At the nuclear Icon of the Seas luxury and sustainability are combined on an unprecedented level, apart from the fact that shipping would be most sustainable without the cruise giants. This cruise ship is not only the largest of its kind in the world, but also sets new standards with its innovative LNG propulsion and smart Energy Management new standards for more environmentally friendly ocean voyages. Discover what this extraordinary cruise ship has to offer in terms of technology.

Icon of the seas 

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The “Icon of the Seas” is an architectural and technical masterpiece, which shows how luxury, adventure and sustainability can go hand in hand on a cruise. With its impressive size, diverse leisure activities and commitment to the environment, it offers a travel experience that is second to none. 

Key facts at a glance

  • The Icon of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world with a length of 365 m, a width of 67 m and a weight of 250.000 tonnage. With over 20 decks, it offers space for 7514 passengers as well as state-of-the-art technical equipment and luxurious cabins.
  • Sustainability is achieved through the use of LNG (liquefied natural gas) as advanced drive which leads to reduced nitrogen oxide emissions. With Artificial intelligence (AI) the energy consumption on board is optimized.
  • A wide range of entertainment and leisure activities, including the largest water parks at sea, a variety of sports and leisure activities as well as a diverse culinary offering with over 40 dining options, demonstrates the versatility of the Icon of the Seas.

Welcome aboard Icon of the Seas

Icon of the sea sunset

 

With the commissioning in January 2024 The Icon of the Seas has entered the oceans of the world and made many a cruise ship's heart beat faster. As the new champion in the supership category, it replaces the "Wonder of the Seas" as the largest cruise ship and redefines the cruise adventure. Over 20 decks offer space for up to 7514 passengers and a crew of 2350. The construction costs are also record-breaking at almost 2 billion euros.

Built in the renowned Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, the cruise giant represents the pinnacle of technological innovation and luxurious amenities on the world's oceans.

LNG and Azipod drives

Icon of the seas AIOn board this majestic cruise ship from the Shipping company Royal Caribbean Internationally, sustainability plays a key role. The progressive Power Type is a prime example of how the Icon of the Seas takes on ecological responsibility. The ship's engines come from the Finnish propulsion specialist WärtsiläThe dual propulsion system can use heavy oil and liquefied natural gas as fuel. An LNG propulsion system burns significantly less nitrogen oxide emissions than traditional fuels, making the ship a big step towards cleaner seas. The LNG on the Icon of the Seas is stored in two 307 m long tanks with a capacity of 27 tonnes.

But the technology is controversial because LNG causes Methane emissions. This has been particularly criticized by environmental organizations. Methane, as a greenhouse gas, is many times more harmful to the climate in the short term than CO2. Since the long-term effects of CO2 Although methane has a more serious impact on climate change due to its longevity and the amount in which it is released, methane is less harmful to the climate overall. And LNG is currently the most climate-friendly ship fuel that exists. The technical development for fuel cell propulsion is planned, but not yet fully developed. The ship is already prepared and can be retrofitted.

The Azipod propulsion systems from ABB take over the propeller drive, which is mounted outside the ship's hull. Unlike conventional propulsion systems, in which a fixed propeller is driven by shafts, Azipod enables the propeller to rotate 360 ​​degrees. This provides high maneuverability, which is particularly advantageous in narrow harbors and when docking. The Azipod drive reduces fuel consumption by up to 20% compared to conventional systems, as it enables more efficient propulsion and reduces water resistance. Three such Azipod drives, each with 20 MW, enable the Icon of the Seas to travel at 22 knots.

The AI on board not only optimizes energy-efficient routes, but also controls the energy consumption of the numerous on-board facilities, from the air conditioning to the elevator systems. Hella Marine equips this unique cruise ship with around 20.000 energy-efficient LED spots that ensure a feel-good atmosphere and safety on the high seas. A sophisticated optical system ensures wide-beam and homogeneous illumination and the digital light control enables precise adjustment of the lighting in the public areas.

Sustainability on the high seas

Icon of the seas EnvironmentThe Icon of the Seas is not only a place of luxury and entertainment, but also a pioneer in sustainability. With advanced waste management and shore power connections, it breaks new ground in environmentally conscious travel and shows that luxury and responsibility do not have to be mutually exclusive.

As part of the Royal Caribbean Group’s SEA the Future program, its newest ships will be equipped with systems such as Microwave-Assisted Pyrolysis (MAP) and Micro Auto Gasification (MAG) are used, which convert solid waste into synthesis gas and use it to generate energy. These technologies not only minimize waste, but also produce valuable byproducts such as biochar, which can be used as a soil conditioner. Recycling programs ensure that more than 90% of the waste never ends up in a landfill. With microwave-assisted pyrolysis, the waste generated on board is also converted into energy on board.

Another highlight is the Royal Caribbean Group’s ambitious goal of reducing food waste by 2025% by 50 This is done by using artificial intelligence to adjust food production in real time and train crew in sustainable practices. These measures have already saved 24% of food waste. In addition, Royal Caribbean Group has expanded its network of green hubs to recycle waste more efficiently and minimize environmental impact. These hubs, including the newly certified Galapagos Islands, have helped keep 92% of waste out of landfills.

Other advanced environmental technologies on board Icon of the Seas help to significantly reduce emissions and fuel consumption. For example, the Waste heat from Engines used to produce a large part of the required fresh water using a seawater desalination plant. 93% of the fresh water is produced on board and treated using a reserve osmosis system.

The green innovations on board this cruise ship are groundbreaking. This also applies to the Air lubrication system. Microscopic air bubbles cover the hull of the ship. The air bubbles are generated by compressors. They reduce fuel consumption by reducing the friction of the ship's hull in the water.

Floating resort with superlatives

The Pearl on the Icon of the Seas is, like the entire ship, an architectural masterpiece and a prime example of the innovative use of modern technology in the cruise sector. The Pearl is hollow and greets passengers as soon as they board as a gateway to the belly of the ship. The spherical pearl represents a connection to the Royal Promenade. This spherical landmark, which extends over four decks and has an impressive diameter of 14 m, impresses not only with its imposing appearance, but also with its state-of-the-art technology and its sophisticated integration into the ship's concept. At its center, a beautiful marble staircase connects the floors with one another.

The pearl gets its shape from a steel ball as a supporting structure. Developed and realized by leading engineers and architects, The Pearl relies on a combination of more than 5000 individually controllable LED lights and interactive media technologythat create stunning visual effects and adapt to the environment in real time. 3600 moving tiles were created with Linear Technology and generate computer-controlled lighting effects. With an integrated sound system of over 1000 W and a total structural load of 20 t, this installation not only serves as an eye-catcher, but also as a central orientation point for passengers exploring the heart of the ship.

The Icon of the Seas is more than just a ship – it is a floating resort, which offers an impressive selection of cabin categories, including the Icon Class. Whether you choose a suite with an exclusive area or enjoy the view from a balcony cabin, everyone will find their perfect home at sea here. As a true Seas Icon, with almost 30 different categories and around 2800 cabins, every need is met.

Gastronomic diversity is also a top priority on the Icon of the Seas. Over 40 dining options invite you to explore the variety of flavors of the seven seas. From the 15 free restaurants to the specialty restaurants that offer the most exquisite cuisine from around the world, there is something for every palate.

Leisure and entertainment of the Icon Class

Icon of the seas Central parkIf you think that cruises are just about sunbathing and listening to the sound of the sea, the Icon of the Seas will prove you wrong. This ship is synonymous with leisure and Superlative entertainment and offers attractions that take you to dizzying heights above the sea or plunge you down record-breaking water slides.

Water lovers of all ages will be largest water park at sea. With seven pools, nine whirlpools and a variety of water slides, Surfside on the Icon of the Seas offers splashy fun for the whole family. For all adventure seekers, the Icon of the Seas offers a wealth of activities. From a thrill on the Crown's Edge high ropes course to surfing on the Flowrider surf simulator, everyone will discover their own limits.

The evening programme on board the Icon of the Seas is as diverse as the vastness of the ocean. From live music in the numerous bars to impressive theater performances and thrilling parties - the nights here are as eventful as the days. In the Aqua Dome you can enjoy not only spectacular performances, but also culinary delicacies and the artistry of the bartenders against the backdrop of a 17 m high waterfall.

So stop dreaming about the perfect cruise and make it a reality. With Royal Caribbean International's Icon of the Seas' diverse itineraries sailing from Miami to the warm waters of the Caribbean, there's something for everyone.

Frequently asked questions

What is an Azipod drive?

An Azipod drive is an azimuthal (rotating) propulsion system for ships developed by ABB. It combines a propeller and electric motor in a pod-shaped unit that can rotate 360 ​​degrees. This design enables exceptional maneuverability and increased efficiency, as the thrust can be directed in any direction. The Azipod drive is very efficient, as it reduces water resistance and reduces fuel consumption by up to 20%. It also improves operational safety and reduces environmental impact through lower emissions. This system is particularly beneficial for cruise ships and other large sea vessels that require precise navigation and environmental friendliness.

What is special about the Icon of the Seas?

The "Icon of the Seas" is the largest cruise ship in the world and offers a unique combination of luxury, technology and sustainability. With an impressive selection of cabin categories, dining options and leisure activities, it sets new standards in the cruise industry.

What eco-friendly technologies are used on Icon of the Seas?

The Icon of the Seas uses environmentally friendly technologies such as LNG propulsion, advanced waste management systems and air lubrication techniques to ecological footprint to reduce.

Which routes can I explore on the Icon of the Seas?

The Icon of the Seas offers 7-night cruises from Miami to various destinations in the Caribbean, including St. Lucia, St. Thomas, Bahamas, Honduras and Mexico. Experience the diversity of the Caribbean islands on these itineraries.

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Author information
Jens Struck

Jens Struck is a business owner, journalist and web designer at German Online Publisher GbR in Ried.