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World’s Largest Cruise Ship Sets Sail from Miami

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World's Largest Cruise Ship Sets Sail from Miami

(CTN News) – The world’s largest cruise ship has set sail from Miami, Florida, on its inaugural journey, but there are concerns about the ship’s methane emissions.

The 365m (1,197 ft) Icon of the Seas has 20 decks and a maximum capacity of 7,600 passengers. The Royal Caribbean Group owns it.

The ship is off on a seven-day island-hopping expedition in the Caribbean.

Environmentalists say that the LNG-powered ship will emit dangerous methane into the atmosphere.

Icon of the Seas: A $2 Billion Marvel with 20 Decks and 7,600 Passenger Capacity

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

It cost $2 billion (£1.6 billion) to develop and has over 40 restaurants, bars, and lounges.

Although LNG burns cleaner than traditional maritime fuels like fuel oil, there is a chance that some petrol will escape, releasing methane into the environment.

Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.

“It’s a step in the wrong direction,” Bryan Comer, director of the Marine Programme at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), told Reuters.

“We would estimate that using LNG as a marine fuel emits over 120% more life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions than marine gas oil,” he added.

The ICCT has produced a paper claiming that LNG-fueled ships emit more methane than expected under current standards.

Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, traps 80 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide during 20 years. Reducing these emissions is viewed as critical to halting global warming.

According to Royal Caribbean, the Icon of the Seas is 24% more energy efficient than the International Maritime Organization’s requirements for new ships. The company intends to introduce a net-zero ship by 2035.

According to the Cruise Lines International Association, the cruise business is one of the fastest-expanding tourism segments, with young people particularly interested in cruise vacations.

It stated that the cruise sector would contribute $75 billion (£59 billion) to the world economy in 2021.

On Thursday, Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain Lionel Messi, who currently plays for Inter Miami, attended the ship’s naming ceremony.

He was observed placing a football on a custom-made platform to initiate the customary ‘good luck’ breaking of a champagne bottle against the vessel’s bow.

Quick Facts: Icon of the Seas – World’s Largest Cruise Ship

  • The Icon of the Seas is the world’s largest cruise ship, weighing 250,800 tonnes and measuring approximately 365 metres (1,198 feet). That’s around five times larger than the Titanic.
  • The ship cost Royal Caribbean International €1.65 billion ($1.79 billion; £1.41 billion) to build and acquire.
  • Royal Caribbean’s website lists ticket prices ranging from $1,723 to $2,639 per person. A high-season cruise around Christmas costs $5,124 per person.
    Its inaugural cruise will stop in Saint Kitts, Nevis, and Charlotte Amalie, US Virgin Islands.
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