This week in new cruise ship updates, Quark Expeditions laid the keel for its upcoming new expedition cruise ship, the Ultramarine. The milestone marks the start of construction on the new ship’s hull and superstructure. Designed specifically for cruising in polar waters, the new ship is set to launch in late 2020 in time for the Antarctic 2020 – 2021 cruise season. Guests onboard can expect each suite to have spa-like bathrooms with heated floors throughout, as well as a main restaurant; panoramic lounge and bar; a lecture theater; a wellness center with a spa, sauna and a fitness rooms with a separate yoga space; and a Polar Boutique stocked with cold weather expedition gear and polar keepsakes.
In ocean cruise news, Costa Cruises cut steel on the new Costa Toscana, the second of two new ships for the line that will be powered in port and at sea by cleaner-burning liquefied natural gas (LNG). The first, Costa Smeralda, will set sail this October, while the Costa Toscana is set to launch in 2021. Costa said that the use of LNG will result in improved air quality with the virtual elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions and particulate matter, as well as fewer emissions of nitrogen oxides and CO2.
Finally, this week Princess Cruises announced plans for a new live jazz venue on its newest cruise ships, the Sky Princess (launching October 2019) and the Enchanted Princess (launching June 2020). Called Take 5, the new venue will celebrate the sounds, culture and history of jazz, serving cocktails by Princess partner and Master Mixologist Rob Floyd.