Icon of the Seas: World’s Largest Cruise Ship Begins Maiden Voyage

Icon of the Seas: World's Largest Cruise Ship Begins Maiden Voyage

Photo Credit: AP

The world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, set sail from Miami on its maiden voyage Saturday, carrying what amounted to the population of a small city.

Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, embarked on its first voyage from Miami this Saturday, carrying a population equivalent to that of a small city.

Constructed over 900 days at a shipyard in Turku, Finland, this monumental vessel surpasses the height of the Eiffel Tower and boasts 20 decks, accommodating over 5,600 passengers (with a maximum capacity of 7,600) and a crew of 2,350.

To ensure an entertaining and satisfying experience, the Bahamas-registered ship features seven swimming pools, including a 40,000-gallon “lake,” six water slides, a carousel, the largest ice arena at sea according to Royal Caribbean, and over 40 dining venues and bars. Entertainment is abundant, with 50 musicians and comedians, along with a 16-piece orchestra.

With a price tag of $2 billion, the Icon is the pioneer in Royal Caribbean’s new Quantum Class of ships. Despite its colossal size, the ship claims to be more eco-friendly than some smaller cruise ships. It runs on what its owners describe as eco-friendly Liquefied Natural Gas, although some experts express concerns about potential methane gas leaks associated with LNG systems.

The Icon incorporates advanced technology, including a waste-to-energy system using microwave-assisted pyrolysis, and a reverse osmosis system that provides nearly all the fresh water the ship requires. The ship was christened in a glamorous ceremony where soccer star Lionel Messi, now associated with Inter Miami, smashed a Champagne bottle against the ship’s bow.

Following its sold-out inaugural cruise from Miami, the Icon will spend a week in the Caribbean before returning to its home base. Measuring 2,000 feet long (365 meters), it claims the title of the world’s largest cruise ship, surpassing its slightly smaller Royal Caribbean counterpart, the Wonder of the Seas.

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