Two New Ships For Royal Caribbean International's New Earth-Friendly Icon Class
Photo: Harmony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International. (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)
On Monday, Royal Caribbean Cruises announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with shipbuilder Meyer Turku to build two new 5,000-passenger vessels for the company.
The two new ships will be classified in a new line called the Icon class, which will be larger than the Quantum class ships, but smaller than the Oasis class ships. The vessels are expected to be delivered in the second quarters of 2022 and 2024.
Unlike other ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet, the new Icon class will be powered by liquefied natural gas and introduce the use of fuel cell technology. The hope is to usher in a new era of shipbuilding that will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“With Icon class, we move further in the journey to take the smoke out of our smokestacks,” Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain said in a statement. “We are dedicated to innovation, continuous improvement, and environmental responsibility, and Icon gives us the opportunity to deliver against all three of these pillars.”
While the official deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, it is contingent upon the completion of contractual conditions. The move is also a huge bonus for the liquefied natural gas industry, which could become a major player in cruising if the Icon class is successful.
Add in the focus on fuel cell technology, and Royal Caribbean’s efforts to become more efficient and explore other options besides traditional fossil fuels is one of the reasons the company is on the cutting edge of technology in the industry.
Royal Caribbean now operates 48 ships through its six cruise brands, with an additional 11 vessels on order. For more information on the two new Icon class ships, check out the cruise line’s official website.
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