This week in the cruise industry saw a number of cruise lines release updates on their upcoming new cruise ships.
Princess Cruises released a preview of the Sky Suites onboard the Sky Princess, which launches this October. The two suites, which represent a new accommodation category for the cruise line, are centrally located on the top decks at the apex of the ship. The new suites will also have the largest private balconies ever offered by any cruise line, according to Princess. Measuring 1,012 square feet (starboard side Sky Suite) and 947 square feet (port side Sky Suite), the furnished balconies will provide a private vantage of the ship’s Movie Under the Stars screen and create a space for entertaining. The two suites will also offer 270-degree panorama views and have sleeping capacity for five guests, and more room for gathering -- making them ideal for families, according to the cruise line.
Also this week Carnival released new design details for the Mardi Gras, the line’s new XL-class ship that’s set to debut in 2020. The first cruise ship in North America powered by LNG, the new ship will have six themed zones spread over 20 decks, as well as expanded open deck and atrium areas. The zones will run the gamut from Grand Central to La Piazza, Summer Landing, Lido and The Ultimate Playground, as well as a French Quarter zone, a reference to the ship’s New Orleans vibe. Notably, this area will host a new dining concept helmed by a new celebrity chef partner for the cruise line, although further details are not available at this time.
Finally, in river cruise news this week, Tauck announced plans to build a new ship, the ms Andorinha, to offer the company’s first-ever cruises on Portugal’s Douro River. The new ship, which is set to launch in 2020, will have a crew of 36 and 42 cabins. Also onboard will be a Panorama Lounge, a Compass Rose fine dining restaurant, and a casual dining venue named after former company chairman Arthur Tauck Jr., Arthur’s.