Royal Caribbean’s “Icon of the Seas,” billed as the world’s largest cruise ship, departs the port of Miami, Florida for its inaugural cruise on January 27, 2024 (AFP / Marco BELLO)
The world’s new largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, left the port of Miami (Florida) on Saturday for its maiden voyage to the Caribbean, despite allegations of anti-environmental monstrosity.
With its 365 meters long, 20 decks, 2,805 cabins and 40 restaurants, this giant liner is a hymn to excess, the latest addition to the cruise sector in full recovery after the Covid years.
The Icon of the Seas, registered in the Bahamas, is the American cruise giant’s first ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), a fossil fuel that the industry touts as a cleaner alternative to heavy but jettisoning fuel oil. Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
Royal Caribbean says the ship is equipped with a system that converts waste into energy and another that recycles water on board, thus promising to reduce the environmental impact of this type of ship, one of the most common criticisms of the cruise industry.
During her first trip to the Caribbean, she will visit Basseterre, capital of the state of St. Kitts and Nevis, before heading to Charlotte-Amelie in the US Virgin Islands, then to the private island of Coco Cay in the Bahamas. Return to Miami.
Icon of the Seas can accommodate 5,610 passengers and 2,350 crew members. Divided into eight different districts, it includes seven swimming pools, nine Jacuzzis and a 17-meter high waterfall.
With a gross tonnage of 250,800 tons, five times the size of the Titanic, she left the Turku shipyard in Finland.
The Miami-based company welcomed Lionel Messi, the star of the city’s soccer club, to push a button that caused a bottle of champagne to crash on the hull during the ship’s christening on Tuesday.
Marking the race for supremacy, Icon of the Seas will replace the same company’s other ship, Wonder of the Seas, as the world’s largest cruise ship.