Royal Caribbean Project Icon: Truths, Rumors, and all that nonsense inbetween

On my cruise this past week on Majesty of the Seas, I went to the Captain's Q&A Session, and had inquired about Royal Caribbean's current top secret project. His answer in front of everyone was a definitive "NO, I cannot discuss any further details" However, when speaking to him after he did confirm and deny a few different things:

Truths(so Far)

- "Icon" ships will run on Liquefied Natural Gas, and Fuel Cell Technology

- Massive upgrades will need to be made at Ports of origin, and possibly at ports of call to accommodate refueling of these vessels.

- Will be larger than the Quantum and Quantum Plus ships

- Both are scheduled for the 2nd quarter, and will be delivered in 2022, and 2024

Rumors

- Gross tonnage will be in the 200,000 - 230,000, placing the new group in-line with the Oasis Class.(depending on where you find information, leaks from the shipyard place them at 200,500 tonnes and 230,000 tonnes, so this could possibly go in the truths section)

Other than that, this is about as far as the Captain claimed to know.

Through other research, and extrapolation of provided information, I have also developed a theory of my own:

Royal Caribbean is using the "Project Icon" title to keep everyone in the dark, and the new ships will not be a new class, but a "Oasis Plus" class, powered by LNG and Fuel Cell technology.

Anyone else have any thoughts or feelings?

Tags: RoyalCaribbean ProjectIcon Icon

12 Answers

Really not up to date on this kind of information. So, in simplest terms, what does this mean?

A big ship with a different power-train and fuel.

Which may dovetail with the goings on at Port Galveston...

So you're thinking the ICON ship will be sent to Galveston? Surprising, but possible. Galveston is a port that has grown beyond all expectations.

Not exactly...I know there are way bigger markets for behemoths like that...but given the number of years of strategic planning and billions of $$ in financing, AND juggling the rest of their fleet...putting that new "mega terminal" in Galveston would be one of their first steps. And it causes me to pause, since I usually cruise out of NO, which is old and decrepit. And usually on NCL especially since they brought in THEIR mega ships, BREAKAWAY and GETAWAY. Galveston is about 20 mi. difference for us amazingly enough. we've done it b4, and it works..

The EU has imposed some problematic environmental reg's on larger cruises ships. In the future, ships like Oasis and Quantum will not be allowed to visit certain ports due to perceived environmental impact reasons. If a line is going to want to bring larger ships into some of these ports (in the future), they'll need to do something game changing to demonstrate lower environmental impact. First to come up with that "new" approach, would have significant competitive advantage for the med. These rules are NOT in effect yet, but due to be rolled in the near future, early 20's. The rules do not affect the lower displacement cruise ships - just the really big ones.

Interesting you should bring that up in here. Been aware of the changes for some time now. That's why I have a position in REGI. Just biding my time...

I believe part of the problem with Galveston is ease of access.

Ft Lauderdale: 5-10 min ride from Airport

Miami: 5-10 min ride from airport

Tampa: 20 min ride from airport

Bayonne: 20 min ride from airport(Newark)

Baltimore: 20 min ride from airport

New Orleans: 30 min ride from airport

Port Canaveral: 45 Min ride from airport(Orlando)

Galveston: 75-90 min ride from airport(Houston)

However, I agree that with all of the major renovations occurring at Galveston, there is a high probability that part of it could be building of a LNG facility to be able to fuel the new ships. I was given the estimate of 200 or so truckloads being what would fill the ship's fuel reservoirs from empty

Thank you for the reply.

It's an interesting to speculate about what might happen.

So far, the announcements are for an Oasis class ship to be located in the new terminal when it opens. I fully expect that will happen, but your comments made me realize two other things as well.

200 truckloads of LNG would be a lot to transport! However, Houston is the worlds largest petrochemical complex. In other words, they wouldn't need to transport by truck. There are already tons pipelines in the area. They just need a terminal.

Second, when it comes to access, you're right that Houston's airports are not super convenient, but they are not as bad as suggested. Hobby airport is a focus airport for Southwest airlines and the 36th busiest airport in the US. It is only 30-40 minutes from the port, which is similar to New Orleans.

🤦🏻‍♂️ Totally forgot about Hobby

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