class ships on order.

The other two ships will be delivered in 2025 and 2026.

Icon of the Seas to be homeported in Miami

In:
07 Apr 2022

It looks like Royal Caribbean will homeport Icon of the Seas in Miami, Florida when she arrives in the United States.

Terminal A in PortMiami

In a recent interview, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley talked about how excited he was for Icon of the Seas, and mentioned in passing that the new ship will be based at PortMiami.

Mr. Bayley was speaking with TTG Media and explained following Icon of the Seas' debut in the UK summer season, “We will take [Icon of the Seas] across the Atlantic to Miami, which is where it’s going to be homeported.”

Bayley also stated that Icon of the Seas would likely have some stops in New York or Boston during the ship's East Coast transit. 

This was the same interview that Mr. Bayley mentioned Icon will visit Southampton, UK initially.

Debuting a brand new ship in the UK for its inaugural sailing season isn’t the first for Royal Caribbean; in fact, Harmony of the Seas first debuted to the UK market before transiting to the U.S for its homeport.

Bayley also emphasized how important the UK market is for Royal Caribbean, which helped solidify the cruise line’s decision to debut Icon of the Seas to the country first. 

"An Amazing Ship"

Royal Caribbean has been very quiet about its new Icon Class of ships, creating a lot of buzz in the cruising industry about the ship's design and features. Icon of the Seas will be the first cruise ship in the Icon Class. 

Little is currently known about Icon of the Seas, but Bayley did allude to being very impressed with Icon of the Seas. He stated, “The ship is unbelievable. It's an amazing ship. What’s fascinating about Icon is the sheer amount of product."

Although this gives us very little detail about Icon of the Seas itself, Bayley is certainly hyping up Royal Caribbean’s newest ship.

According to Bayley, Icon of the Seas will be a game-changer for the cruising industry, as the cruise line has spent 5 years designing the ship.

Just this month, Bayley said Royal Caribbean rented a movie theater in Miami and the company spent an entire day reviewing Icon of the Seas with internal stakeholders, marketing members and other executives. This meeting also focused on how Royal Caribbean plans to reveal Icon of the Seas to the public. 

Tradition, Evolution and Revolution

Although Bayley isn’t allowed to reveal anything specific, he explained that Icon of the Seas will feature a combination of ‘tradition, evolution and revolution’ cruising elements from Royal Caribbean. 

Bayley acknowledged that Royal Caribbean cruisers will always love certain features about the brand. These fan favorites, like the Schooner Bar, determine which traditional elements continue to be found on ships across the fleet.

On the other hand, evolution elements revolve around continuously improving elements that cruisers love, such as entertainment venues and waterslides. Finally, revolution elements are ‘industry-firsts’ and are meant to be WOW factors for the company.

In regards to revolutionary, it is known that Icon of the Seas will also be the first LNG-powered cruise ship for Royal Caribbean. This is a huge step towards Royal Caribbean's sustainability efforts to use cleaner, more environmentally-friendly fuel. 

Industry Leader

In general, Royal Caribbean leads the cruise industry with designing the biggest and most innovative ships at sea. It was the first cruise line to bring many onboard thrills to a cruise ship, such as the first zip-line at sea, the first surf simulator at sea and the first skydiving simulator.

With the Oasis Class ships, Royal Caribbean introduced its multi-neighborhood concept to the cruise industry, which featured an entire opened-aired Central Park and Boardwalk at sea. 

With Bayley hinting that Icon of the Seas details have been shared internally at Royal Caribbean, this could signal that more information about the new cruise ship will be made public soon. Bayley also stated that the cruise line plans to host an interactive event, potentially this spring or fall in New York, to reveal Icon of the Seas to the public.

Royal Caribbean’s Icon Class is the first class of new vessels since 2014 when Royal Caribbean launched the first of its Quantum Class ships. 

Royal Caribbean will send Icon of the Seas to the UK first

In:
06 Apr 2022

Royal Caribbean has been quiet on just about every detail of its new Icon Class cruise ships, but we now know she'll start cruising first in the UK.

Icon of the Seas 2023

The cruise line has reveled very few details about the ship, but it sounds like more information will be revealed sooner than later.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley confirmed when Icon of the Seas debuts, she will sail from the UK at the start of her career.

Speaking to TTG Media, Mr. Bayley emphasized how important the UK cruise market is by mentioning Icon of the Seas will sail from Southampton.

"I promise you will bring Icon of the seas into Southampton. The UK will be the first country and market that we will bring this incredible ship into [when it launches] in ’23."

Harmony of the Seas arriving in Southampton Open configuration options Open configuration options 1 / 9

This is not the first time a new Royal Caribbean cruise ship went to the UK first, before heading to the United States after.

Harmony of the Seas was the last Royal Caribbean cruise ship to do so. She started off with a series of short getaways to Northern Europe from Southampton, followed by cruises from Barcelona before heading to the United States shortly thereafter.

Royal Caribbean opted not to send Symphony of the Seas to the UK when she debuted because Harmony was poorly received by the British press.

More details coming soon

Icon of the Seas steel

Mr. Bayley went on to talk about just how impressed he is with Icon while not divulging any additional details, "This ship is unbelievable."

"What's fascinating about Icon is the sheer scale of the product."

He talked about the fact details of the new ship have been shared internally at a closed-door event in Miami recently among key marketing and sales and revenue people. This could point to more information coming soon.

Mr. Bayley also said Royal Caribbean is working out details for timing of an event in New York later this year to announce more information.

Last month, Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider said the public can expect to get more details on Icon between April or May.

Royal Caribbean lays keel for new Icon of the Sea cruise ship

In:
05 Apr 2022

The construction of Royal Caribbean's first Icon Class cruise ship reached an important milestone this week when the keel was laid for Icon of the Seas.

Icon of the Seas keel-laying ceremony

At a ceremony held at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, the official start of construction was celebrated.

Icon of the Seas will be the first of three Icon Class cruise ships, which the cruise line says will have a bold new design.  The cruise line has not yet released details on what the new ship looks like, or any of the features onboard.

Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty was joined by Chairman Richard Fain, along with Meyer Turku senior executives and teams on Tuesday for the keel-laying.

The ship's keel is the first block, and it is maritime tradition to commemorate this phase of a new ship construction.  Icon's first block required a 3,000-ton crane lifting the block into place on top of freshly minted coins, which represent the shipyard and cruise line. 

The coins are meant to bring luck during construction, and they will be retrieved and given to Icon’s captain and crew before setting sail.

Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley shared his excitement for the new ship, "Five years ago, we began dreaming of Icon of the Seas, and now the next phase of this iconic adventure is beginning."

"As this game-changing ship takes shape, the excitement from families and travelers alike, travel advisors and our partners continues to build. Later this year, we’ll reveal the lineup of firsts and favorites that will set a new standard for vacations come fall 2023."

Icon of the Seas will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

It's expected we will get more information on Icon of the Seas' deployment and ship details beginning later this spring.

Read moreA look at Royal Caribbean's plans now that cruises are back

A closer look at the sphere object Royal Caribbean will add to Icon of the Seas

In:
05 Jan 2022

There's been quite a lot of speculation as to what the sphere-like object spotted in the shipyard building Royal Caribbean's new cruise ship might be, and today we have new photos to share of it.

I posted yesterday an exclusive photo from the shipyard constructing Icon of the Seas a large pearl-shaped object that is unlike anything we've seen on a Royal Caribbean ship prior to this point.

Since posting that photo, more photos have emerged of the construction of this object.

Ruslan shared close-up photos of the object, including a look at its construction prior to the photo shared yesterday.

What could it be?

After posting the photo yesterday, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley shared a link to the article on his Facebook page with the question everyone wants to know, "Hmmmmm what could this iconic thing be?"

There has been quite a lot of guesses shared on social media as to what this might be, and I'm not sure there's any clear consensus yet.

One of the most frequently guessed ideas is that it is a tank for the ship's liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Icon of the Seas will be the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship to be powered by LNG, but Royal Caribbean shared an update back in October 2021 that the LNG tanks had already been installed. Plus, those tanks look substantially larger than this sphere object.

There have been lots of other guesses (some serious, and some not) for what it might be, including:

  • Gyroscope
  • Next-gen bungee jump experience
  • Repurposed alien spacecraft from Area 51
  • Planetarium
  • IMAX Theater

Whatever it ends up being, we'll have to wait for Royal Caribbean to reveal it at a later date.

Icon of the Seas will be the first ship in the Icon Class to launch.  She is scheduled to be delivered in Fall 2023, and there are two other Icon Class ships on order.

The other two ships will be delivered in 2025 and 2026.

Icon of the Seas blocks arrive at shipyard, along with something we've never seen before

In:
04 Jan 2022

Royal Caribbean has been quiet about its next new class of cruise ship, but it looks like we're starting to get our first look at construction taking place, including something that I have no idea what it could be.

Ship blocks for construction of Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas arrived recently to the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland.

Tug boats brought these giant pieces of what will become the hull of Icon of the Seas to the shipyard so that they can be joined together.

Janne-Petteri Kumpulainen shared photos of the pre-assembled blocks being brought in on a snowy day.

Cruise ships are built in a module process, where engineers break down the ship into smaller pieces that they later assemble. The reason ships are built in this manner is so that different engineers and specialists can work simultaneously, which cuts down on overall construction time.

Once the blocks arrive at the shipyard, they will be joined and welded together.

 

In addition to Janne's photos, a source that wishes to remain anonymous sent in a photo from the shipyard of a large pearl-shaped object that is destined for Icon of the Seas.

What is it? Your guess is as good as mine. Share your guesses in the comments!

Over the past years, Royal Caribbean has looked to distinguish each new class of ship with an attention grabbing feature that instantly draws the attention of the public. The Ultimate Abyss, North Star, and Central Park are just some examples of signature features onboard.

Perhaps this dome is part of something completely different for Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean has hinted at Icon of the Seas being a "game changer" new ship for the cruise line.

Back in April 2021, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley talked briefly about the new ship, "We have the brand new Icon class coming, which is going to be a real game changer."

"When you think about what a game changer Oasis class was and is, Icon is the next generation the evolution of Oasis."

Not much else is known about the Icon Class, but according to Royal Caribbean Group SEC filings in April 2021, the unnamed Icon Class ships will have a capacity of approximately 5,600 passengers.

Each ship will be powered by a combination of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fuel cell technology.

Icon of the Seas is scheduled for deliver in the third quarter of 2023.

New Icon Class cruise ship construction update

In:
27 Oct 2021

Royal Caribbean posted a new video update with the progress being made on the cruise line's next generation cruise ship.

Icon of the Seas is under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, and we have a closer look at  how the ship will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

This will be the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship to be powered by LNG.

Traditionally, cruise ships are powered by diesel. The advantage LNG has over diesel is it is more energy-efficient and will reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

LNG is considered to be the cleanest-burning fossil fuel available because it has virtually zero sulfur dioxides and particulates, and a significant reduction in nitrous oxides.

Royal Caribbean's overall goal is to become emission-free.

The LNG fuel tank is 307 tons and 90 feet long, and were installed recently into one of the blocks that makes up the new ship. Royal Caribbean says the two LNG fuel takes are the largest in the cruise industry.

In addition, Icon of the Seas will utilize a shore power connection that removes emissions while connected at port.

Icon will have advanced waste heat recovery systems that repurpose heat to be used as energy across the ship.

Additional details about Icon of the Seas largely remain unknown. Royal Caribbean promises, " it will make waves with a mix of innovations and adventures cruising’s never seen before."

According to Royal Caribbean Group SEC filings in April 2021, the unnamed Icon Class ships will have a capacity of approximately 5,600 passengers.

The first of the revolutionary Icon Class is set to make its debut in fall 2023, and two other Icon Class ships are on order. The other two ships will be delivered in 2025 and 2026.

Royal Caribbean begins construction on its next generation cruise ship Icon of the Seas

In:
16 Jun 2021

Royal Caribbean announced the official start of construction for its newest cruise ship, along with its name.

On June 14, construction officially began on the first Icon Class cruise ship with a steel cutting ceremony at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, which is the same shipyard that built a number of Royal Caribbean ship, including Allure and Oasis of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean also confirmed the ship's name will be Icon of the Seas.

The Icon Class ships will be Royal Caribbean's newest class of cruise ships.

Debuting in fall 2023, Icon will be the cruise line’s first of three ships to be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas). LNG and the state-of-the-art ship’s additional environmentally friendly applications, such as shore power connection, will boost energy efficiencies and reduce carbon footprint. More details about Icon’s advanced environmental technologies will be revealed at a future date.

Not much else is known about the Icon Class, but according to Royal Caribbean Group SEC filings in April 2021, the unnamed Icon Class ships will have a capacity of approximately 5,600 passengers.

This would make the Icon class ships larger than the Quantum Class ships, but slightly smaller than the Oasis Class ships.

There are three Icon Class ships on order:

  • Unnamed first Icon class ship delivery in 3rd Quarter 2023
  • Unnamed second Icon class ship delivery in 2nd Quarter 2025
  • Unnamed third Icon class ship delivery in 2nd Quarter 2026

In attendance at the ceremony was Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group; Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International; and Tim Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku.

“We made our commitment to making clean power at sea a reality – and soon the norm – when Icon Class was first announced in 2016, and we’re excited to see construction underway on what will truly be a ship unlike any other,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Our decades of work in ocean conservation, energy efficiency and continuous improvement will be evident all throughout Icon. We look forward to revealing more of the game-changing features our guests and crew have in store as she begins to take shape.” 

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