The recent unveiling of Icon of the Seas was everything we hoped it would be. And from next week onwards, Royal Caribbean International will be opening up bookings for the biggest cruise ship in history.
Sailing from the world’s cruise capital, PortMiami, Icon of the Seas will mainly operate three different seven-night itineraries starting January 27, 2024.
All three itineraries show that Royal Caribbean is doing its best to include as many sea days as possible, so guests can enjoy everything the cruise ship has to offer.
Eastern & Western Caribbean From Miami
At 250,800 gross tons, Icon of the Seas will be the biggest cruise ship in history, surpassing the Oasis class of ships. With the hype built up by Royal Caribbean over the last couple of weeks and months, the question was whether the cruise line would be able to deliver.
Deliver, they did. Not only is Icon of the Seas the biggest cruise ship in history, but it is also absolutely packed with everything you could ever want from a family cruise.
From the largest pool to the biggest waterpark with six slides, Royal Caribbean thought of everything. However, when you go on a cruise, perhaps the most important is where the ship will sail.
Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas will sail on the first revenue cruise on January 27, 2024. Although the vessel was scheduled to start operations this year, due to the global pause in operations, the date was pushed back by a little more than a year.
Three different itineraries have been designed for the period between January 2024 and April 2025. These are split between the Eastern and Western Caribbean, all of which have a call scheduled to Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay.
The first Eastern Caribbean voyage will sail from PortMiami on January 27 and after two days at sea, the first ever port of call will be St. Kitts & Nevis.
Then there will be a day in Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas. After another day at sea, the ship will visit Perfect Day before returning to Miami. There will be 16 sailings on this itinerary between January 2024 and April 2025.
The second Eastern Caribbean option will first depart on February 10 and include calls to Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas, and the cruise line’s private island in the Bahamas, along with a total of three days at sea. There will be a total of 11 departures for this itinerary.
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The 7-day Western Caribbean itinerary includes calls at Roatan in Honduras, Costa Maya in Mexico, Cozumel in Mexico, and the private island of Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas. There will be a total of two sea days and a total of 30 departures, starting on February 3, 2024.
There are also some slightly different itineraries when it comes to the Western Caribbean option. The departures on March 16 and 30, and December 21, 2024, change the order of ports.
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Icon of the Seas Still Under Construction
While the excitement is tangible, those interested in cruising onboard the Icon of the Seas will need to wait a little longer. The vessel is still under construction at the Meyer-Turku shipyard in Finland.
As the ship is the first in class and the first LNG-powered cruise ship for Royal Caribbean, the construction will take a significant amount of time. Steel cutting for the vessel started on June 14, 2021.
Before construction is completed, there are several construction milestones that the Icon of the Seas will need to achieve before sailing to Miami. The first LNG tanks were installed in October last year. The ship’s distinctive hull unit was delivered only last month.
The ship will need to be floated out in the coming year and undergo extensive sea trials. During these trials, the shipyard and cruise line will check if the specifications meet real-world performance. Only once all that is done will Icon of the Seas be handed over to Royal Caribbean.