The world’s largest cruise ship, Icon of the Seas, was painted with coatings supplied by Nor-Maali Oy

14/12/2023

The luxury cruise ship Icon of the Seas, built by Meyer Turku, left the shipyard at the end of November. The steel surfaces of the ship were painted with high-quality Jotun coatings supplied by Nor-Maali Oy, including products such as Jotamastic 90, Hardtop AX and SeaQuantum Classic S.

Meyer Turku shipyard delivered the luxury cruise ship M/S Icon of the Seas to its customer Royal Caribbean International at the end of November. Before the ship begins cruises in the Caribbean at the beginning of next year, it will head to Spain for finishing touches. This first Icon-class vessel is currently the world’s largest cruise ship.

Icon of the Seas – the first of three Icon-Class luxury cruise ships

Royal Caribbean International has ordered three ocean cruise ships from Meyer Turku, with Icon of the Seas being the first in the series. The shipyard is currently building the second ship in the series, the Star of the Seas, which is due to be completed in 2025. The third vessel is expected to be completed in 2026. All three ships are approximately the same size in terms of tonnage and passenger capacity.

The Icon of the Seas luxury cruise ship utilizes advanced propulsion technology, where the environmentally friendly LNG power system ensures significant emission reductions. Wärtsilä’s six multi-fuel engines can be powered with both LNG and diesel. The ship also has other alternative energy features, such as the use of fuel cells for generating electricity and fresh water. Icon of the Seas is the first Royal Caribbean ship to utilize such technology.

The Icon of the Seas luxury cruise ship attracts attention with its colourful appearance. The ship features several themed areas, each with its own unique decor. The outdoor areas of the ship are very colourful, and comfort is enhanced with many green plants and trees. Some of the interior areas have a calmer and more classic colour scheme. The ship has 20 decks, which include many unique areas, such as Thrill Island, the largest water park at sea with seven swimming pools and six water slides, and the highly acclaimed The AquaDome.

The AquaDome

The bow of the Icon of the Seas is adorned with a massive glass dome – The AquaDome. This structure, 25 meters high and 50 meters wide, weighs 363 tons and consists of 673 glass and 712 aluminium panels. The AquaDome is the largest structure of glass and steel that´s been lifted onto a cruise ship. The planning and preparation of the lifting work took months. Designed to withstand hurricane-force winds, the dome provides space for bars and restaurants, as well as versatile entertainment experiences. The theatre located in The AquaDome features, among other things, a nearly 17-meter-high waterfall, adding to the ship’s uniqueness.

The AquaDome

Paint supplier Nor-Maali Oy

The steel surface coatings for the Icon of the Seas luxury cruise ship were supplied by Nor-Maali Oy together with Jotun. The construction of the ship began in June 2021, and the building method was the shipyard’s own block production combined with subcontracted block manufacturing by partners. Nor-Maali Oy supplied coating and provided technical support to several countries.

Nor-Maali Oy provided a substantial 750,000 liters of coatings for the steel surface painting of the Icon of the Seas. Of this amount, more than 370,000 liters were epoxies, of which the largest product was Jotamastic 90, about 250,000 liters. The two-component topcoats accounted for about 90,000 liters, with Hardtop AX being the largest single product with over 80,000 liters. About 90,000 liters of single-component products were used for the ship’s interior. In terms of paint volume, Icon of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, represents Nor-Maali Oy’s largest single new construction project as a paint supplier.

Icon of the Seas was painted with coatings supplied by Nor-Maali Oy

Steel surfaces painted with Jotun coatings.

Jotamastic 90 is the leading product of Jotun’s successful Mastic series in the 2020s. The product is a modern version of the original Jotamastic 87, and special attention has been paid to the product’s usability and drying times. Product also has the top-class corrosion resistance even on areas where optimum surface preparation is not possible or required.

Hardtop AX is a modern polyurethane topcoat that stands out from others with its excellent gloss retention and color stability. Hardtop AX is also an easy-to-apply product which is important in such a demanding application.

Icon of the Seas was painted with coatings supplied by Nor-Maali Oy

Steel surfaces painted with Hardtop AX.

Effects of antifouling coating choice on fuel costs

Fuel costs are one of the largest expenses in ship operations, including cruise ships. Improving ship performance and saving fuel go hand in hand with emission reduction needs. Alternative fuels, such as LNG, play a key role in this. As alternative fuels are more expensive, optimizing the efficiency of vessels and minimizing fuel consumption are crucial.

According to a report published by Glofouling in October 2022, the impact of biofouling on fuel consumption is massively underestimated. Prevention and maintenance solutions for underwater hull growth could reduce fuel spend by as much as 17.7%, reduce CO₂ emissions by 19%, and result in a more positive CII rating.

Since one of the priorities in the ship design of the Icon of the Seas luxury cruise ship was the environmental consideration and energy efficiency, it was obvious to choose the best possible solution for underwater hull foaling growth control: SeaQuantum Classic S.

SeaQuantum Classic S is an antifouling coating based on a silyl acrylate binder and a hydrolysis reaction; technology that enables linear and predictable performance. SeaQuantum Classic S reduces fuel consumption and carbon emissions by up to 10.2%* and enables ultra-low frictional resistance on the underwater hull, made possible through highly effective biofouling control and a smooth, self-polishing surface profile. With SeaQuantum Classic S speed loss is only 2.5%, while the market average is 5.9%*. (*ISO 19030 measurement method)

Icon of the Seas:

Class: Icon Class
GT: 250,800
Length: 365 m
Decks: 20
Passengers: 5,610
Passenger cabins: 2,805

Icon of the Seas was painted with coatings supplied by Nor-Maali Oy

Icon of the Seas was painted with coatings supplied by Nor-Maali Oy.

Currently, Meyer Turku shipyard is building TUI’s Mein Schiff 7, which will be completed next year, and the second Icon-class ship Star of the Seas, due to be completed in 2025.

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