This Week in Cruise: Two Lines Add Ships, Two Lines Cancel Voyages

Two cruise lines' fleets are larger this week, but two other cruise lines have canceled select voyages. On the growth front, Carnival Firenze officially became the 27th ship in Carnival Cruise Line's fleet. The ship was handed over from sister line Costa Cruises in Cadiz, Spain. Small-ship Quark Expeditions also introduced the 138-passenger Ocean Explorer to its polar fleet.

But after Oceania Cruises was notified by Fincantieri that delivery of its new Allura would be delayed, the line was forced to cancel the ship's first eight 2025 Mediterranean region departures: June 8, June 15, June 25, July 7, July 17 and July 29. Guests will automatically receive a full refund and later a special rebook offer for a future cruise. 

American Queen Voyages additionally canceled three 2024 Mississippi River voyages this month: American Queens February 26 cruise and American Countess’ February 22 and February 25 sailings. In a media statement, the line said, “American Queen Voyages takes great pride in our commitment to delivering an exceptional experience for our guests. In our efforts to uphold this commitment, we have encountered an occurrence that has led us to have to extend our layup schedule to ensure that we can deliver the best possible customer experience.”

American Queen
American Queen Voyages has canceled the February 26 cruise of American Queen, as well as two voyages of American Countess.  (American Queen Steamboat Company)

More Cruise Developments

Separately, Royal Caribbean Group reported 2023 annual earnings of $6.31 per share and adjusted earnings per share of $6.77, which Jason Liberty, president and CEO, called, "an exceptional year." That was better than the company’s previous guidance to financial analysts, thanks to strong close-in demand. In the company's earnings report, financial results revealed slightly more than $2 billion paid for "Commissions, Transportation & Other," an increase of 38 percent from 2022. Incorporating travel advisor commissions paid, that category's results were also 19 percent higher than posted in 2019, the previous record year. 

Among the group's fleet is Royal Caribbean International’s new Icon of the Seas. Travel Agent just returned from a three-night cruise on this ship, the world's largest; here’s our firsthand look at the new ship.

Cruise guests have many new itinerary choices in 2025 and beyond as Holland America Line added more “Legendary Voyages” for its 2025-2026 line-up, while Swan Hellenic announced its portfolio of 2025 sailingsEmerald Cruises also unveiled a 16-day Kenya safari and Seychelles journey from late 2024 through February 2025.

In other news, Atlas Ocean Voyages has formed a new partnership with marine conversation charity ORCA, while Cunard Line unveiled its 2024 entertainment program. And on the trade support front, HX has expanded its Americas sales team with four new hires.

Related Stories

Norwegian Announces 2024 Fall Caribbean Cruises

Aurora Expeditions Announces Partnership With Approach Guides

Sun Princess Delayed; Inaugural Voyage Canceled

Uniworld Offers Savings for Solo Travelers and Travel Advisors