This Week in Cruise: New Small Ships and a Big New Venue

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

Its been another busy week for new ships in the cruise industry.

We got more details on a new player in the luxury cruise space when the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company tapped Spanish shipyard Astillero Hijos de J. Barreras to build its first luxury yacht.

The shipyard will build the 298-passenger luxury vessel, with an expected launch date in 2019. There is also an option for a second and third yacht in 2021 and early 2022. While Barreras is known for building passenger ferries and container ships, it has never built a cruise ship. Other shipyards that specialize in cruise ships are reportedly heavily booked.

Case in point: Celebrity Cruises is continuing to move forward with its new ship, the Celebrity Edge. At a press event this week in New York the cruise line offered a sneak peek one of the new venues for the ship, a dramatic three-story aft space with 7,000 square feet of glass overlooking the ocean dubbed Eden.

Like other spaces on the Celebrity Edge, Eden will offer various experiences throughout the day, from a yoga and relaxation spot in the morning to afternoon enrichment sessions to a dinner and sinful performance art experience at night, called Eve at Eden. Celebrity Cruises has collaborated with interactive theater company Variety Worldwide, creators of Queen of the Night, on the design of the space. You can watch a video walkthrough below:

Finally, in river cruise news, Emerald Waterways recently christened the newest addition to its fleet, the Emerald Radiance, in Porto, Portugal.

The new ship will sail the Douro River on an eight-day itinerary roundtrip from Porto, with stops in Salamanca, Spain; the Coa Valley Prehistoric Museum in Pocinho; the Mateus Palace; and the wine caves of Vila Nova de Gaia.

Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for the latest cruise industry news, trends and research.

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