This Week in Cruise: Ocean Updates From HAL, Celebrity

It’s been a busy week for new ocean-going cruise ships. 

This week Holland America Line announced that the Nieuw Statendam, which is set to launch this December, will sail with a new-to-the-fleet live music venue, the Rolling Stone Rock Room. Developed in partnership with Rolling Stone magazine, the new classic rock venue will host a five-piece band playing hits inspired by the magazine’s top sales list. The venue will also be added to Nieuw Statendam’s sibling ship, the Koningsdam, and the cruise line is also considering adding it to its Signature- and Vista-class ships.

Also this week Celebrity Cruises released a preview of the Grand Plaza onboard the upcoming Celebrity Edge. The space, which will serve as a focal point for the new ship, will have a massive chandelier art feature over a martini bar. In the morning it will serve coffee and pastries, and cocktails by night.

Also this week Norwegian Cruise Line revealed the hull artwork for the Norwegian Encore, the last of the line’s Breakaway Plus class that is set to launch in 2019. Spanish artist Eduardo Arranz-Bravo will create the art, which will aim to showcase a variety of color inspired by the artist’s life by the sea in Barcelona.

In expedition cruise news, this week Lindblad Expeditions launched the National Geographic Venture. With a capacity of 100 guests, the new ship is larger than the line’s previous vessels, which had a capacity of 60 guests each, but with the same shallow draft depth, allowing it to visit many of the same, smaller ports.

Finally, in Asia cruise news, Royal Caribbean’s new Spectrum of the Seas passed another construction milestone this week with the merging and fastening together of two large megablocks for the ship. The first of the line’s Quantum Ultra class, an evolution of the Quantum design platform, the Spectrum of the Seas is slated for delivery in 2019 to serve the Chinese cruise market.

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