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Meyer Turku delivers Icon of the Seas, world's largest cruise ship

PHOTO: SBW-PHOTO CRUISE_Icon_delivery.jpg
Icon of the Seas' handover ceremony included 1,200 crew and yard workers
Meyer Turku handed over the world's largest cruise ship, the 248,655gt Icon of the Seas, to Royal Caribbean International.

This followed 900 days of construction on what's been called the most complex project in the industrial history of Finland.

Icon of the Seas' length is 1,197.5 feet/365 meters, and its beam is 186.6 feet/57.8 meters. It has 5,160 lower guest berths and capacity for 7,600 passengers and 2,350 crew. 

For comparison, the largest Oasis-class ship, Wonder of the Seas, measures 236,857gt, stretches 1,188 feet/362 meters and has 5,734 lower berths and capacity for 6,988 passengers and 2,300 crew.


Icon of the Seas is pictured during its sea trials

"World's most advanced cruise ship'

'Icon of the Seas is the world's largest, but above all, the world's most advanced cruise ship,' Meyer Turku CEO Tim Meyer said. 'Together with Royal Caribbean, we set the bar exceptionally high in terms of design, technology, safety and reducing energy consumption.'

He added Icon is a 'significant step toward the green transition, which is the shipyard's most important competitive advantage,' crediting cooperation of the maritime cluster and partner companies. 'I am extremely proud of the people of Meyer Turku and everyone who has participated in this project,' Meyer said.

Huge sub-projects

Icon of the Seas has been called the most complex industrial project in Finland's history. Several smaller, yet huge sub-projects fit inside. They include AquaDome, the heaviest and largest (in surface area) glass-steel structure ever lifted onto a ship and the Pearl, a 15-meter-diameter round thrill staircase that is part of Icon's load-bearing structure.

'Today, we are celebrating more than a new ship; it’s also the celebration of the culmination of more than 50 years of innovation and dreaming at Royal Caribbean to create the ultimate vacation experience,' Royal Caribbean Group President/CEO Jason Liberty said. The delivery shows 'all that can be accomplished with strong partnerships and a commitment to delivering memorable vacations responsibly, and we thank Meyer Turku and an incredible village of skilled partners for joining us on this journey.'

Seven-year dream

For his part, Royal Caribbean International President/CEO Michael Bayley called Icon a 'remarkable accomplishment years in the making for thousands of innovators, engineers, architects and designers.

'Seven years ago, we had an ambitious idea to create the first vacation truly made for every type of family and adventurer; now, it’s in our hands, and in this final stretch, we’ll bring it all to life for the biggest debut in our history in January 2024.'

Attending the delivery celebration were more than 1,200 crew members and workers, Liberty, Bayley, Meyer, Royal Caribbean Group Chairman Richard Fain and Meyer Group's Bernard Meyer and Jan Meyer.


Seated, from left, Jason Liberty, Tim Meyer, Bernard Meyer. Standing, from left, Michael Bayley, Richard Fain, Jan Meyer, Icon of the Seas Capt. Henrik Loy

LNG and microwave-assisted pyrolysis

This is the Royal Caribbean brand's first LNG-powered ship, and it has cruising's first microwave-assisted pyrolysis that converts biosolids into energy.

Icon features

Among Icon of the Seas' eight neighborhoods are five new ones: Thrill Island water park, Chill Island pools complex, Surfside for young families, AquaDome high atop the ship and housing the AquaTheater, and The Hideaway with its beach vibe and infinity pool. 

There are more than 40 food and beverage options, entertainment across four stages — air, ice, water and theater and 28 types of accommodations including the three-level Ultimate Family Townhouse. 

To Cádiz, then Miami

The Panama-registered Icon of the Seas will now make its way to Cádiz, Spain for finishing touches before heading to its year-round home at PortMiami, where it's scheduled to debut in late January.

Starting Nov. 29, viewers can follow Icon's journey at

Star of the Seas assembly to begin

Meyer Turku plans to begin hull assembly for Icon's sister, Star of the Seas, in December. It is scheduled to debut in summer 2025.