The world's largest cruise ship is almost ready to set sail

Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas is pictured in a provided image. (Credit: Royal Caribbean International)

The world’s largest cruise ship is a step closer to its 2024 debut in Miami after completing its first phase of sea trials in Europe.

Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas successfully completed its initial round of sea trials on June 22 in Turku, Finland, and sailed the open ocean for the first time. 

The ship is set to make its debut for vacationers in January 2024, setting out on seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations from Miami, Florida, throughout the year. 

In the meantime, Icon of the Seas has been under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard. During four days of preliminary tests last week, more than 450 specialists tested the ship’s technical areas, like the main engines, bow and propellers, as well as noise and vibration levels, the company said. 

Icon of the Seas will next undergo a second round of sea trials later this year, according to Royal Caribbean. 

A closer look at Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas 


Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas is pictured in a provided image. (Credit: Royal Caribbean International)

Icon of the Seas will visit destinations like Royal Caribbean’s private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, as well as The Bahamas, Cozumel, Mexico, Philipsburg, St. Maarten, and Roatan, Honduras.  

The ship has 18 passenger decks with 20 decks in total and eight "neighborhoods" for guests to enjoy. It measures 1,198 feet in length – which will dethrone the current world’s largest ship Wonder of the Seas at 1,188-feet. 


Perched at the top of Icon of the Seas, the new AquaDome is a "transformational neighborhood," the company says. In a tranquil oasis by day, guests can take in wraparound ocean views and an awe-inspiring waterfall as they enjoy a bite or drink. By ni


The Hideaway neighborhood combines the good vibes of beach club scenes around the world and uninterrupted ocean views, according to Royal Caribbean. (Credit: Royal Caribbean International)

Icon of the Seas has the capacity for 2,350 crew members and 5,610 guests with its 2,805 state rooms at double occupancy, according to Royal Caribbean

It offers 28 room categories that range from standard rooms to suites and new layouts for families of three, four, five, six and more, the company said.

The ship also has seven different pools, nine whirlpools, and six water slides, including the tallest waterslide to sail – called "the Frightening Bolt" — and the first open freefall waterslide on a cruise – called "the Pressure Drop."


The ship has seven different pools and nine whirlpools. (Credit: Royal Caribbean International)


Icon of the Seas’ waterpark at sea features six record-breaking slides. (Credit: Royal Caribbean International)

"With each new ship, we raise the bar in the travel industry while enhancing what our guests know and love," Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, said in a statement back in October. "From the moment they step on board, every experience is specifically designed to give them the best vacation anywhere on land and at sea."

When reservations opened for Icon of the Seas in October, Royal Caribbean International saw its single-largest booking day in its 53-year history, according to the company. 

This story was reported from Cincinnati.