This week in the cruise industry the lines have released more updates on a new slate of cruise ships set to debut this year.
Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, which is in the “home stretch” of construction of the new National Geographic Quest, has launched a countdown on its blog with behind-the-scenes footage from the shipyard, time-lapse videos of the construction process, interviews with the team behind the ship, and more.
The ship is set to launch June 24 with 50 cabins, 22 with balconies, and eight that can be configured into four adjoining cabins for families. All category 5 cabins can accommodate a third guest. The ship will be outfitted with a fleet of 24 sea kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling equipment, and Zodiacs. Other expedition technology will include a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), video microscope, and a hydrophone and bow-cam designed for immediate bow deployment to hear and film, for instance, humpback whale vocalizations and see bow-riding dolphins.
In river cruise news, the American Queen Steamboat Company has pushed back the launch of new paddle wheeler American Duchess from July 1 to August 14.
The ship will set sail from New Orleans, offering itineraries with stops at the Nottoway Antebellum Mansion in White Castle, the historic district in downtown St. Francisville, and museums and attractions in Baton Rouge.
Finally, MSC Cruises has announced its lineup of winter 2017 and 2018 cruises, including the debut of two new next-generation cruise ships coming into service in 2017. MSC Meraviglia, arriving in June 2017, will spend the winter in the Mediterranean, and MSC Seaside, arriving in December 2017, will homeport in Miami sailing the Caribbean.