Last week, the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, arrived in Miami for the first time. The ship is scheduled to sail its inaugural cruise next weekend after being christened by soccer great Lionel Messi.

Icon of the Seas is the first cruise ship to ever cross the 250,000 gross ton mark. Cruise ships are measured in size by gross tonnage, not the actually weight of the vessel. It’s about 7% larger than the previous largest cruise ship, Wonder of the Seas.

Icon of the Seas is the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship to be powered by LNG. The cruise line stated that it’s expected to reduce sulfur emissions by almost 100% and carbon emissions by around 30%. It’s the cruise line’s greenest and most environmentally friendly ship to date.

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Here is a look at energy management, water management, and waste management on Icon of the Seas and the different things that Royal Caribbean is doing to make it their most environmentally friendly cruise ship.

Energy Management

Icon of the Seas is powered by six duel-fuel engines with the ability to use liquified natural gas (LNG).  When a port is equipped with shore power, the ship will plug into the grid and  will be able to operate without using the engines.

Royal Caribbean is using AI based technologies to optimize the ship’s routes for maximum efficiency.

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An air lubrication system will send microscopic air bubbles under the hull that will reduce friction and allow the ship to use less fuel when sailing from port to port. This helps reduce CO2 emissions by 5-10%.

Excess heat produced by the ship’s six engines will be captured, harnessed, and repurposed instead of being wasted.

Water Management

Icon of the Seas is equipped with a wastewater management system that treats every drop of water above regulatory standards.

The ship has its own environmental officer who tests the water daily and overseas all initiatives and training.

More than 93% of the ship’s freshwater is produced on board using a reverse osmosis/desalination plant.

The cruise ship also has ballast water treatment that prevents non-native species from being transported from port to port.

Waste Management

Icon of the Seas has a waste-to-energy system that uses Microwave-Assisted Pyrolysis technology that turns trash into energy that the ship can use.

The ship has a strict recycling program to ensure that 90% of trash on board never reaches a landfill. It has a state-of-the-art waste management room that is fully equipped to manage a single-stream recycling process.

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Royal Caribbean has a dedicated team on board that will use a custom-built app to reduce food waste.

Icon of the Seas will sail week long cruises from Terminal A in PortMiami to the Caribbean each week. Every cruise will visit the cruise line’s popular private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

The ship is the first of three Icon class ships from Royal Caribbean, the world’s largest cruise line.

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