Royal Caribbean commits to Finnish shipbuilding innovation and sustainability

Written by Nick Blenkey
Royal Caribbean CEO was a signatory

Declaration was signed by (L to R): Tim Meyer, Mika Lintilä and Jason Liberty

Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) has signed a maritime declaration with the Finnish government, represented by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (MEAE) and shipbuilder Meyer Turku Oy that aims to chart the way forward for innovative and sustainable shipbuilding in Finland. The commitment is set to advance innovation, strengthen competitiveness and bolster the maritime industry’s ecosystem.

“Our partners in Finland have helped us deliver some of the world’s most impressive and sustainable ships of their time, including our newest ship debuting in January 2024, Icon of the Seas,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group. “This new partnership sets the stage for future innovations and allows us and the maritime industry to continue pursuing sustainability at the highest level.”

“Shipping is undergoing a great transformation, driven by stricter emissions regulation and consumers’ demand for carbon neutrality. Responding to this demand requires new ways to design, build and operate the vessels of the future. The challenge offers significant opportunities for the Finnish maritime industry to lead the way globally and to introduce new technologies and products on the market. The role of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is to facilitate enterprise financing in Finland and to encourage companies to renew and pursue sustainable growth and productivity,” said Finland’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Mika Lintilä.

The declaration announces the following actions:

  • Preparing a roadmap for the production of climate-neutral ships in Finland. The roadmap is part of the maritime industry’s green transition.
  • Strengthening the innovation of Meyer Turku, Royal Caribbean Group and the maritime industry.
  • Supporting networking to curb economic challenges, develop new solutions and secure the long-term viability of the maritime industry.
  • Assembling a digital demonstration of a climate-neutral ship as part of the sustainable maritime industry development program of the Ministry of Labor and Economy.
  • Piloting and testing new innovations and technologies on Royal Caribbean Group ships.

The partnership also advances Royal Caribbean Group’s Destination Net Zero strategy to decarbonize its operations by 2050 and its near- and medium-term targets, including reducing carbon intensity by double digits by 2025 compared to 2019 and the introduction of a net-zero cruise ship by 2035.


The declaration came on the heels of another major milestone for Royal Caribbean. On Friday, Dec. 9, its revolutionary, new vessel, Icon of the Seas, reached its next phase of construction ahead of its January 2024 debut. The new ship floated on water for the first time since the assembly began nine months ago at the Meyer Turku shipyard.

“The Finnish maritime ecosystem is built on the innovativeness, expertise and skills of the thousands of leading shipbuilders at Meyer Turku, and Icon of the Seas is the latest example of what can be built here in Finland,” said Mika Lintilä. “This new declaration will secure a future in which the maritime industry continues to make strides in our decarbonization goals and economic growth priorities for years to come.”

Royal Caribbean also has agreements with the shipyard to build the unnamed second and third ships in the Icon Class for its Royal Caribbean International brand, and Mein Schiff 7, which is currently under construction for the company’s TUI Cruises brand.

“While expertise and interdisciplinary collaboration will always be key to the success of shipbuilding, we recognize the need to continuously evolve and create strategies to reduce carbon emissions toward net zero,” said Tim Meyer, CEO, Meyer Turku Oy. “This commitment will set us up, as an industry, to innovate and adapt in how we design, build and operate ships. This challenge presents significant opportunities for the Finnish maritime industry to take the lead globally and bring to market new technologies and products.”

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