Icon of the Seas, the first-ever and newest LNG-powered cruise ship of Royal Caribbean International, is scheduled to embark on sea trials in mid-June this year.
Per Meyer Turku, the shipbuilder of what is expected to be the world’s largest and most technically advanced cruise vessel, the construction has been progressing at a good pace, and the preparations for her trials have started.
As the largest prototype vessel in the world, Icon’s early sea trials are key to ensuring that the vessel’s main equipment, like the propulsion equipment, primary engines, power plant, thrusters, and fin stabilisers, are operating as they ideally should, mentioned Meyer Turku via a social media update on 5 May.
The Finnish shipbuilding major began constructing the Icon of the Seas in 2021 (June) and installed an LNG fuel tank back in 2021 (November).
The vessel was unveiled on 9 December last year and shifted to the outfitting dock. The Icon of the Seas is the first vessel of the Royal Caribbean that operates on LNG and uses fuel cell technology.
The vessel is expected to have shore power connections and waste heat recovery systems. Besides, it will boast air lubrication of the underwater hull, sending several million microscopic bubbles along the vessel’s hull to lower friction.
It will operate on six Wärtsilä primary engines that utilise natural gas and diesel. In March, the first of these was initiated, hitting a milestone in the shipbuilding procedure. The icon of the Seas is expected to be handed over to the client by the end of 2023. It is going to set sail on its first-ever voyage in January 2024.
The vessel will cruise from Miami throughout the year in the Western and Eastern Caribbean.
It measures 365 meters in length, nearly 50 meters in width, and has a gross tonnage of about 250,000. The Icon of the Seas is the first vessel in the Icon series out of three on order at the Meyer Turku. The two other ships have been scheduled for delivery in 2025 and 2026.