Royal Caribbean International has released a new video with construction details on the yet-to-be-revealed 175-ton sphere which will be shown onboard Icon of the seas.

The new-class LNG-powered cruise ship is currently under construction and many details about the new ship are still unknown, including this mysterious sphere.

Icon of the seas Building update

The highly anticipated new ship, which is set to debut in the fall of 2023, is currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in southern Finland, and one of its most mysterious elements – the sphere – has progressed and was moved to the deck of the ship.

Little is known about the sphere, but some key details of its structure have been published. It is now 46 feet (14 meters) high and 50 feet (15.3 meters) in diameter, and weighs 175 metric tons (385,809 pounds).

Its outer shell is made of 578 aluminum panels, while the interior is lined with nine miles of power and lighting cables and 1,323 feet (400 meters) of air conditioning ductwork.

The interior also has steel mounting frames, but nothing is confirmed yet about the purpose of this frame, or what this structure could possibly become.

To move the sphere from its construction warehouse to be mounted on the ship, the entire structure was covered with fireproof fabric and thermal wool, indicating a certain delicacy to its components.

After being loaded onto a barge for transport, two tugs steered the barge to the ship’s hull, where the sphere was lifted into position by a huge crane.

Courtesy of Royal Caribbean

It appears to be an interior structure on the still incomplete ship, positioned approximately amidships, slightly off center from the full width of the deck.

A total of 45,000 man hours have gone into the sphere so far – and we don’t even know what that is yet.

What we know about Icon of the seas

Although no announcement has yet been made regarding the sphere, some intriguing details have been confirmed about Icon of the seas. the the new ship class will exceed the size of the Oasis class shipsalthough projected statistics are not available.

To date, the largest Oasis-class ship is wonder of the seas to 236,857 gross tons, making it the the largest cruise ship in the world.

The physical construction of Icon of the Seas began in June 2021 with its ceremonial steel cut that different blocks began to be built, and the the ship’s keel was laid last monthanother major milestone that puts the new ship on track for its fall 2023 debut.

What is the sphere?

Royal Caribbean International hasn’t released any clues as to what the sphere might actually be, but since it was first spotted in December 2021, speculation has been rife on social media and fan sites. of cruises on the eventual purpose of this innovative and unique structure.

Sea sphere icon installed
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean

A first choice is for the sphere to become a new place of immersive entertainment, perhaps with vast LED screens or other technological details to create an incredible experience.

A close look at the first few seconds of the new video also reveals what may be tiered seats inside the sphere, but those details are unclear.

Other creative ideas for the purpose of the sphere include:

  • A new type of bar, perhaps with intense cooling like an ice cream bar
  • A planetarium for a variety of impressive astronomical shows
  • A motion simulator or high-tech virtual reality experience
  • An updated, state-of-the-art SkyPad similar to other ships
  • A new restaurant concept with 360 degree screens

Initial speculation believed the sphere was a reservoir to store the liquefied natural gas that will power the ship, but later revelations highlighted the LNG tankswhich are actually oblong in shape.

Additionally, the cruise line would not be likely to come up with creative fuel tank teasers, but much more likely to hint at surprising and unexpected guest features.

Two large round openings at ground level on either side of the sphere also debunk the idea that it could be a fuel tank or some other type of container.

For now, cruise goers will have to keep waiting and wondering, but as the cruise line reveals below Icon of the seas details, Cruise Hive will bring you all the information!

Sea sphere icon installed