With the new year now upon us, Cruise industry experts predict that competition will be fierce amongst the cruise lines with new innovations onboard and new ports of calls to explore.
Take a look below at some of the upcoming new ships and sailings for this year.
Majestic Princess (Princess Cruises)
Passengers: 3,560 | Maiden voyage: April 2017
Image courtesy of Princess Cruises
Scheduled for its maiden voyage in April in the Mediterranean, The Majestic Princess is the third ship in their Royal series.
Princess Cruise’s president, Jan Swartz stated, “We’re especially excited to debut Majestic Princess in the Mediterranean before she officially sails to Asia for her maiden China cruise season.”
The inaugural European sailing of the Majestic Princess sets sail for a four night itinerary out of Civitavecchia (Rome) on April 4, 2017. The Maiden Adriatic Sea roundtrip voyage offers port of calls in Kotor and Corfu before returning to Rome. Afterwards, the ship will embark on various cruises ranging from 14 to 28 days duration in the Med, the Baltic’s and the British Isles.
An extended atrium creates some exciting features with added entertainment and casual dining options. There will also be nearly 12,000 sq. ft. dedicated to shopping with many shops featuring higher end merchandise.
There will be many connecting rooms that will be ideal for families and larger Owner’s Suites. All outside staterooms will offer balconies.
The ship will have many of the popular Princess features including the SeaWalk (glass-bottom walkway with views 128 feet into the ocean). Also, favourites such as the Watercolor Fantasy show and Movies under the Stars will be featured.
National Geographic Quest (Lindblad Expeditions)
Passengers: 100 | Maiden voyage: June 2017
Image courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions
The National Geographic Quest has a planned itinerary to visit areas as diverse as the Inside Passage of Alaska to Costa Rica. The Quest is the first ship in the National Geographic fleet to have balconies in almost half of its 50 cabins and there are 6 additional connecting cabins for families.
June 26th marks the inaugural sailing of a 12-night “Treasures of the Inside Passage: Alaska & British Columbia” itinerary. After the Alaskan cruise season, Quest will embark on voyages between Vancouver and Seattle. Near the end of the year, the ship is scheduled to reposition to Costa Rica and Panama.
The Quest will hold 100 guests and will be different to other cruise ships, with its shallow draft depth which will allow it to navigate areas that others cannot reach.
The ship also contains a spacious dining room as well as a cocktail lounge, a bar, a fitness centre with numerous exercise equipment and the Global Market; a special shopping area where passengers can buy items made by local residents from the areas the ship visits.
Norwegian Joy (Norwegian Cruise Line)
Passengers: 4,200 | Maiden voyage: May 2017
Image courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Lines
The ship will be the sister ship to Norwegian Escape and the second vessel in the Breakaway Plus class but will be geared towards the Chinese market sailing out of Shanghai and Beijing.
The ship has another name besides Joy. The other is in Chinese its 悦号 (Xǐ Yuè Hào) and translates to ‘Joy’. The concept will remain with Norwegian’s signature “Freestyle Cruising” that offers guests the freedom and flexibility to dine on their own time schedule. The line has commissioned renowned Chinese artist Tan Ping to design the artwork to be featured on the hull.
According to Harry Sommer, NCL’s Executive Vice President of International Business Development, “Not only will Norwegian Joy be a ship unlike any other in the market today, but the freedom and flexibility that guests will experience on board will also be unrivaled in Chinese cruising”.
Norwegian promises new innovations and spaces onboard once the Norwegian Joy takes to the sea. Highlights include state of the art Virtual Reality gaming at The Galaxy Pavilion which includes three interactive dark ride simulators plunging willing guests in multi-sensory special effects.
A first at sea will be the outdoor hovercraft bumper cars and racetrack. There is also an open-space park, three full-service casinos as well as some fun in the sun with two multi-story waterslides.
Silver Muse (Silversea Cruises)
Passengers: 596 | Maiden voyage: April 2017
Image courtesy of Silversea Cruises
Not to be outdone in the high-end marketplace and a true representative of elegant cruising, Silversea Cruises has decided to make their newest ship their largest. The line pioneered all-inclusive cruising in 1994 and the Silver Muse represents an evolution taking place with the product.
The all-suite Silver Muse is due to set sail out of Monte Carlo on April 10th for 8 nights. She will head towards Southampton at the end of August before crossing the Atlantic for the autumn season.
Get ready for October 2017 when she embarks on a 66-day circumnavigation of the Americas, departing from Ft. Lauderdale to exotic ports in the Caribbean, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru and more.
Silversea are known for their impeccable service and the Silver Muse will not disappoint. Things to look forward to include a large and extensive spa, an observation lounge, an art gallery/cafe, a theatre and a pool deck.
There will be a wide variety of dining venues to choose from, such as the Atlantide which offers fresh seafood, the Indochine Asian restaurant, the French elegance of La Dame and even the opportunity to have lava stone cooking at Hot Rocks. Silversea Cruises has truly gone all out with the Silver Muse and the ship will be the crown jewel of the fleet.
Viking Sky (Viking Cruises)
Passengers: 930 | Maiden voyage: February 2017
Image of the Viking Sky float out courtesy of Viking Ocean Cruises
Due to its successful formula in the continuing market place of ocean cruise liners from the predominately river cruise oriented line, the 930-passenger Viking Sky becomes the third ship for Viking and will debut in February 2017.
“We have created ocean cruises that put the destination at the centre of the experience, with smaller ships that are smarter in design,” states Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. The Viking Sky plans to have longer days in ports with several overnight stays in areas not offered by other cruise lines.
Her first cruise is scheduled for February 25th when she will begin an eight-night Mediterranean itinerary from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Barcelona. She will remain in the Med before heading over to the Baltic at the end of April.
There are five different balcony staterooms on board which consist of the Veranda, the Deluxe Veranda, the Penthouse Veranda, the Penthouse Junior Suite and the Explorer Suite.
All staterooms offer Wi-Fi access too. Other amenities include an indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace dining area, a Nordic inspired spa, a magrodome pool and numerous restaurants, including The Chef’s Table, Manfredi’s Italian Grill and an Asian Fusion restaurant.
Written by Veronica Shine
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