Royal Caribbean to debut largest ship yet, aptly named Icon of the Seas

As cruise lines continue to recover after the COVID shutdown, one South Florida company is unveiling plans for its latest ship.

MIAMI – As cruise lines continue to recover after the COVID shutdown, one South Florida company is unveiling plans for its latest ship.

Royal Caribbean promises the new Icon of the Seas will be truly iconic.

This new ship is the culmination of some five years of research and development.

While it’s still being built in Europe right now, it is expected to be completed next fall before arriving at its new home at Port Miami.

“This is the best family vacation in the world, and you can see that when you look at the entire ship,” said RCL Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider.

Royal Caribbean unveiled plans Thursday for its latest and largest ship, one they believe will truly live up to its name.

“Icon truly is the kind of the culmination of 50 years of innovation, 50 years of learning,” said Schneider.

Icon of the Seas, which is still being built in Finland, will not only be the world’s biggest ship when completed, but it will also feature several first of its kind features, including the largest waterpark at sea, the first-ever suspended infinity pool and a one of kind entertainment and lounge area called the Aquadome.

“You’ll see new experiences here that we’ve really never done before,” said Schneider.

Local 10 News was granted an inside look at the plans during a visit to RCL’s headquarters near Port Miami.

It’s where executives like Schneider have spent the past five years using virtual and physical mock-ups to perfect every detail.

It comes more than two years after the pandemic forced the entire industry to shut down.

While business is rebounding, companies like RCL l hope these newer, more innovative ships will help boost it even more.

“The pandemic impacted everybody, but we returned our fleet with health and safety at the forefront,” Schneider said.

The cruise line also turning an eye to the environment, announcing Icon of the Seas will be powered by liquified natural gas, or LNG, which is one of the cleanest-burning marine fuels.

“She’s an LNG ship, which means even though she’s bigger, she’s 20 percent more efficient,” said Schneider.

Both Carnival and Norwegian cruise lines have also launched new ships within the past year.

As for icon, it will hold more than 5600 passengers. That’s on top of some 2300 crew members.

RCL already ordered at least two other sister ships to Icon, which should be completed by the end of the decade.

About the Author:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.