This Week in Cruise: Antarctica Meet-Ups, Canceled Voyages and More

The expansion of luxury expedition cruising was front and center in Antarctica this past week.Seabourn’s new expedition ships, Seabourn Venture, launched in 2022, and Seabourn Pursuit, which debuted in summer 2023, met up for the first time in Neko Harbor. Natalya Leahy, Seabourn’s president, called that rendezvous a 'historical moment for our brand." Guests on both ultra-luxury ships celebrated by savoring caviar and sipped champagne. In January 2024, Scenic also expects Scenic Eclipse I and Scenic Eclipse II to meet up in Antarctica’s waters. 

MSC Cruises unveiled a new infrastructure development program for Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas. Enhancements will be made to the island with additional amenities for MSC Cruises’ guests who visit the destination; new amenities and accommodation for staff; and environmental infrastructure, operational and technical improvements. Cruise guests will also benefit from new excursion centers to support watersports activities and island tours; a sea dive and snorkel center; and additional food-and-beverage outlets. 

Norwegian Cruise Line sent letters to passengers booked on cruises with Norwegian Sun between March 28, 2025, and November 3, 2025. The line is canceling those cruises, citing a deployment change, according to USA Today. There's no word yet on what exactly is planned for that ship, which is the line's second oldest vessel. Separately, sister brand Oceania Cruises plans to revitalize Marina. Look for that ship to emerge in May 2024 with totally refreshed spaces and three new culinary experiences.

Two lines announced new itineraries. Royal Caribbean International introduced its new 2025-2026 Caribbean voyage line-up. On the river front, Riviera River Cruises also announced new themed, eight-day itineraries for 2025. So, guests will indulge their personal interests in art, music, history, food, wine and nature with tailor-made experiences.

Upscale Azamara has added nine immersive shore excursions—day tours designed by National Geographic. On another front, many travel advisors and trade executives tell us they can’t wait for Dondra Ritzenthaler to become the new CEO of that upmarket line, effective May 2024. We also talked with advisors and Dan Hanrahan, Azamara’s chair, about what she’ll bring to the brand.

And Princess Cruises has informed travel partners that it's retiring the existing MedallionClass app in favor of a new 2.0 version of that app. The new release on December 1 will also be renamed the Princess Cruises app. Guests who currently have the MedallionClass app can continue to use it on voyages through February 2024, but after that the legacy app will be retired.

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