World's largest cruise ship departs from Miami

World's largest cruise ship departs from Miami By Fathimath Nasli - January 28, 2024
World largest cruise ship departs from Miami

Royal Caribbean International's Icon of the Seas

The world's largest cruise ship has commenced its inaugural journey from Miami, Florida, raising concerns about the potential methane emissions from the vessel.

The Icon of the Seas, owned by Royal Caribbean Group, boasts a length of 365 meters (1,197 feet), 20 decks, and a maximum capacity of 7,600 passengers.

During its seven-day Caribbean voyage, environmentalists caution that the liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered ship could release harmful methane into the atmosphere. Despite LNG being a cleaner fuel than traditional marine options, there is a risk of gas escaping, leading to methane leakage, a potent greenhouse gas.

Costing $2 billion (£1.6 billion) to build, the ship, registered in the Bahamas, features seven swimming pools, six water slides, and over 40 restaurants, bars, and lounges.

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) argues that LNG-fuelled ships emit higher methane levels than current regulations assume.

Royal Caribbean contends that the Icon of the Seas is 24% more energy-efficient than required by the International Maritime Organization and aims to introduce a net-zero ship by 2035. The cruise industry, a rapidly growing tourism sector, contributed $75 billion (£59 billion) to the global economy in 2021.

Argentine footballer Lionel Messi, currently playing for Inter Miami, participated in the ship's naming ceremony.

Source: BBC

By Fathimath Nasli - January 28, 2024

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