In fleet news, MSC Cruises converted two options for its World-class vessels to firm orders with French shipbuilder Chantiers d’Atlantique. One will be delivered in 2026, the other in 2027. Viking announced a new vessel, Viking Tonle, to sail on Southeast Asia’s Mekong River.
American Cruise Lines’ American Glory, the line’s newest “Coastal Cat” has successfully completed sea trials. It will begin operating “Florida Gulf Coast and Keys” voyages later this month. In Europe, Celestyal Cruises has added a former AIDA ship to its fleet.
New Voyages and Home Port
Windstar Cruises is adding South America to its schedule for the first time. The line is combining the cruises with an "included" pre- and post-cruise journey to Machu Picchu and an optional mid-cruise overland trip to the Galapagos. Separately, Celebrity Cruises announced its new line-up for voyages for 2025-2026 sailings.
The magic has arrived in Port Everglades (Greater Fort Lauderdale), FL, as Disney Cruise Line opened a new Florida homeport and terminal last week. Today, Disney Dream will set sail from the South Florida port on its first voyage of a year-round schedule. A second ship, Disney Magic, will sail seasonally in 2024, too.
New Programs and Themes
For those seeking to work at sea remotely, Azamara has launched a “Work and Wander” program. Guests will have Starlink’s Internet service, office equipment and Azamara's IT support. Separately, Carnival Cruise Line is partnering with Wireless Maritime Service (WMS), a cellular provider, to offer 5G service on the new Carnival Jubilee. Look for that service to start in early 2024.
River line AmaWaterways announced another “Soulful Experience” for 2024. Swan Hellenic has also revealed its inaugural “Explore and Restore” cruises. Six 2024 voyages will be launched in partnership with Chopra, the integrative health company founded by Dr. Deepak Chopra.
Trade News and Trends
Explora Journeys expanded its U.S.-based commercial team. Sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor talked with luxury travel advisors and cruise line executives about top sales tips for this year’s Wave Season.
And as the Dream Vacations and CruiseOne annual conference came to a close, Brad Tolkin, co-chairman/co-CEO, World Travel Holdings, urged the 600 advisors attending on Carnival Celebration for the week to “focus” and take advantage of accelerating vacation demand.