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Lionel Messi christens new Meyer Werft building with a football

Caption: Soccer star Lionel Messi christened the "Icon of the Seas" with a soccer construction (© Royal Caribbean / Screenshot)

In Miami, Argentinian soccer superstar Lionel Messi christened the latest newbuilding from the Meyer Turku shipyard, currently also the world’s largest cruise ship “Icon of the Seas” – with a special mechanism.

It was a US-style event with lots of show and pomp: Messi performed the christening ceremony for the 365-metre-long and approximately $1.1 billion newbuild of the Royal Caribbean International shipping company in the glass Aquadome above the bridge of the “Icon of the Seas”.

The christening was accompanied by a show featuring high divers, aerial acrobats and music. The real highlight of the event was the christening by world champion and multiple world footballer Lionel Messi, who is now winding down his career with US club Inter Miami after many years with FC Barcelona.

Icon of the Seas, Kreuzfahrt, Meyer Turku
The “Icon of the Seas” in Miami (© Royal Caribbean)

Messi triggers christening mechanism with soccer

The christening was focused on him and his activity and choreographed accordingly. With the help of a soccer ball on a special construction, a mechanism was triggered, causing a large champagne bottle on the bow of the “Icon of the Seas” to be smashed.

In addition to representatives of the Royal Caribbean management, Bernard and Tim Meyer and other employees of the Finnish shipyard, who worked on the ship for a total of seven years including planning and construction, also took part in the event. Shipping company CEO Bayley called the newbuilding “the company’s biggest dream come true” and “a true marvel of engineering”.

Two more sister ships are due to follow in 2025 and 2026, with the next newbuilding to be named “Star of the Seas”. All three ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Industry experts assume that, as with the Oasis class, Royal Caribbean could order further ships in this class.

The “Icon of the Seas” is scheduled to begin official guest operations from the base port of Miami on January 27. Around 2,350 crew members will look after the maximum of 7,600 guests on board. (CE)

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