Photos: World's Largest Cruise Ship Icon of the Seas Starts Sea Trials

Icon of the Seas trials
Icon of the Seas headed into the Baltic for her first sea trials (RCI)

Published Jun 19, 2023 1:44 PM by The Maritime Executive

The world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean International’s Icon of the Seas departed the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland this morning, June 19, for the first time. The 250,800 gross ton cruise ship is expected to stay at sea for up to a week on its first sea trials. 

The shipyard reports that “Icon’s first sea trail is a significant event and one of the most important stages in shipbuilding.” During the sea trial, they said the performance of the ship’s propulsion systems, navigation systems, and other features such as stability at sea will be tested. They noted that the ship has progressed in its construction so that they can undertake tests not possible while the cruise ship is alongside the outfitting berth.



“On board are more than 450 specialists carrying out crucial, preliminary tests with Icon’s main engines, hull, lifeboats, thrusters, and more,” writes Royal Caribbean International.

Icon of the Seas is the first of a new class of three cruise ships on order from Meyer Turku. She will be almost six percent larger in volume than the current largest cruise ship in the world, Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas. The primary differences, however, are in the propulsion plant. She is a dual-fuel LNG-powered cruise ship with six Wärtsilä engines generating a total of 67,500 kW. 

The new cruise ship is 1,198 feet long with a maximum passenger capacity of 7,600 people. It has over 2,800 cabins for passengers and will be operated by 2,350 crewmembers. It consists of 20 decks and for the passengers there will be eight neighborhoods for entertainment and dining.



Royal Caribbean International reports the technical design incorporates new features to improve the vessel’s performance and reduce its environmental impact. In addition to the LNG-fueled power plant, she incorporates technologies the company has previously used including an air lubrication system for the hull and a waste heat recovery system that will provide up to 3 MW of extra energy. The cruise ship is also shore-power ready, will be one of the first with a fuel cell on board, and will use machine-learning technologies to optimize the ship’s route.

Construction for the Icon of the Seas began with the ceremonial steel cut being marked in June 2021 and a ceremonial block lowered into the dry dock in April 2022 as assembly was progressing. She was floated out for the first time in December 2022. The ship is scheduled for delivery in late 2023 and a maiden voyage from Miami in January 2024.