It’s been another busy week for the cruise industry in terms of new cruise ships. Here’s what to watch.
Carnival Corporation has announced two new cruise ships, one each for Princess Cruises and Holland America Line. The new Princess ship is notable for carrying Carnival Corp.’s new “Ocean Medallion” class, a new technology platform that uses a wearable Ocean Medallion to allow guests to access a host of personalized experiences on the ship, as well as potentially in private shore destinations equipped with the platform’s Internet of Things-enabled sensors. Holland America Line’s new ship will be the third in its “Pinnacle” class, which just made its debut recently with the launch of the Koningsdam. That class introduced a host of new onboard amenities, such as the new Music Walk live performance area, and new restaurants. (Our cruise editor, Susan J. Young, says her favorite Koningsdam restaurants are the new Sel de Mer and Tamarind.)
In expedition cruise news, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic just announced the name of its newest ship: the National Geographic Venture, which will debut in June 2018. The new ship will be a sibling to the National Geographic Quest, which launches this June. Both will offer a host of new onboard amenities, such as a redesigned wildlife viewing area, upgraded Zodiacs, a mudroom to help keep staterooms clean, and a fuel-efficient, eco-friendly design.
Looking ahead to spring 2018, rumor has it that the Oasis-class ship from Royal Caribbean slated to debut that season could be named Symphony of the Seas. The rumor came about due to a press release from FlowRider, Inc., the manufacturer of Royal Caribbean’s onboard surfing simulators, that has since been removed from the FlowRider website. Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class of ships is notable for their high passenger count and distinct seven-neighborhood design. The last Oasis class ship, Harmony of the Seas, was the largest cruise ship in the world when it made its debut this past May.
In river cruise news, Emerald Waterways is kicking off 2017 with the launch of three new ships, which will almost double the size of the line’s fleet and allow it to expand its river cruise offerings in Europe to include France and Portugal.
The new ships are: Emerald Destiny, which will begin sailing the Rhine and Danube rivers in April; Emerald Liberté, set to start sailing the Rhone and Saône rivers in France in April; and Emerald Radiance, which will sail the Douro river in Portugal beginning in May.
The Emerald Destiny will have the same specifications as its sibling ships, Sun, Star, Dawn and Sky, carrying 186 passengers and having an indoor balcony in most cabins, complete with decked area and an open-air system, and pool-turned-cinema on the ship’s aft.
Finally, Seabourn has opened for sale the inaugural season itineraries for Seabourn Ovation, the newest addition to the line’s fleet. Scheduled to launch in spring 2018, the ship will sail on a variety of voyages in and around Europe between May and November 2018, hailing at ports throughout Northern Europe, the United Kingdom and Mediterranean.
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