What Happens If The World’s Largest Cruise Ship The Icon of the Seas hits an iceberg?
- The sea icon is five times the size of the Titanic. She should sail to the Caribbean in January.
- But thanks to radar and iceberg surveillance, it’s unlikely to suffer the same fate as the legendary ship.
- Royal Caribbean also said its cruise lines have enough lifeboats and rafts to accommodate everyone.
The world’s biggest cruise ship is expected to embark on its first trip in half a year — and after another recent disaster at the Titanic — it makes one curious about what would occur if the Icon of the Seas suffered the same fate as the legendary ship.
The Icon of the Seas will be sailing in the Caribbean for now, so it won’t face any ice. But even if it later travels to a region where ice could be present, it’s very unlikely for a cruise ship nowadays to hit an iceberg. It’s not impossible though.
In 2007, in an event The New York Times called the “modern Titanic,” a small cruise ship collided with ice, creating a hole the size of a fist that let water into the engine room and cut off the power. The 154 people on board had to escape on lifeboats and rafts.
Last year, a Norwegian cruise ship struck an iceberg in heavy fog near Alaska, causing so much damage that the voyage was cut short for repairs and another cruise ship had to be canceled. But it wasn’t even a disaster on the scale of the Titanic.
Cruise industry expert Stewart Chiron, also known as The Cruise Guy told USA Today that last year’s event was “extraordinarily rare.” While cruise ships might sometimes touch the ice, Chiron said it’s rare for a ship to have physical damage or change its plans as a result.
Cruise ships use radar technology and satellite monitoring to prevent collisions with icebergs. Advances in GPS and aircraft patrols of the oceans have also made sailing the seas safer, but there’s still a small risk.
Thankfully cruise ships today are also better prepared for disaster.
Royal Caribbean, the cruise line behind Icon of the Seas, says all of their cruise ships have “sufficient lifesaving craft to accommodate every guest and crew member onboard, as well as additional capacity in reserve.” Passengers on their cruises are also required to complete drills so they know what to do in case of emergency.
So even in the unlikely event of a tragedy, lifeboats, and raft logs could mean passengers miss out on some of Titanic’s most dramatic and controversial scenes.