Icon of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship, and is making steady construction progress.
It's still anyone's guess as to what the ship will look like because the cruise line has not revealed the ship's design, amenities, or features.
If you're like me, then you're very curious as to what Royal Caribbean has planned.
RoyalCaribbeanBlog commissioned its own aerial drone photos again this week to share with all of you what construction progress we can see from the shipyard.
Since these are exclusive photos, please do not redistribute these photos. Feel free to share a link to this article instead.
These drone photos were taken on the morning of October 5, 2022 at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland.
One noticeable difference from photos taken last month are the ship's bow has another section added to it.
Icon of the Seas will be the first Royal Caribbean International cruise ship with a parabolic bow design.
This is a functional design element that creates a curved indentation in the bottom of the vessel’s hull.
Sister company Celebrity Cruises first introduced within the Royal Caribbean Group this type of bow design with its Edge Class ships.
Moving back a bit, we can see another look at the area that appears to be some kind of a theater. Behind it and above a few decks could be a suite sun deck?
Royal Caribbean introduced a new suite sun deck design on Wonder of the Seas, and the area has space for loungers as well as a circular area that could be a hot tub or pool.
The mid-ship area provides a good look at the top pool deck area.
It's all but certain the large oval shaped middle of the deck is where the Central Park neighborhood will be located. Not only have we known for months that Icon of the Seas will retain the neighborhood concept from the Oasis Class ships, but mockups for Central Park were strongly hinted by Royal Caribbean in last week's video update.
You'll also notice one of the large Crown and Anchor logos has been affixed to the side of the ship not facing the camera.
Something else worth noting here is the opposite side of the pool deck has a distinct curvature to it. Moreover, there's actually a gap between two parts of the deck. Could this be to make way for some kind of a feature?
Moving back to the next area, it seems clear to me waterslide support beams are in place.
The series of white columns are very likely for waterslides. Note one set of columns are white, while the other are a brown/orange color. Different slides or a different feature all together?
Looking at the back of this area, we can see a FlowRider surf simulator spot on the left side, and a pool area of some kind on the right.
The FlowRider has been a staple of new Royal Caribbean cruise ships for many years, beginning with the Freedom Class ships.
In looking at the aft of Icon of the Seas, we get a much better idea of the ship's rear design.
Similar to the Oasis Class ships, there is an open deck concept at the back, although it isn't clear this will be another Boardwalk neighborhood.
With the Oasis Class ships, each deck cascades up in length, with the longest decks being at the bottom, and shortest at the top. Icon seems to have the opposite look with the longer decks at the top and shorter decks below it.
Icon of the Seas will have a baby blue hull color, which has been a design choice for Royal Caribbean's last few ships.
Still behind the ship in the shipyard is what we presume to be the Solarium dome.
Photo from August 2022
There are far more panels attached today compared to a few weeks ago.
Icon of the Seas is scheduled to start sailing in late 2023.
We should get more information about Icon of the Seas later this month at an event in Miami.