Royal Caribbean reveals what will be the world’s largest cruise ship early – on Fortnite
Fortnite is one of the most popular and ever-evolving multiplayer games of the decade. Can Royal Caribbean use it to introduce cruises to a new generation?
The Icon of the Seas cruise liner recreated in Fortnite Creative for Royal Caribbean
When it launches in 2024 the Icon of the Seas will be the world’s largest cruise ship by gross tonnage, and the lead ship of Royal Caribbean’s Icon-class fleet. For cruise enthusiasts who can’t wait to set foot upon her decks, however, there is an option for early boarding - in the video game Fortnite.
Created in Fortnite Creative as a self-serve build, the activation is available worldwide on desktop, console, smartphone and tablet devices. While the entire ship is not available to explore, the build is designed to allow players to experience two sections of the cruise liner – Thrill Island and The Hideaway.
Given that Fortnite is first and foremost a competitive gaming experience, the Icon of the Seas build will allow users to “hide, seek and collect coins in the largest waterpark at sea, Category 6; test their mettle on Crown’s Edge, an experience that’s part skywalk, part ropes course 154 feet above the ocean; parade through Lost Dunes mini golf course; and absorb the vibe and views at The Hideaway Pool, the first suspended infinity pool at sea, all while sailing the Caribbean”.
While the primary mode of Fortnite is a battle royale, the Icon of the Seas experience is focusing more on a less violent hide ‘n’ seek - or ‘Hide ’n‘ Sea’ - mode.
Kara Wallace, SVP and chief marketing officer, Royal Caribbean International, said: "We want to show up in unexpected ways, across new territories in a way that reaches families where they are spending time. Younger travelers are playing a big role in choosing holiday plans. With Royal Caribbean: Hide ’N’ Sea Fortnite Map, families can now see, touch and experience some of Thrill Island and The Hideaway – two revolutionary additions exclusive to Icon of the Seas, arriving January 2024.”
The metaverse execution seeks to introduce players to the concept of luxury activity cruises. The perception of cruises is that they are traditionally more for families and older consumers, so this launch of the ship in the seas around Fortnite’s main island appears to be an attempt by Royal Caribbean to improve its brand recognition among a new audience.
It is an extension of the brand-building and awareness campaign that is ongoing with the deep dive into Thrill Island with its Making an Icon monthly video series available on the website.