Yikes, does Royal Caribbean’s new Icon of the Seas actually value that a lot?

Egad, does it actually value that a lot?

Cruise followers seeking to guide the most well liked new ship of the yr, Royal Caribbean’s large Icon of the Seas, skilled sticker shock when it first went on sale in 2022. However in hindsight, the pricing then wasn’t dangerous in any respect — at the very least in comparison with what it’s now.

Pricing for 2024 and 2025 sailings of the much-awaited vessel, which debuts this week in Miami, have solely gone up — and by so much.

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In a analysis report out this week, Wall Road analyst Brandt Montour of Barclays mentioned ticket costs for the brand new world’s largest cruise ship are operating almost twice the extent of ticket costs for the remainder of the Royal Caribbean fleet, in response to the agency’s proprietary evaluation of on-line fares — 95% greater, to be precise.

That is up from an preliminary premium of 40% to 60% after the ship first opened for bookings in October 2022, Montour famous.

The rise, partially, is because of the huge quantity of press the first-of-its-kind ship has been getting of late, which is contributing to an imbalance between provide and demand that’s permitting Royal Caribbean to lift costs.

“Icon has acquired a lot better natural consideration from the mainstream media than the corporate has ever seen for a brand new cruise ship, which seems to be driving outsized demand,” Montour mentioned.

Alas, do not anticipate fares for the ship to come back down anytime quickly.

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Associated: TPG is on board Icon of the Seas this week: Our first impressions

“Whereas this robust pricing would seemingly set Icon up for powerful ship-specific comps to lap in 2024, administration expressed confidence it will possibly develop yields in yr two,” Montour mentioned, citing conversations between prime Royal Caribbean executives and Wall Road analysts throughout preview occasions on board the vessel.

Montour did observe that pricing for Icon of the Seas was even greater on a relative foundation than different Royal Caribbean ships through the fall of 2023. For a time, pricing for the ship was operating about 150% greater than the typical Royal Caribbean ship, he mentioned.

How a lot does Icon of the Seas value?

Simply how excessive have Icon of the Seas fares soared? As of this week, the least costly crusing on the vessel obtainable to guide was a seven-night Caribbean voyage departing from Miami on Jan. 10, 2026. It began at $1,775 per particular person, not together with taxes, charges and port expenses.

Examine that to beginning costs of $1,259 per particular person, not together with taxes, charges and port expenses, that had been obtainable for sailings on the ship shortly after it opened for bookings in 2022.

That is a 41% improve within the beginning worth for the vessel in simply over a yr.

With the rise, the beginning worth to sail on Icon of the Seas is now three or 4 occasions the beginning worth of another Royal Caribbean ships working comparable routes.

Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas throughout sea trials in 2023. ROYAL CARIBBEAN

Comparable seven-night Caribbean cruises on Royal Caribbean’s oldest ship, Grandeur of the Seas, for example, begin at simply $469 per particular person, not together with taxes, charges and port expenses, for sailings in January 2026. That is simply 26% of the price of a crusing on Icon of the Seas throughout the identical month.

Like Icon of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas sails seven-night Caribbean voyages out of Florida, albeit from Tampa as a substitute of Miami.

You’ll be able to even guide a lot newer, extra amenity-filled Royal Caribbean ships, such because the 8-year-old Concord of the Seas, for lower than half the price of Icon of the Seas.

Associated: The last word information to Royal Caribbean

Seven-night Caribbean cruises scheduled for January 2026 on Concord of the Seas — one in all Royal Caribbean’s large Oasis Class ships — begin at simply $699 per particular person, not together with taxes, charges and port expenses. That is simply 40% of the price of a crusing on Icon of the Seas.

Concord of the Seas will probably be based mostly in Galveston, Texas, in early 2026.

The beginning fares listed above are for the least-expensive, windowless inside cabins on the ships. However it’s not simply entry-level cabins that value considerably extra on Icon of the Seas. There is a sharp differential in pricing for higher-level cabins on Icon of the Seas, too.

As of this week, balcony cabins on Icon of the Seas sailings to the Caribbean in January 2026 began at $2,426 per particular person, in contrast with $949 for comparable cabins on comparable Concord of the Seas sailings for a similar month.

That works out to a 155% premium for a balcony cabin on Icon of the Seas.

Why does Icon of the Seas value a lot?

The sky-high pricing for Icon of the Seas is an indication of simply how a lot pleasure amongst cruising followers there may be for the ship — the primary in a brand new sequence of vessels at Royal Caribbean that’s greater than something seen earlier than and has extra facilities than most different cruise ships.

Associated: TPG’s final information to what you may discover on Icon of the Seas

Cruise executives at Royal Caribbean and different main strains have lengthy mentioned many cruising followers are most drawn to the most important cruise vessels which have essentially the most eating places, bars, showrooms and decktop points of interest.

The pricing differential between Icon of the Seas and different ships, notably, is even greater when the vessel is in comparison with the ships of Royal Caribbean rivals. Seven-night Caribbean sailings in January 2026 on MSC Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line ships begin at $459, $509 and $649, respectively.

That implies that you may pay about 386%, 347% and 291% extra, respectively, to sail on a seven-night voyage on Icon of the Seas in January 2026 than you’ll on ships operated by these three strains.

A brand new icon of cruising

Cruising followers are notably enthusiastic about Royal Caribbean’s unveiling of Icon of the Seas because it marks the primary time in 15 years a cruise line has launched a brand new class of ships that eclipse all others in measurement and facilities. The final time that occurred was in 2009 when Royal Caribbean unveiled its much-ballyhooed Oasis Class of vessels.

Starting from 226,838 to 235,600 tons, the 5 ships of the Oasis Class had been lengthy the dimensions leaders within the cruise world, with even the smallest amongst them being almost 10% greater and extra amenity-packed than another cruise vessel afloat. When the primary Oasis Class vessel was unveiled, it was round 40% greater than the next-biggest ship.

Associated: The 7 lessons of Royal Caribbean ships, defined

Like Icon of the Seas, every of the Oasis Class ships affords dozens of eating places, bars, lounges and decktop points of interest, making them among the many greatest resorts on the earth that float.

Nonetheless, at 250,800 tons, Icon of the Seas is greater than 6% greater than the most important of the Oasis Class ships, the 22-month-old Marvel of the Seas. It could actually maintain as much as 7,600 passengers — a brand new report for a passenger ship. That is about 7% greater than Marvel of the Seas’ most capability of seven,084 passengers.

The larger passenger capability is partially because of the ship’s better concentrate on household vacationers. Icon of the Seas was constructed with much more cabins which have additional bunks to accommodate households with kids. It additionally has extra facilities geared to households, together with a new-for-the-line out of doors “neighborhood” known as Surfside, devoted to households with younger kids.

Associated: Royal Caribbean’s new cruise ship goals to be the best trip for younger households

Icon of the Seas additionally options the biggest water park ever constructed on a cruise ship, with a report six decktop waterslides. It additionally has seven swimming pools.

Icon of the Seas is simply the primary of three sister ships Royal Caribbean has ordered for supply by 2026 that can make up its new Icon Class. The road additionally has another Oasis Class ship, Utopia of the Seas, on order for supply later this yr.

Icon of the Seas’ first crusing with paying passengers will happen Saturday.

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