The largest cruise ship in the world, Icon of the Seas, departs from Miami

The largest cruise ship in the world, Icon of the Seas, departs from Miami

On its inaugural journey, the largest cruise ship in the world sailed from Miami, Florida, but methane emissions from the ship have raised concerns.

There are 20 decks on the 365-meter (1,197-foot) Icon of the Seas, which can accommodate up to 7,600 guests. The Royal Caribbean Group is the owner.

The ship is leaving on a seven-day Caribbean island-hopping excursion.

Environmentalists fear that the ship fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) may release airborne methane, which is dangerous.

The ship, registered in the Bahamas, features six water slides and seven swimming pools. It was built at a shipyard in Turku, Finland.

It was constructed for $2 billion (£1.6 billion) and has over 40 eateries, lounges, and bars.
LNG has a higher burning efficiency than conventional maritime fuels like fuel oil, but there is a chance that part of the gas may leak and release methane into the atmosphere.

Compared to carbon dioxide, methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that, over a 20-year period, traps 80 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Reducing these emissions is thought to be essential for reducing global warming.

According to Royal Caribbean, the Icon of the Seas has a 24% higher energy efficiency than what the International Maritime Organization mandates for contemporary vessels. By 2035, the business intends to launch a net-zero ship.

According to the trade association Cruise Lines International Association, the cruise industry is one of the tourism sectors with the quickest growth rates, with young people showing a particular interest in cruise vacations.

According to the report, in 2021 the cruise industry brought $75 billion (£59 billion) to the world economy.
Lionel Messi, the captain of Argentina that won the World Cup and is currently a player for Inter Miami, participated in the ship’s naming ceremony on Thursday.

He was observed setting a football on a specially designed stand, which set off the custom of breaking a champagne bottle against the bow of the ship in a “good luck” gesture.

A brief history of the Seas Icon

  • With a length of about 365 meters (1,198 feet) and a weight of 250,800 tons, the Icon of the Seas is the biggest cruise ship in the world. That is around five times the size of the Titanic.
  • The ship itself was built and acquired for a substantial sum of €1.65 billion ($1.79 billion; £1.41 billion) by Royal Caribbean International.
  • The cost of a ticket for each person on the Royal Caribbean website is between $1,723 and $2,639. Around Christmas, a high-season cruise will cost $5,124 per person.
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis and Charlotte Amalie in the US Virgin Islands will be the stops on its inaugural voyage.
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