Icon of the Seas: Inside the world's biggest cruise that's five times the size of the Titanic

Icon of the Seas Credit: Royal Caribbean International

By Multimedia Producer Rachel Dixon

The world’s biggest cruise ship, which is five times the size of the Titanic, is to take passengers into open waters in January 2024.

Royal Caribbean International’s mammoth 'Icon of the Seas' is 365 metres long (1,200 ft) and will weigh 250,800 tonnes. In comparison, the Titanic weighed 46,329 tonnes.

While the ship's length is longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall, it's the onboard extras that make this vessel truly huge.

A look inside the world's biggest cruise ship, The Icon of the Seas

When it sets sail in Caribbean waters next year, it will carry some 5,610 passengers and 2,350 crew.

It has 20 decks with eight "neighbourhoods" set up to house its huge passenger load.

The boat is also home to the world’s largest waterpark at sea - which is named Category 6.

It features six record-breaking water slides sitting on the open deck and over 40,000 gallons of water will be used to fill the huge pool.

The ship will be home to six record breaking water parks. Credit: Royal Caribbean International

With an ice rink, restaurants, bars and clubs, the ship has more leisure activities than most British towns.

For the more daring passengers, the ship has a "sky walk" where people will be harnessed and walk along a narrow platform with nothing but the deep water below.

Royal Caribbean International’s website says "when you least expect it, the floor beneath your feet could disappear, leaving you dangling high over the ocean".

People can walk out onto a platform overhanging the ocean. Credit: Royal Caribbean International

Since the huge liner was announced there has been record breaking ticket sales, according to CNN.

The ship was built in Finland, and some 2,600 people have worked on Icon of the Seas each day.

The Icon of the Seas is currently in the sea trial phase. Credit: Royal Caribbean International

For the sea trials, hundreds of specialists were on board to assess performance over four days.

Royal Caribbean says a second set of sea trials is scheduled for later in 2023.

The firm released a statement after the ship's first sea trials to say everything went to plan.

The Icon of the Seas Credit: Royal Caribbean International

“During her first set of sea trials, Icon of the Seas traveled hundreds of miles, during which the main engines, hull, brake systems, steering, noise, and vibration levels were all tested,” the statement said.

“Everything was done on time as outlined in the schedule, despite her departure being delayed due to wind conditions.”

The cruise will take its passengers on a seven-night Caribbean holiday from Miami all year round.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...