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World’s Largest Cruise Ship Sets Sail for the First Time in Initial Sea Trial — See Photos!

Royal Caribbean’s “Icon of the Seas” is slated to embark on its maiden voyage out of South Florida in January 2024

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean’s record-breaking Icon of the Seas is drawing closer to its debut in January 2024 after completing its first phase of sea trials in Europe.

Set to be the world’s largest cruise ship and the company’s first Icon-class ship, the vessel has been under construction at Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, according to an official release.

The cruise will offer vacationers the world’s largest waterpark at sea, dubbed Category 6 and featuring six water slides. Icon of the Seas also offers a “resort getaway,” a “beach escape,” a theme park and over “40 ways to dine, drink and be entertained,” according to the company.

Royal Caribbean

Inside, it will feature a one-of-a-kind accommodation: the “Ultimate Family Townhouse,” which Royal Caribbean describes as a three-story “sprawling adventure-filled pad” with an in-suite slide, a karaoke station, and hidden areas to discover.

Royal Caribbean

The ship’s 20 decks will include Royal Caribbean’s first-ever dueling piano bar, eight “neighborhoods,” the largest pool at sea and experiences for thrill-seekers like Crown’s Edge, described as “a fear-inducing challenge that’s part skywalk, part ropes course, part thrill ride and an all-out test of your courage.”

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Royal Caribbean

Related: Royal Caribbean's Private Island Will Feature the Tallest Waterslide in North America

The ship weighs in at an estimated 250,800 tons and measures close to 1,200 feet long. It also holds about 5,610 passengers and 2,350 crew members, according to CNN.

Over 450 specialists have run four days of preliminary tests on the ship’s main engines, bow and propellers, as well as checking noise and vibration levels, a release shared.

Royal Caribbean

“Between preparations and the trials, the important step in the journey to bring Icon to life involved more than 2,000 specialists, hundreds of miles traveled, four 37- to 67-ton tugboats and more than 350 hours of work,” according to the release.

All of that will prepare the cruise for its second round of sea trials later this year, ahead of its debut out of South Florida in January 2024.

Royal Caribbean

Related: Would You Take a 3-Year Cruise? Ship Will Visit 135 Countries on All 7 Continents for $30,000 Per Year

The Icon of the Seas will set sail from Miami on 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations all year round, where passengers can visit popular tropical destinations like the Bahamas, Mexico, St. Maarten and Honduras, as well as Royal Caribbean’s private island, CocoCay.

Royal Caribbean

At a press panel earlier this year, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley described the ship as “literally the best-performing new product launch we’ve ever had,” according to CNN.

Royal Caribbean will be ousting themselves from the top spot. It’s Wonder of the Seas is currently the world’s largest cruise ship.

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