Bloomberg — The cruise industry may still be struggling to recover from the pandemic, but Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) will soon begin taking reservations for its newest vessel, set to be the largest in the world.
The Icon of the Seas will accommodate 5,610 passengers and 2,350 crew. At 250,800 gross tons, it will be the largest by that industry measure, according to Jay Schneider, chief product innovation officer for the company’s Royal Caribbean line. The company’s Wonder of the Seas is the current record holder.
Royal Caribbean released more details about the vessel on Thursday as it prepares to take reservations from the public starting Oct. 25. Icon won’t set sail until Jan. 28, 2024, when it will offer seven-night voyages in the Caribbean. It’s the first of three ships in the Icon class, costing close to $2 billion each to build.
The Miami-based company isn’t just trying to build the largest ships, according to Schneider. The second-largest cruise operator after Carnival Corp. wants to appeal to a broad range of consumers -- some looking for “adrenaline pumping thrills” and others for a “chill getaway.”
“Having something for everyone is a complicated task,” Schneider said in an interview.
Billed as the largest waterpark at sea, Icon will have six water slides. Features include family rafting adventures and one slide with a 46-foot drop. Crown’s Edge, an obstacle course, will extend off the side of the ship, 154 feet above the water.