Two major new cruise ships made their debut this week, while another ship showed off a new renovation.
Over the weekend MSC Cruises officially christened the MSC Seaview, the newest ship in its fleet and the third ship to launch for the line this year. The second in the line’s Seaside class, the new ship has a “beach condo” design that emphasizes large public spaces and letting guests get close to the sea. The new ship will now sail to its homeport in Genoa, Italy, for its official christening ceremony, after which it will spend the summer season in the Mediterranean and the winter season in South America.
Also this week Viking took delivery of the Viking Orion, the fifth ship in its ocean-going fleet. The new ship will officially be christened on June 14 in Livorno, Italy, after which it will spend its inaugural season sailing the Mediterranean, before journeying to Australia, Asia and Alaska, making it Viking’s first ship to call on the northernmost U.S. state. Like the rest of Viking’s ocean ships, the Viking Orion has a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 all-balcony staterooms that can accommodate 930 guests. Viking Orion is the fifth addition to Viking's ocean fleet, which also includes Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky and Viking Sun. 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.
Finally, in renovation news, this week Princess Cruises’ Crown Princess wrapped a 10-day drydock in the Bahamas that added a number of new amenities to the cruise ship ahead of its summer season in the Mediterranean. Part of Princess’ $450 million “Come Back New Promise” fleet enhancement campaign, the renovation refreshed four of the ship’s top-deck outdoor dining venues, added the signature Princess Luxury Bed to every stateroom and added Club Class Mini-Suites, among other updates.