Football star and eight-time winner of the prestigious Ballon d’Or award, Lionel Messi has been named as the official icon for Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas.

Messi, who was also named TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year joined Inter Miami CF this year, a team that is partly owned by former England captain David Beckham.

Icon of the Seas debuts in January 2024 and when sales opened in October 2022, Royal Caribbean recorded the single largest booking day and highest volume book week in the line’s 53-year history.

As part of a longstanding maritime tradition, Messi will take part in the iconic naming celebration for Icon in January 2024 in Miami

Messi will have the honour of bestowing safekeeping onto the new ship.

“I’m thrilled and honored to join the Royal Caribbean family to celebrate the arrival of the game-changing Icon of the Seas,” said Lionel Messi, Royal Caribbean International’s Icon of Icon.

Icon is beyond anything else that’s out there for family vacations, with incredible never-before-seen features, all designed for making memories together.”

Messi’s new role follows the recent announcement of Royal Caribbean and Inter Miami CF’s in which the cruise line is the Club’s Main Partner and Official Vacation Partner. 

Icon of the Seas is the culmination of more than 50 years of delivering memorable vacations. And it’s set to live up to its name in more ways than one when it changes the vacation industry in January 2024,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, of Royal Caribbean International.

“It’s that ability to make such a widespread impact and change the status quo that the Icon of Icon must personify. Lionel Messi has proven to be the perfect example of that for years in the world of sports. And most recently in introducing a new era of excitement and passion for football in Miami and the U.S.”

What’s on the ship

The ship will have six waterslides, seven pools, the first neighborhood designed for young families, and more than 40 ways to dine, drink, and be entertained.

The ship will sail on seven-night Eastern or Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami. Port calls include like Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.

Icon of the Seas will also visit the line’s private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas.

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