First of six multi-fuel engines started on LNG-powered Icon of the Seas

A new milestone in the construction of the Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International’s first LNG-powered cruise vessel, has been achieved with the start of the first multi-fuel engine at the Meyer Turku shipyard.

Floating out Icon of the Seas. Courtesy of Royal Caribbean

Said to be the world’s most advanced and largest ship with environmentally-friendly features, Icon of the Seas has six Wärtsilä main engines that can use both diesel and natural gas fuel.

The first of them was started using diesel on 15 March at the shipyard, according to Meyer Turku’s social media update. Chief engineer Tuomas Auvinen explained that the first main engine start on a ship tells a lot about the ship’s readiness, signalling that something significant was achieved.

The Finnish shipbuilder started construction on the Icon of the Seas in June 2021 and installed an LNG fuel tank in November 2021.

The ship was launched on 9 December 2022 and moved to the outfitting dock. Icon of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s first ship that runs on LNG and utilizes fuel cell technology. The vessel will also feature shore power connections and waste heat recovery systems. Furthermore, it will have air lubrication of underwater hull, sending millions of microscopic bubbles along the hull of the ship to reduce friction.

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Icon of the Seas will be handed over to the customer at the end of 2023 and will set sail on its first voyage in January 2024. The ship will cruise from Miami year-round in the Eastern and Western Caribbean.

    365 metres long, almost 50 metres wide and with a gross tonnage of approximately 250,000, Icon of the Seas is the first ship in the Icon series out of three on order at Meyer Turku.

    The Finnish shipbuilder started the construction of the second LNG-fueled Icon-class cruise ship for Royal Caribbean on 15 February with a steel-cutting ceremony. The construction of the ship is expected to take two years, ending in 2025. Its name will be revealed at a later date.

    The third Icon-class ship is expected to be completed in 2026.

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