Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, part of the cruise line’s next generation of ships, just sailed through its first sea trial with flying colors.
Its maiden voyage with passengers is scheduled for January 2024 out of Miami, Florida, where it will sail itineraries in the Caribbean through at least April 2025.
Icon of the Seas will be the first “Iron Class” ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet. Previously, Royal Caribbean’s “Oasis Class” ships held the record for the world’s largest cruise liners.
Sea trials are required for all new cruise ships. Cruise lines use them to make sure everything is in tip-top shape, and to work out any issues before passengers board. The first test lasted four days on open water, and more tests are scheduled for later this year, according to the unofficial fan site, Royal Caribbean Blog.
Construction on Icon of the Seas began in Turku, Finland, in April 2022. Most cruise ships are large, but Icon of the Seas takes the cake. It’s 1,198 feet long and weighs 250,800 gross tons, according to Royal Caribbean.
The 2,350-person international crew can serve up to 5,610 guests based on double occupancy.
Passengers will have plenty of room to relax and enjoy all amenities on the Icon of the Seas. The ship has 20 total decks, with 18 of them accessible to travelers. Throughout the ship, guests can enjoy seven pools, nine whirlpools and six waterslides.
The waterslides are part of the largest waterpark at sea, dubbed Category 6. Each slide at the park breaks new records: Pressure Drop will be the first open free-fall slide. Frightening Bolt has the tallest drop on a cruise slide. Two slides, Storm Surge and Hurricane Hunter, are the first of their kind, holding space for four riders per raft. And, finally, Storm Chasers is the first mat-racing duo slide on a cruise ship.
To get a behind-the-scenes look at the design and construction of Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, check out the cruise line’s new YouTube series: Making an Icon.
And, if you want to book a vacation on the soon-to-be world’s largest ship, visit the official website of Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas to check out sailing dates and itineraries.