Royal Caribbean Cruises’ (NYSE:RCL) Icon of the Seas left South Florida this week for its first seven-day voyage.
The record-setting Icon of the Seas measures nearly 1,200 feet (365 meters) from bow to stern and is roughly as long as the Empire State Building is high. The high-profile launch of the ship included a christened event with soccer legend Lionel Messi and his Inter Miami teammates, according to Associated Press.
The new ship has been been a long time in the waiting. Royal Caribbean (RCL) previously disclosed that when the Icon of the Seas was first unveiled by the company in October of 2022, the ship led to the single largest booking day and the highest volume booking week in Royal Caribbean’s (RCL) history.
The massive Icon of the Seas is divided into eight neighborhoods across 20 decks. The ship includes six waterslides, seven swimming pools, an ice skating rink, a theater and more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges. The ship can carry up to 7,600 passengers at maximum capacity, along with 2,350 crew members.
During Royal Caribbean’s (RCL) last earnings call (transcript), management noted that overall 2024 cruise capacity is expected to be up 8% as the company introduced Icon, Utopia and Silver Ray and benefited from a full year of a Ascent and Silver Nova. Capacity growth is anticipated to be the most pronounced in the first and the third quarters due to the timing of new ship deliveries and timing of dry docks.
Royal Caribbean (RCL) is scheduled to report earnings on February 1. The cruise line operator is anticipated to report revenue of $3.36B and EPS of $1.13. The last 19 EPS revisions from analysts have been to the upward side. Options trading implies a 6% share price swing after the earnings report drops.