Icon Of The Seas

Icon Of The Seas cruise ship

Cruise line
Royal Caribbean

Specifications of Icon Of The Seas

Year built2023 new ship
BuilderMeyer Werft (Turku, Finland)
Building costEUR 1,1 billion (USD 1,3 billion)
OwnerRoyal Caribbean Cruises Ltd
OperatorRoyal Caribbean International
Gross Tonnage218000 gt
Sister-shipsApex Of The Seas, Joy Of The Seas
Christened bytba
RCI-Royal Caribbean International Coronavirus update

Icon Of The Seas Review

Review of Icon Of The Seas

The 2023-built Icon of the Seas cruise ship (currently under construction in Finland) is Royal Caribbean' first Icon-Class vessel scheduled for delivery and inauguration in 2023-Q3. The liner has two same-designed sisterships - Apex Of The Seas (2025-Q2) and Joy of the Seas (2026-Q2). "Project Icon" is the name for a cruise ship class ordered by RCG-Royal Caribbean Group (shipowner) and all units of the series will be built by Meyer Merf's Shipyard in Turku Finland.

History - construction and ownership

Royal Caribbean International (RCI) is a US company, trademarked brand, and subsidiary owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (shipowner). RCI was established in 1968 and currently has over 1/5 of the worldwide cruise market. RCI also has RCG's largest fleet as both vessels number and GT tonnage (ship sizes and capacities). All RCI liners have names ending with "of the Seas".

  • On October 10, 2016, Meyer Turku and Royal Caribbean signed the MoU agreement (memorandum of understanding) and officially announced the building order for two vessels under the project name "ICON". The units will be LNG-powered (by liquified natural gas), employ fuel cell technology, and are to be classified by DNV GL (Hovik Norway-headquartered international ship registrar and classification society). The MoU ceremony was attended by Michael Bayley (RCI's President and CEO), Jan Meyer (Meyer Turku's CEO) and Harri Kulovaara (Finnish naval architect, RCCL's Maritime and Newbulding's Executive Vice President).
  • Royal Caribbean trademarked the similar name "Icon of the Seas", which has been suggested as the indication to the name of the first cruise ship. On October 17, 2016, the company filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the "Icon of the Seas" ship name.
  • On June 27, 2017, Royal Caribbean filed for new trademarks on "Joy of the Seas" (serial number 87507232) and "Apex of the Seas" (serial number 87507244). The cruise company had registered the trademarks in September 2014. However, both were abandoned one year later, on September 14, 2015. The registration came days after RCI trademarked Spectrum of the Seas.
  • On July 2, 2019, was ordered the third ICON unit, scheduled for delivery in 2025. The signing ceremony was signed by Richard Fain (RCCL's Chairman and CEO), Jan Meyer (Meyer Turku's CEO), and Michael Bayley (RCI's President and CEO).

Liquefied natural gas is envisioned as the primary fuel for the ICON-class ships, which is expected to dramatically reduce or even eliminate soot particles, nitrogen oxide (NOX), and sulfur oxide (SOX) emissions, as well as decreasing carbon dioxide (CO2). Royal Caribbean's Icon class is due to introduce fuel cell technology, that combined with hull air lubrication means the vessels could potentially be among the most fuel-efficient ships ever built. The Icon-class ships will take advantage of hull air lubrication, used on other vessels in the fleet. According to the company, the move marks a new era in shipbuilding.

Royal Caribbean's ICON ships run primarily on LNG but also on distillate fuel (MDO/marine diesel oil), in order to accommodate itineraries with call ports without LNG infrastructure. The vessels are also fitted with shoreside power capabilities allowing their engines to be shut down while the boats are docked/berthed in ports fitted with such equipment. During the port stay, all the electricity needed for onboard operations/services is provided by the city's grid.

Icon Of The Seas (Royal Caribbean ICON-class cruise ship)

In 2019, the shipbuilder Mayer Turku Oy had an order book listing the following cruise ships planned for deliveries in:

Mayer Turku Oy works with 1000+ suppliers from various countries. Cruise ships' cabins are modular (prefabricated and later assembled at the shipyard) and made by the subsidiary Piikkio Works Oy, which has a factory in Piikkio Finland (approx 20 km / 13 mi to the east from Turku). Cruise ships' public spaces are also prefabricated (and later drydock-assembled) and made by the subsidiary Shipbuilding Completion Oy (in Turku). Technology design and engineering services are provided by the company ENGnD Oy (Rauma Finland).

What is known so far is that each vessel from this series has passenger capacity around 5600 (lower berths) and GT tonnage around 218000 tons (volume), making the ICON design larger than QUANTUM (GT ~168K, 4200 pax) and slightly smaller than OASIS (GT 225K, 5600 pax). Originally, the ICON-class design was announced with passenger capacity 5200 and GT tonnage 200K.

Details on the Icon Of The Seas itinerary program, decks and cabins, shipboard venues-facilities-amenities, technical details, and construction updates are expected to be gradually revealed in the coming months.

The keel-laying for the first Icon-class ship (hull/Mayer Turku yard number NB-1400) was planned for October 2019. The vessel Icon OTS (IMO number 9829930) will be Bahamas-flagged (MMSI tba) and registered in Nassau. For the sisterships were allocated the following IMOs/hull numbers - Apex of the Seas (9829924/NB-1401) and "Joy of the Seas (9888560/NB-1402).

In May 2021, the first hull blocks of Icon OTS (fabricated at Neptun Werft Shipyard, Rostock Germany) were loaded onto barges and shipped to Finland for drydock assembly (welded together). At Meyer Turku Shipyard were also constructed RCI's boats Oasis OTS (2009) and Allure OTS (2010).

Icon Of The Seas - user reviews and comments

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Before the new ships' debut, testing of fuel cell technology began on the existing Oasis-class ships, while larger fuel cell projects were tested on Quantum-class vessels (while under construction).

ICON was the first new ship class announced by RCCL since 2018 when debuted Celebrity Cruises' new EDGE class with Celebrity Edge. RCCL continued to expand its RCI fleet with newbuild from the existing and popular OASIS- and QUANTUM-class ships.

The ICON shipbuilding order with Mayer Turku Oy is contingent upon the completion of contractual conditions, including documentation and financing.

The vessel's construction officially started on June 14, 2021, with the steel-cutting ceremony held at Meyer Turku Oy's shipyard in Turku Finland. The ceremony was attended by Richard Fain (RCG's Chairman and CEO), Michael Bayley (RCI's President and CEO), and Tim Meyer (Meyer Turku's CEO). At the same yard were also built the RCI's first two OASIS-class boats Oasis OTS (2009) and Allure OTS (2010).

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