This Week in Cruise: New Ships From MSC, Quark and Viking

It’s been another busy week for new cruise ships, with two lines announcing new plans for newbuilds and another new ship celebrating its official christening.

This week MSC Cruises announced plans for its fifth Meraviglia-class ship, signing an order of construction with STX France. Due for delivery in 2023, the vessel will be powered by eco-friendly liquefied natural gas (LNG) and will mark the 13th ship in MSC Cruises’ 10-year, $13.5 billion fleet expansion program. The ship will have the same dimensions as MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia-Plus vessels, with a slightly higher deadweight and displacement due to the heavier LNG-powered dual-fuel engines, MSC said.

In expedition cruise news, this week Quark Expeditions announced plans for a new polar cruise ship, set to launch in 2020 to coincide with the line’s 30th anniversary. Designed by LMG Marin and built by Croatia’s Brodosplit, the new ship will have a capacity of 200 passengers, and it will carry 20 Zodiacs as well as two simultaneously operable helidecks. Other amenities will include a spa, fitness facilities and gourmet restaurants, although no further details on the onboard experience are available at this time.

Finally, this week on June 14 Viking celebrated the official christening of its newest ship, the Viking Orion, in Livorno, Italy. The fifth ship in Viking’s ocean-going fleet, the Viking Orion has a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 all-balcony staterooms that can accommodate 930 guests. With the arrival of Viking Jupiter in spring 2019, Viking says that it will be the largest small ship ocean cruise line. Ten additional ships are also planned for delivery starting in 2021, which could bring Viking's ocean fleet to 16 ships by 2027.

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