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The Largest Cruise Ship in the World, Icon of the Seas, Departs from Miami

On its inaugural journey, the largest cruise ship in the world sailed from Miami, Florida, but methane emissions from the ship have raised concerns.

There are 20 decks on the 365-meter (1,197-foot) Icon of the Seas, which can accommodate up to 7,600 guests. The Royal Caribbean Group is the owner.

The ship is leaving on a seven-day Caribbean island-hopping excursion.

The ship relies on liquefied natural gas (LNG), and environmentalists are warning that methane leaks into the atmosphere can be dangerous.The ship, which was built at the Turku Shipyard and registered in the Bahamas, contains six water slides and seven swimming pools.
It was built for $2 billion (£1.6 billion) and features more than 40 eateries, lounges, and bars.
LNG has a higher burning temperature than conventional maritime fuels like fuel oil, but there is a chance that part of the gas will leak and release methane into the atmosphere.
The greenhouse gas methane is far more potent than carbon dioxide.

According to Bryan Comer, who oversees the Marine Programme at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), “it’s a step in the wrong direction,” as reported by the Reuters news agency. “We would estimate that using LNG as a marine fuel emits over 120% more life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions than marine gas oil,” he stated.

In a paper published earlier this week, the ICCT made the case that methane emissions from ships powered by LNG were greater than what is currently thought to be the case.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that, over a 20-year period, traps 80 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Reducing these emissions is thought to be essential for reducing global warming.

According to Royal Caribbean, the Icon of the Seas has a 24% higher energy efficiency than what the International Maritime Organization mandates for contemporary vessels. By 2035, the business intends to launch a net-zero ship.

According to the trade association Cruise Lines International Association, the cruise industry is one of the tourism sectors with the quickest growth rates, with young people showing a particular interest in cruise vacations.

According to the report, in 2021 the cruise industry brought $75 billion (£59 billion) to the world economy.

Lionel Messi, the captain of Argentina that won the World Cup and is currently a player for Inter Miami, participated in the ship’s naming ceremony on Thursday. He was observed setting a football on a specially designed stand, which set off the custom of breaking a champagne bottle against the bow of the ship in a “good luck” gesture.

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