Royal Caribbean’s ‘Icon’, world’s largest cruise ship, sets sail

WASHINGTON: The world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, set sail from Miami on its maiden voyage Saturday (Jan 27), carrying what amounted to the population of a small city.

The ship, built over 900 days at a shipyard in Turku, Finland, is a monument to enormity, longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall, with 20 decks and room for more than 5,600 passengers – 7,600 at maximum capacity – and a crew of 2,350.

To ensure no one goes bored or hungry, the monster ship, registered in the Bahamas, has seven swimming pools including a 40,000-gallon “lake”, six water slides, a carousel, what Royal Caribbean says is the largest ice arena at sea, and more than 40 dining venues and bars.

Still bored? There will be 50 musicians and comedians as well as a 16-piece orchestra.

The US$2 billion Icon – the first in Royal Caribbean’s new Quantum Class of ships – is stuffed with the latest technology and, despite its mammoth size, claims to be more eco-friendly than some smaller cruise ships.

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