Icon of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world and described as ‘Royal Caribbean’s most environmentally friendly cruise ship’, has begun the first part of sea trials. The week-long series of tests will take place amidst a picturesque archipelago near Turku, Finland.
– More than 450 specialists are on board and will carry out key initial tests, from the main engines to the efficiency of the lifeboats. These will be followed later this year by the second part of the trials, operator Royal Caribbean International announced.
Icon of the Seas, the first ship in the Icon series out of three ordered from Meyer Turku, is due to be handed over to the shipowner at the end of 2023 and set sail on its first voyage in January 2024. On handover, it will become the largest cruise ship in the world and “Royal Caribbean’s most environmentally friendly cruise ship”. Among other things, the ship will be equipped with so-called ‘air lubrication’ technology, which consists of an artificially produced layer of air bubbles in the underwater part of the hull. This action reduces frictional resistance between the hull and the water, minimising fuel consumption and, consequently, carbon dioxide emissions.
Icon of the Seas is 364.80m in overall length and 48.00m in structural width. It is designed to accommodate 5610 passengers when the cabins are filled to two people, and a maximum of 7600 with some of the cabins fully filled.
The Finnish shipyard has already started construction of the second LNG-fuelled Icon-class cruise ship for Royal Caribbean in February this year. Construction of the ship is expected to take two years and be completed in 2025. The third Icon-class ship is expected to be completed in 2026.