Seven new cruise ships are set to launch in 2016, according to a list compiled by CruiseCritic.com. From Holland America Line's new Koningsdam to Seabourn Cruise Line's Seabourn Encore, we've rounded up everything you need to know about the new vessels.
Holland America Line -- Koningsdam
Set to launch in April 2016, Koningsdam will homeport at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL, sailing seven- to 11-day Caribbean voyages from November 2016 through March 2017. Beginning in November, the ship will offer nine-, 10- and 11-day Caribbean itineraries. A seven-day and nine-day holiday cruise departs on December 23 and December 30, respectively. The ship’s longer cruises showcase more ports in the region and include lesser-visited islands such as Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Jamaica, Martinique and St. Lucia. Two different seven-day itineraries offer six departures in January and February 2017. The first calls at Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s private Bahamian island. The second route visits Half Moon Cay, Grand Cayman, Mexico and Key West, FL.
In terms of amenities, the ship will offer a new BLEND winemaking program in collaboration with Washington State winery Chateau Ste. Michelle. Entertainment experiences will range from The Music Walk complex, which will include B.B. King’s Blues Club and the Lincoln Center Stage, to a new theater venue, The World Stage. The new ship's Culinary Arts Center will offer farm-to-table dinners, and accommodations will range from solo to family cabins.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line –- Ovation of the Seas
The third ship in Royal Caribbean's Quantum class, the Ovation of the Seas will also launch in April 2016, homeporting in Sydney for the winter 2016-2017 season. Tech-focused onboard amenities will range from high speed Wi-Fi to the Ripcord by iFLY skydiving experience, the North Star aerial observatory, which offers 360-degree views more than 90 meters above the sea, and the Bionic Bar, where guests can place orders via tablet and watch as two bionic arms create a mixture in tune to the resident DJ without any human assistance.
The ship will also offer the Two70⁰ lounge, which gives guests the chance to enjoy 270-degree ocean view by day and a multimedia entertainment experience by night. In the SeaPlex indoor sports and entertainment complex, guests can enjoy bumper cars, a basketball court, roller skating and a circus school.
Viking Ocean Cruises –- Viking Sea
The second ocean-ongoing vessel from Viking, Viking Sea is also set to launch in April 2016. Like its sibling ship, the Viking Star, the ship will offer The Kitchen Table hands-on cooking experience, complimentary beer and wine at lunch and dinner, and some complimentary shore excursions.
Carnival Cruise Line -- Carnival Vista
The newest ship from Carnival Cruise Line will set sail in May 2016, offering a schedule of European cruises through October. Following a transatlantic crossing, Carnival Vista will operate a pair of voyages from New York in November 2016 and then launch year-round Caribbean departures from Miami later that month.
When it debuts Carnival Vista will be the largest ship in the line's fleet, offering a variety of features, including a suspended cycling experience called SkyRide, the line’s first on-board brewery and the first IMAX Theatre on a cruise ship. Several unique stateroom options, including the new Family Harbor accommodations and the Havana staterooms and suites, will be included as well.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line -- Harmony of the Seas
The third ship in Royal Caribbean's Oasis class, Harmony of the Seas will also be the largest in Royal Caribbean's fleet when it sets sail in July 2016.
The ship will include the Splashaway Bay interactive aqua park for kids, plus several amenities incorporated from the line's Quantum class, such as the Bionic Bar, Virtual Balconies in many interior staterooms offering sea and port views, WOWBands with RFID technology and the high-speed VOOM Internet at sea service. Additionally, it will offer Grease as a new, full-blown Broadway production.
For dining, guests can enjoy specialty restaurants Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, Sabor Taqueria and Tequila Bar, and Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine.
The ship will sail its inaugural summer season in Europe on seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries calling on Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence, France; Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples, Italy. In November 2016, Harmony will arrive at its homeport of Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, offering seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises -- Seven Seas Explorer
In terms of luxury cruises, the Seven Seas Explorer will be the largest in Regent's ship when it launches in July 2016. Accommodations on the all-suite, all-balcony ship will range from the top-tier Penthouse Suites to the Cape Cod-inspired Concierge Suites to the Superior Suites.
Situated on deck five, the Canyon Ranch SpaClub will debut a selection of treatments developed by Canyon Ranch in partnership with lifestyle and beauty experts Red Flower, premiering exclusively on Seven Seas Explorer before expanding across the fleet.
Regent’s signature steakhouse, Prime 7, will be aboard the new ship along with other restaurants, including Compass Rose and La Verada. Compass Rose will act as the ship’s main dining room, and Italian inspired dishes will be served at La Veranda using buffet-style during the day. At dinner La Veranda will become Sette Mari at La Veranda and will expose guests to a fine dining experience. The ship will also offer the line's first culinary center, the Culinary Arts Kitchen.
Seabourn Cruise Line -- Seabourn Encore
Modeled after Seabourn's Odyssey-class ships and designed by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, the all-suite ship will be configured with one additional deck, new expanded public areas and is expected to carry 600 guests. In addition, every suite will have a private veranda.
The ship, which is set to sail in December 2016, will also include a new restaurant from Thomas Keller.