This Week in Cruise: Viking's New Ships, Personnel Moves

More capacity growth is ahead on European rivers. Viking announced an order with Neptun Werft in Rostock, Germany, for 10 more Viking Longships. Five will be delivered in 2025, the other five in 2026. Eight are destined for Europe's Rhine, Main and Danube rivers, while the others will operate on the Seine River. The total order is also inclusive of one Viking Longship for the Seine that was announced in February 2023.

Also on the fleet front, in a multi-year, multimillion-dollar initiative, Windstar Cruises is redesigning and updating its three Wind-class sailing ships. Those include the 148-guest Wind Star and Wind Spirit and 342-guest Wind Surf. Phase one of the updates on Wind Star is now completed, the ship has returned to service, and a second phase in 2026 will include the remaining staterooms and dining venues. Wind Spirit will be fully remodeled and its renovations will be completed in 2025, while Wind Surf's update will be undertaken in two phases—2024 and 2026. 

New Journeys

As for new itineraries, MSC Cruises has opened sales for its "2026 World Cruise." Sailing a 191-day voyage of 36,000 nautical miles, MSC Magnifica will call at 47 destinations in 32 countries. Depending on the embarkation port chosen, guests will depart between January 4-7, 2026, at Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Genoa, Italy; Marseille, France; or Barcelona, Spain. Separately, MSC Cruises introduced new onboard entertainment for children and teens across the fleet.

Sea Cloud Cruises has unveiled its 2024 collection of 80 voyages with more than 160 days under full sail. The fleet includes the 90-year-old four-masted Sea Cloud, as well as Sea Cloud II and Sea Cloud Spirit. “Special Occasion” voyages will include the St. Barth's Bucket Regatta, the Monaco Historic Grand Prix and America’s Cup. In additional itinerary news, Silversea has unveiled its 2026 season in French Polynesia, as covered by sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor. In addition, Explora Journeys has unveiled its voyage lineup through April 2026.

Down under, Coral Expeditions plans to circumnavigate Australia’s coastline during a 60-night “Australian Coastal Legend” voyage from Cairns, Australia, on October 17, 2025. Also, Princess Cruises introduced its Australia and New Zealand season for 2025-2026. Separately, Princess is collaborating with artist Romero Britto and will introduce a new dining experience, "Love by Britto," on Sun Princess. The new seven-course culinary offering will be priced at $149 per person.

After the unveiling of a one-of-a-kind Fabergé egg, "Journey in Jewels," Sarah Fabergé, Fabergé's director of special projects, christened Regent Seven Seas Cruises new, 746-passenger Seven Seas Grandeur on Sunday night in Miami. (Tip: Look for our story about the ship here soon.) It's been a busy past month for christenings, among them ceremonies for Norwegian Viva and Celebrity Ascent, now sailing from Port Everglades, FL, to the Caribbean; Travel Agent was aboard Celebrity Ascent for an executive presentation about the new ship and the Celebrity brand.

Personnel Moves

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) promoted Donnie Brown to senior vice president, global maritime policy, effective December 1, 2023. He’ll lead CLIA's strategic efforts to coordinate the industry’s positions on technical, regulatory and policy matters related to cruise ship safety, security and environmental stewardship.

As reported by Seatrade Cruise News, Simon Weir, vice president, hotel operations, Celebrity Cruises, has moved to the newly created position of vice president, hotel experience, at Silversea. Birgit Vadlau, currently vice president, hotel operations, will report to him. In turn, Cornelius Gallagher, who was serving as Celebrity’s vice president, food and beverage has shifted into Weir’s former role as Celebrity’s vice president, hotel operations, reporting to Keith Lane, senior vice president.

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