An iconic day for the cruise industry’s next iconic ship took place on Monday, June 14 when Royal Caribbean International marked the start of construction on its first Icon Class ship. To celebrate the milestone, the world’s largest cruise line held a steel-cutting ceremony at Finnish shipyard Meyer Turku, where the revolutionary ship’s name was revealed as Icon of the Seas.
In attendance at the ceremony was Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group; Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International; and Tim Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku. The initial step in the ship’s years-long journey to completion also officially begins Royal Caribbean’s next chapter in building a clean-energy future as the leader in innovative ship design. Debuting in fall 2023, Icon will be the cruise line’s first of three ships to be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas). LNG and the state-of-the-art ship’s additional environmentally friendly applications, such as shore power connection, will boost energy efficiencies and reduce carbon footprint. More details about Icon’s advanced environmental technologies will be revealed at a future date.
“We made our commitment to making clean power at sea a reality – and soon the norm – when Icon Class was first announced in 2016, and we’re excited to see construction underway on what will truly be a ship unlike any other,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Our decades of work in ocean conservation, energy efficiency and continuous improvement will be evident all throughout Icon. We look forward to revealing more of the game-changing features our guests and crew have in store as she begins to take shape.”
Royal Caribbean is already known for its decades of work in making strides on energy efficiency and reduced emissions through such technologies as air lubrication, which sends billions of microscopic bubbles along the hull of a ship to reduce friction, and advanced waste heat recovery systems that turn waste heat into extra energy, up to 3 megawatts, to help power the ship’s operations. Use of such technologies, including LNG, will result in further reduced emissions overall, virtually zero sulfur dioxides and particulates, and a significant reduction in the production of nitrogen oxides.