Quintana Roo Governor Mara Lezama revealed that the world’s largest cruise ship will visit the Mexican Caribbean in 2024.
The Royal Caribbean International ship, the Icon of the Seas, is now undergoing open water sea trials. It will shortly dethrone another Royal Caribbean vessel, the Wonder of the Seas, as the world’s largest cruise ship, measuring 365 meters (nearly 1,200 feet) long and weighing 250,800 tons.
During a press conference earlier this year, Royal Caribbean International President and Chief Executive Michael Bayley stated that the ship would join the company’s fleet in October 2023.
The new ship will have a capacity of 5,610 passengers and 2,350 crew members. It has seven pools and nine whirlpools, as well as the world’s largest at-sea waterpark with six water slides. There are 20 decks, 40 bars and restaurants, and accommodation is organized into eight “neighborhoods.”
This will be the first Royal Caribbean International cruise ship fueled by liquefied natural gas, and it will use fuel cell technology to generate energy and fresh drinking water onboard.
The record-breaking sailboat will depart from Miami, Florida, and make stops on the island of Cozumel and in Mahahual, a Riviera Maya resort. The route is projected to cement Quintana Roo’s position as a world-class cruise ship destination, with the state accounting for more than 60% of overall cruise ship tourists to Mexico in the first quarter of the year.
Increased cruise ship traffic has sparked controversy in Cozumel, where environmentalists and citizen’s collectives have filed lawsuits, halting building of the island’s fourth cruise ship port.
“Receiving the largest cruise ship in the world means more tourism and shared prosperity for our destinations,” Lezama said on her social networks.
In addition to the Mexican coast, travelers will be able to select itineraries that include stops in the Caribbean islands of St. Maarten, St. Kitts and Nevis, the Virgin Islands, and the Honduran island of Roatan.