Royal Caribbean International has revealed that iconic soccer player Lionel Messi will name their newest, biggest ever ship, Icon of the Seas. As both the ship and the player have broken many records and set new standards of excellence, the pairing is a great choice for the new ship’s naming and ushering in a completely new era of cruising.

Traditionally, the individual who helps to name a new cruise ship is that vessel’s godmother or godfather, and Icon of the Seas – a vessel breaking all records and turning cruising expectations upside down – will have a suitably noteworthy godfather in Lionel Messi. Appropriately enough, the cruise line is not calling Messi the ship’s godfather, but instead he will serve as the “Icon” of Icon of the Seas.

The Argentine native soccer player, who is now the star player of Inter Miami CF, will officially christen the ship in Miami in January 2024, offering good fortune to the ship and all who sail on her and officially welcoming the vessel into the Royal Caribbean fleet.

“I’m thrilled and honored to join the Royal Caribbean family to celebrate the arrival of the game-changing Icon of the Seas,” said Messi. “Icon is beyond anything else that’s out there for family vacations, with incredible never-before-seen features, all designed for making memories together.”

Messi’s new status follows the new partnership between Inter Miami CF and Royal Caribbean International, with the cruise line becoming the team’s Main Partner Official Vacation Partner. Together, they will offer unique experiences to both cruise and soccer fans throughout the world.

Lionel Andrés Messi is widely regarded as the GOAT – greatest of all time – soccer player in the world, with a long list of records throughout his stellar career. He has been named as Time’s 2023 Athlete of the Year, and has won the prestigious Ballon d’Or award eight times – the most valuable individual award in professional soccer – the first time at age 22.

Royal Caribbean CEO and Lionel Messi (Photo Credit: Michael Bayley)

He has set goal records, been the top scorer in leagues, and been part of various championship teams. He was also a gold medalist at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, and has broken various records throughout the sport of soccer.

Icon of the Seas will welcome her first guests on January 27, 2023 with a 7-night Eastern Caribbean & Perfect Day itinerary, sailing from Miami and calling on St. Kitts, St. Thomas, and CocoCay.

The phenomenal new ship will debut as the largest cruise ship in the world at 250,800 gross tons and 1,198 feet (365 meters) long. The ship, which was built at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, can welcome 5,610 guests at double occupancy, or as many as 7,600 passengers when fully booked with all berths filled.

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