Royal Caribbean has said Icon of the Seas, the first ship in the line’s first new class for over a decade, will be “bigger” than its Oasis-class, making it the largest ship in the world when it launches in autumn next year.
Outgoing vice president of international sales Sean Treacy confirmed Icon would be the line’s largest ship during a press conference held on board Wonder of the Seas – the current largest ship in the world – as it made its European debut out of Barcelona last week .
Asked if Royal would ever build a ship bigger than Wonder, which has a capacity of 6,988 guests, he said Icon would be bigger still.
“Icon will be the biggest. It launches in the fall of next year and will be the first new ship class for Royal in a decade,” he said.
Previously, it was suggested the Icon-class would be smaller than the Oasis-class, with an article on the unofficial Royal Caribbean Blog saying: “According to filings made by Royal Caribbean, Icon of the Seas will have a capacity of approximately 5,600 passengers.
“This would make the Icon class ships larger than the Quantum-class ships, but slightly smaller than the Oasis-class ships.”
However, a spokesperson this week confirmed: “Icon-class ships will be bigger than our Oasis class.”
She would not be drawn on releasing any further details about the new-build.
Back in April 2021, Royal Caribbean International president and chief executive Michael Bayley talked briefly about the new ship, saying: “We have the brand new Icon class coming, which is going to be a real game-changer.”
These comments were echoed by Royal Caribbean’s vice president for Europe, Ben Bouldin, who said the first Icon-class vessel will be “bigger and better” than the Oasis-class ships.
Three Icon-class ships are currently on order for delivery in the third quarter of 2023, and second quarters of 2025 and 2026.
Wonder of the Seas’ captain Hendrick Loy said: “There is no limit to how big a ship you can build. But keeping the sustainability of our operation in mind, we have to work with destinations to make sure that they will be able to handle us coming.”
The revelation came as Royal Caribbean showcased Wonder of the Seas to the trade ahead of its inaugural season in Europe.
Treacy said: “This is the most stunning ship ever to be launched and is a statement that Royal Caribbean is back and back in a big way.”
It will be followed by the line’s final Oasis class ship, Utopia of the Seas, in 2024.