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Royal Caribbean orders new Icon Class of 5,000 pax LNG fueled ships

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From a Royal Caribbean Press Release:

 

The newest class of ships from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and introduce the use of fuel cell technology, ushering in a new era of shipbuilding that will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 

The ships will join the fleet of Royal Caribbean International, an industry leader in innovation and breakthrough ship design.

 

RCL said that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with shipbuilder Meyer Turku for the new class of vessel under the project name "Icon." The vessels will be delivered in the second quarters of 2022 and 2024. In the meantime, the company said, it will begin testing fuel cell technology on an existing Oasis-class ship in 2017, and will also run progressively larger fuel cell projects on new Quantum class vessels being built in the next several years.

 

Royal Caribbean is already known for making steady progress on energy efficiency and reduced emissions through such technologies as air lubrication, which sends billions of microscopic bubbles along the hull of a ship to reduce friction, and AEP scrubbers, which clean exhaust gases before they leave the ship. Use of the new technologies will result in much cleaner emissions, as they produce no sulfur and significantly reduce the production of nitrogen oxides and particulates.

 

"With Icon class, we move further in the journey to take the smoke out of our smokestacks," said Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. "We are dedicated to innovation, continuous improvement, and environmental responsibility, and Icon gives us the opportunity to deliver against all three of these pillars."

 

"Our guests expect us to push every envelope we can," said Michael Bayley, president and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean International. "And on this new class of ship, we began by challenging ourselves to find a new approach to power and propulsion that is safe, reliable, and more energy-efficient than ever before." Bayley added that exciting and innovative new guest experience elements of the Icon class design will be revealed later in the development process.

 

"Our partnership with RCL has created a number of groundbreaking ship classes, such as Oasis, Celebrity Solstice, Quantum, and Mein Schiff, and we are grateful that Royal Caribbean is again giving us the opportunity to partner with them on a new class of ships," said Jan Meyer, the CEO of Meyer Turku.

 

The switch to LNG provides further momentum for the technology, which has begun making significant inroads in the maritime industry. "Increasing the commitment to LNG makes it easier for suppliers to make their own infrastructure commitments," said Fain. "As more ships are built for LNG, the number of ports that support it will grow." The Icon ships are expected to run primarily on LNG but will also be able to run on distillate fuel, to accommodate occasional itineraries that call on ports without LNG infrastructure.

 

The introduction of fuel cells represents another dramatic step forward for the maritime industry, which has only made limited experiments using the technology. "We believe fuel cells offer very interesting design possibilities," said Harri Kulovaara, RCL's chief of ship design. "As the technology becomes smaller and more efficient, fuel cells become more viable in a significant way to power the ship's hotel functions. We will begin testing those possibilities as soon as we can, and look to maximize their use when Icon class debuts."

 

Kulovaara said RCL had been eyeing fuel cells for nearly a decade, and believes the technology is now at a stage of development that justifies investment. "There is a long lead time for Icon class, and we will use that time to work with Meyer Turku to adapt fuel cell technology for maritime use." Kulovaara said that additional regulatory standards would also need to be developed for the technology.

 

Because of the long lead time, Kulovaara said that many Icon design elements are in early stages. The Icon ships would likely accommodate approximately 5,000 passengers, he said, but details are still being worked out.

 

Icon is the first new ship class announced by RCL since Celebrity Cruises' new Edge class, which debuts in 2018. The company is also expanding its fleet with new Oasis- and Quantum-class ships for Royal Caribbean International. Fain said the new ships are in line with RCL's strategy of moderate capacity growth.

 

This order is contingent upon the completion of contractual conditions, including documentation and financing. Final contracts are expected to be completed by year end. Based upon current ship orders, projected capital expenditures for full year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 are $2.4 billion, $0.5 billion, $2.6 billion, $1.5 billion and $2.0 billion, respectively. Capacity increases for 2016 through 2020 remain unchanged and do not include potential ship sales or additions that the company may elect to make in the future.

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So much for a lot of people hopes that they would go smaller (Radience class size) for their next class of ships. This looks to replace Quantum as the second largest class.

Edited by Ourusualbeach

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Sounds just like the ship Carnival announced recently and to be built at the same yard - a first?.

 

http://www.cruisehive.com/2-new-mega-ships-ordered-carnival-cruise-line/13407

 

Aida, P&O, and MSC all have LNG ships in the works. Seems like the car industry where once Prius started and had some success, everyone had to build a hybrid, regardless if it made economic sense.

Edited by Biker19

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So much for a lot of people hopes that they would go smaller (Radience class size) for their next class of ships. This looks to replace Quantum as the second largest class.

 

Yes, surprised RCI didn't go for an Edge class derivative. It will be weird to think that Voayger class could be the smallest ship in the RCI fleet by the time Icon comes out.

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Yes, surprised RCI didn't go for an Edge class derivative. It will be weird to think that Voayger class could be the smallest ship in the RCI fleet by the time Icon comes out.

 

Hadn't even thought of get but it certainly is a possibility unless they hang onto a couple Vision class ships for the 3/4 day cruises and or Cuba.

 

If the 5000 pax is referring to double occupancy then Icon will be more like a baby O in size.

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Yes, surprised RCI didn't go for an Edge class derivative. It will be weird to think that Voayger class could be the smallest ship in the RCI fleet by the time Icon comes out.

That would be sad.

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Yes, surprised RCI didn't go for an Edge class derivative. It will be weird to think that Voayger class could be the smallest ship in the RCI fleet by the time Icon comes out.

 

I hope not. That would mean no more RC out of Tampa unless the Skyway was rebuilt...ie not going to happen.

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I hope not. That would mean no more RC out of Tampa unless the Skyway was rebuilt...ie not going to happen.

 

Baltimore too...unless they make ships longer and wider instead if taller

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I hope not. That would mean no more RC out of Tampa unless the Skyway was rebuilt...ie not going to happen.

 

The youngest Radiance class ship will be 18 years old by the time Icon 1 comes out. Other than Majesty and Empress, which seem to be one offs for special sailings, RCI doesn't usually keep anything over 20 years old. That is changing a bit with Grandeur (will be oldest ship (20) after Legend is sold, other than above) but I don't see any Vision class in the fleet by the time of Icon 1.

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The youngest Radiance class ship will be 18 years old by the time Icon 1 comes out. Other than Majesty and Empress, which seem to be one offs for special sailings, RCI doesn't usually keep anything over 20 years old. That is changing a bit with Grandeur (will be oldest ship (20) after Legend is sold, other than above) but I don't see any Vision class in the fleet by the time of Icon 1.

 

They are signed with the port of Baltimore to have the Grandeur home port there till 2020...and then who knows what will happen with grandeur or the port of baltimore

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This is great news about LNG & fuel cells. I always feel a bit guilty when I see the black smoke billowing out of the smoke stack.

 

As for the remaining ships in the fleet, I have a feeling RCI will keep the Radiance class a bit longer than perhaps the Sovereign and Vision class ships - it's a good size vessel passenger number wise (which is where the decision is really made), they've got many of the amenities we all expect, they've got reasonably low running costs, and they'll need to keep ahold of some ships that can navigate various canals and smaller waterways too.

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I hope not. That would mean no more RC out of Tampa unless the Skyway was rebuilt...ie not going to happen.

Maybe they will built a port outside the Skyway, around Sarasota or St. Pete.

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Maybe they will built a port outside the Skyway, around Sarasota or St. Pete.

 

They've talked about building a new terminal on the St. Pete side of the bridge, but I don't think it's feasible. Time will tell, of course.

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By 2022, that will likely happen, LNG or not.

 

Agreed. By 2022, it is almost certain that the UK, Canada, and most US (coastal) states will prohibit any and all smoking onboard (by passengers or crew) for cruises visiting their ports.

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Yes, surprised RCI didn't go for an Edge class derivative. It will be weird to think that Voayger class could be the smallest ship in the RCI fleet by the time Icon comes out.

 

The Voyager and Radiance Classes are about the same age as they were built simultaneously. I would really hate to see the Radiance class leave the fleet without something around that size available.

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This is great news about LNG & fuel cells. I always feel a bit guilty when I see the black smoke billowing out of the smoke stack.

 

As for the remaining ships in the fleet, I have a feeling RCI will keep the Radiance class a bit longer than perhaps the Sovereign and Vision class ships - it's a good size vessel passenger number wise (which is where the decision is really made), they've got many of the amenities we all expect, they've got reasonably low running costs, and they'll need to keep ahold of some ships that can navigate various canals and smaller waterways too.

 

Doesn't Majesty hold more passengers than Radiance?

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Doesn't Majesty hold more passengers than Radiance?

 

Unlikely. Radiance is about 20% larger by volume than Majesty. Passenger capacity routinely gets quoted sometimes as double occupancy capacity and sometimes as maximum (all bunks) capacity. Often the capacity numbers don't specify which measurement, so it's very easy to compare apples to oranges.

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Unlikely. Radiance is about 20% larger by volume than Majesty. Passenger capacity routinely gets quoted sometimes as double occupancy capacity and sometimes as maximum (all bunks) capacity. Often the capacity numbers don't specify which measurement, so it's very easy to compare apples to oranges.

 

Actually it does. Majesty has a plethora of tiny cabins. Radiance does have more revenue generating space.

 

https://www.royalcaribbeanpresscenter.com/ships/

 

Majesty 2,350 / 2,767

 

Jewel 2,191 / 2,702

Edited by John&LaLa
added URL

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Yes, surprised RCI didn't go for an Edge class derivative. It will be weird to think that Voayger class could be the smallest ship in the RCI fleet by the time Icon comes out.

 

I can't see this happening. The Radiance class ships are still in good shape. They seem pretty. Popular to me.

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Could they be planning another (potentially smaller) ship at the same time? Similar to when the voyager and radiance ships were coming out? There are holes at ship yards still.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Ahhhh! Too big!

 

Please order a smaller ship or 2 for those who don't like cruising on shopping malls!

Edited by VASOXFANN

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Doesn't Majesty hold more passengers than Radiance?

 

Yes a few. Majesty holds 2774 and Radiance holds 2501

 

info from v to go

 

sorry , my copy and paste skills are out of whack today.:)

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I can't see this happening. The Radiance class ships are still in good shape. They seem pretty. Popular to me.

 

Because new ships involve very long lead times to order, capacity is matched to market conditions by selling or not selling older ships as new ships are acquired. Plans to sell or not sell older ships are probably made only about one or two years into the future.

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Doesn't Majesty hold more passengers than Radiance?

They will probably never again build a ship with as low passenger capacity as Radiance class - at least sailing under the Royal Caribbean brand.

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Could they be planning another (potentially smaller) ship at the same time?

 

It is certainly possible that the next ship class after the Icon class might be smaller, but my expectation is that it will probably be larger than the Oasis class. Economics favors larger ships both because of propulsion efficiency and because only one of each of the most expensive crew members are needed: captain, chief engineer, hotel director, cruise director, finance director, chief medical officer, etc. There have been reports in the shipbuilding press of talks with shipyards to build something 15% larger than Oasis.

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First I must say RCI never ceases to amaze me. They really are risk takers. Second no offense to anyone but in my humble opinion cruise ships should be 100% smoke free because fire at sea is too dangerous and I see a lot of unsafe people smoking. We just got off NCL Breakaway and I saw cigarette butts on top of the lifeboats. It scared me just a bit. People are too irresponsible, again no offense. The bad ones ruin it for the rest.

One question, did it say a size in that release? I must have missed the size of the new vessels?

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First I must say RCI never ceases to amaze me. They really are risk takers. Second no offense to anyone but in my humble opinion cruise ships should be 100% smoke free because fire at sea is too dangerous and I see a lot of unsafe people smoking. We just got off NCL Breakaway and I saw cigarette butts on top of the lifeboats. It scared me just a bit. People are too irresponsible, again no offense. The bad ones ruin it for the rest.

One question, did it say a size in that release? I must have missed the size of the new vessels?

 

It only gave a passenger count of around 5000.

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It only gave a passenger count of around 5000.

 

Isn't Carnival or NCL building a ship close to Oasis capacity but more in line with Quantum tonnage?

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Isn't Carnival or NCL building a ship close to Oasis capacity but more in line with Quantum tonnage?

 

There may be a few lines going that route. MSC also comes to mind.

 

I'm also not sure with the LNG whether the storage tanks/ engine areas take up more or less room than conventional ships.

Edited by Ourusualbeach

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It only gave a passenger count of around 5000.

Oh ok. Lets just hope they don't try and put 5,000 passenger plus crew on a 90,000 ton ship since they gave no tonnage numbers! :eek:

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I'm also not sure with the LNG whether the storage tanks/ engine areas take up more or less room than conventional ships.

 

A quick online search found one gallon of #6 fuel oil yields about 153,000 BTU. By comparison, a gallon of LNG yields about 82,000 BTU.

 

Even if we account for the increased efficiency of LNG compared to fuel oil it appears an LNG-fueled ship will require a larger fuel storage area than a comparable oil burning ship.

 

I suspect the engine size would be relatively similar but that's speculation on my part.

Edited by 71Corvette

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A quick online search found one gallon of #6 fuel oil yields about 153,000 BTU. By comparison, a gallon of LNG yields about 82,000 BTU.

 

Even if we account for the increased efficiency of LNG compared to fuel oil it appears an LNG-fueled ship will require a larger fuel storage area than a comparable oil burning ship.

 

I suspect the engine size would be relatively similar but that's speculation on my part.

 

The press release indicates that the Icon class will be able to service the hotel loads using fuel cells. It also says that they will be able to use distillate fuels when LNG is not available. Commercially viable fuel cells can run on LNG, but not on distillate fuels such as diesel or Marine Fuel Oil. Reciprocating diesel engines which can burn diesel or Marine Fuel Oil power all RCCL ships except the Radiance class, which use gas turbines. Reciprocating diesel engines don't run on LNG, though they can run on a mix of LNG and distillates (feeding in some natural gas with the air reduces distillate fuel consumption). I'm confident, reading between the lines, that the Icon class will use gas turbines for propulsion loads. The disadvantage of gas turbines is that they have poor efficiency below about 70% of maximum load. Using a larger number of smaller gas turbines is not a good option because gas turbine efficiency increases with fan diameter. Combining fuel cells with (probably two) gas turbines (probably GE LM2500+ or RR MT30) should work really well because the fuel cells can be brought online as needed for the marginal loads when the ship's speed requires more power than one gas turbine can provide but less than two gas turbines can provide efficiently.

 

Gas turbines are physically much smaller and lighter than reciprocating diesels of the same power capacity, so I would not assume that the space needed for engines would be similar.

 

BTW, the press release doesn't indicate whether 5000 passengers would be at double occupancy or at maximum occupancy. The average cabin size on Quantum class is 9% larger than on Oasis class. If Icon class will have cabin sizes similar to Quantum class and if 5000 passengers will be at double occupancy, then Icon class will be roughly similar in size to Oasis class. Anyway, Icon class will certainly be substantially larger than Quantum class.

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A quick online search found one gallon of #6 fuel oil yields about 153,000 BTU. By comparison, a gallon of LNG yields about 82,000 BTU.

 

Even if we account for the increased efficiency of LNG compared to fuel oil it appears an LNG-fueled ship will require a larger fuel storage area than a comparable oil burning ship.

 

I suspect the engine size would be relatively similar but that's speculation on my part.

 

 

 

So LNG is actually all stored on the ship? I thought it was harvested whale farts... :-)

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Now lets start the speculation. Name, home port, slides?

Easy,

 

Icon of the Seas, some other names...

 

Buffet of the Seas

Specialty Dinning of the Seas

2022 Nothing is included anymore of the Seas

No More Diamond Lounge of the Seas.

 

 

Sent from my STV100-1 using Forums mobile app

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So LNG is actually all stored on the ship? I thought it was harvested whale farts... :-)

 

There are not enough whales remaining (less than 10% of historic populations).

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