The Icon of the Seas, recently named the world’s biggest cruise ship, has made its maiden voyage from Miami, Florida to Mahahual, Quintana Roo.
The ship, operated by Royal Caribbean Group, reached its first stop of three on Tuesday morning, carrying approximately 8,000 passengers — double the population of beach town Mahahual.
On Jan. 28, the Icon of the Seas departed from Miami for the Caribbean, after receiving the blessing of international soccer star Lionel Messi, who attended the megaship’s naming ceremony.
Upon its arrival in Quintana Roo, the ship was welcomed by Governor Mara Lezama and several Royal Caribbean representatives.”The arrival of the Icon of the Seas is a testament to Quintana Roo’s commitment to the recovery of cruise tourism, which was tested by the challenges of recent years, and today shows significant growth and development,” Lezama said during the welcome ceremony on Tuesday.
The Icon of the Seas, which currently offers seven different week-long cruises around the Caribbean, is five times the size of the Titanic and boasts both an indoor waterpark and waterfall.
The ship’s Western Caribbean cruises stop at two locations on the Mexican coast: Mahahual, where it docks at the Puerto Costa Maya cruise port, and Cozumel. At both stops, passengers are free to disembark and enjoy the beach towns.
In the words of Governor Lezama, the Icon of the Seas represents a “new era in tourism” for Quintana Roo, which is the result of “50 years” of work to elevate the profile of Quintana Roo as a top travel destination.
In 2023, 1,618 cruise ships arrived in Quintana Roo and 462 of them stopped in Mahahual, where more than two million cruise passengers and crew arrived. The new route serviced by Icon of the Seas is expected to consolidate Quintana Roo’s status as the leader in cruise ship tourism to Mexico.