Icon of the Seas: Royal Caribbean’s First LNG-Powered Cruise Ship Completes Successful LNG Bunkering

The world's largest cruise ship completes the first LNG bunkering operation
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Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International’s first LNG-powered cruise ship, has successfully completed its first LNG bunkering. The ship, built at the Meyer Turku shipyard, is the largest cruise ship in the world, measuring 365 meters in length and almost 50 meters in width. It received LNG from Gasum’s LNG bunkering ship Kairos, which recently returned to Gasum’s fleet after being subleased outside the company since October 2022.

The LNG bunkering segment in the maritime industry has been experiencing steady growth throughout 2023 and is expected to continue gaining momentum. Switching to LNG as fuel reduces emissions significantly, with a complete removal of SOx and particulates, an 85 percent reduction in NOx emissions, and a 20 percent decrease in CO2 emissions. LNG is also interchangeable with renewable liquid biogas (LBG), allowing for a mix of the two gases.

As part of its decarbonization efforts, Royal Caribbean Group has chosen to power its cruise ship fleet with LNG. Icon of the Seas, launched in December 2021, is equipped with fuel cell technology, shore power connections, waste heat recovery systems, and air lubrication of the underwater hull to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. The ship’s construction is expected to be completed in 2025, following two years of construction.

Overall, the successful LNG bunkering of Icon of the Seas marks a significant step in Royal Caribbean’s commitment to reducing emissions and transitioning towards more sustainable operations in the cruise industry.

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