Lionel Messi has christened the world's largest cruise ship. Credit: Royal Caribbean

Lionel Messi names Icon of the Seas

Author: Kaye Holland

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Football legend Lionel Messi has officially named Royal Caribbean’s new ship Icon of the Seas

The world’s biggest football star and his Inter Miami teammates attended a ceremony at the Port of Miami, where they took part in the naming of the 7,600-passenger ship.

The vessel, which formally sets sail for the first time this weekend, is the longest in the world at 1,198 feet.

The eight-time Ballon d'Or winner was the headliner at the ceremony, which was hosted by Mario Lopez, in the AquaDome neighbourhood. Messi place a soccer ball atop a stand to start the traditional breaking of a champagne bottle against the bow of the ship.

Messi, who was named the godfather – or the 'icon' – of the ship, said: “Family is everything to me, and it was exciting to take part in welcoming what is the world’s best family vacation to Miami.

“Everything I’ve seen on Icon of the Seas is next level. There are experiences for the whole family to make memories that they’ll remember forever.

The Argentina forward was joined on stage by Royal Caribbean group president and CEO Jason Liberty, Royal Caribbean international president and CEO Michael Bayley, and Icon captain Henrik Loy.

Liberty said: "Icon of the Seas is the culmination of more than 50 years of dreaming, innovating and living our mission – to deliver the world's best vacation experiences responsibly. She is the ultimate multigenerational family vacation, forever changing the status quo in family travel and fulfilling vacation dreams for all ages on board.

"With Lionel Messi presiding over the ship's naming, we are thrilled and honored to have someone iconic for delivering memories for millions of fútbol fans around the world and who values making iconic memories with his family even more."

Icon of the Seas will depart from Miami on Saturday January 27, on its maiden sailing, a seven-night Caribbean cruise.

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About Kaye Holland

Kaye is a London-based wordsmith who has written for a range of publications including The Times, The Independent, The I, Culture Trip, The Sun, and ABTA among others. In June 2022, Kaye joined the Real Response Media where she looks – together with Lucy Abbott – after the World of Cruising website. Want to get in touch? Kaye can be reached at: [email protected]