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Watch the new world's largest cruise ship pass under a bridge with only feet to spare

Icon of the Seas leaving Turku, Finland
Royal Caribbean's new Icon of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship, can clear shorter bridges by lowering its funnels.

Royal Caribbean International

  • Royal Caribbean lowered the Icon of the Seas'  funnels to sail under a bridge.
  • The cruise line recently took delivery of the world's largest cruise ship ahead of its 2024 maiden voyage.
  • Royal Caribbean's Icon, Oasis, and Quantum class ships all have retractable funnels.

The new world's largest cruise ship has a little-known trick that allows it to pass under shorter bridges: retractable funnels.

In late November, Royal Caribbean welcomed the Icon of the Seas to its 28-ship fleet in a ceremony at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland. Shortly after, the 1,198-foot-long, 250,800 gross-ton vessel began sailing to Cadiz, Spain to receive some final touches ahead of its 2024 maiden voyage.

An outside deck of Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas cruise ship under construction. There's scaffolding up.
The Icon of the Seas will begin its roundtrip Caribbean cruises from Miami in late January 2024.

Brittany Chang/Business Insider

During its journey from Finland to Spain, the 20-deck ship had to face one glaring obstacle: Denmark's 11-mile Great Belt Bridge.

Most small ship operators don't have to think twice about sailing under such infrastructure. But as the world's largest cruise vessel, doing so was a collaborative engineering feat.

Ahead of the passageway, Royal Caribbean's team had to "lower and secure" the Icon of the Seas' funnels, allowing it to clear the Great Belt Bridge on December 1 with only a few feet to spare. Take a look at the exciting moment:

While momentous, passing under this bridge was no new feat for the cruise operator. The Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas — both almost as tall as this new vessel — have already done so, a Royal Caribbean spokesperson told Business Insider.

The cruise line's Icon, Oasis, and Quantum class ships all have retractable funnels.

After its time in Spain, the Icon of the Seas will head to Miami for a series of back-to-back seven-night Caribbean cruises starting in late January 2024.

Since the ship's announcement in 2022, Royal Caribbean has been touting onboard amenities like the over 40 food and beverage venues, seven pools, and a water park with six water slides. But access to this floating resort will be costly: The cheapest 2024 itinerary currently starts at $3,023 per person, which breaks down to over $430 per day.

Read the original article on Business Insider