The cruise industry shows no signs of slowing down, with CLIA having anticipated 28 million cruise passengers in 2018 – representing a consistent 1.5 to two per cent growth year over year.
To accommodate this growth, close to 25 new cruise ships will be launched in 2019 by mass market, premium, luxury and expedition cruise lines. The following is our pick of the most anticipated new builds.
READ MORE: CLIA pledges to cut carbon emissions by 40%
Viking Cruises – Viking Jupiter
Size: 47,800 GRT (gross register tonnage / Guests: 930 / Crew: 550 / Length: 745 ft. / Beam: 94.5 ft.
Launching: February 2019
Viking Ocean was born from the vision of its Chairman Torstein Hagen, who wanted to bring all the benefits of river cruising to the ocean. As a result, Viking’s fares include wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner, a shore excursion at every port, Wi-Fi, specialty coffees and teas, plus all taxes and fees. The Viking Jupiter will feature all-veranda accommodations, complimentary alternative dining and free self-service laundrettes.
Viking’s target audience is well-travelled adults (it has recently changed its minimum guest age to 18+) looking for destination-focused itineraries without the nickel-and-diming experience onboard. As such, the ship has no casino, no photographers, and no art auctions or onboard pressure sales commonly found on ocean cruise lines.
Royal Caribbean – Spectrum of the Seas
Size: 168,666 GRT / Guests: 4,246 / Crew: 1,551 / Length: 1,139 ft. / Beam: 136 ft.
Launching: April 2019
The Spectrum will be the first of the “Ultra-Quantum” class, which includes familiar amenities such as the skydiving experience RipCord by iFLY, the North Star observation pod, Two70 video entertainment screens, and SeaPlex with bumper cars and a roller skating rink.
New innovations include a virtual reality bungee trampoline experience called Sky Pad, and the Ultimate Family Suite – a two-storey, 2,809-sq. ft. enclave that sleeps up to 11, with an in-room slide and the first private 3D cinema. The Spectrum will also introduce new Golden and Silver suite categories perched on the top decks, with exclusive keycard access to a VIP restaurant, lounge, pool and deck areas. Purpose-built for the Chinese market, Spectrum will also feature a large selection of Asian-themed eateries including Sichuan Red – a specialty restaurant serving the cuisine of Sichuan province.
Norwegian Cruise Line – Norwegian Encore
Size: 167,800 GRT / Guests 3,998 / Crew: 1,716 / Length: 1,094 ft. / Beam: 136 ft.
Launching: November 2019
As the third Breakaway Plus class vessel after Norwegian Joy and Bliss, the Encore will again feature the 180° Observation Lounge with expansive views, as well as the Haven suite accommodations and its exclusive Horizon Lounge with equally unmatched views. Solo travellers will be accommodated in the Studio staterooms with access to a common living room area called the Studio Lounge. Details of other public areas and amenities are still forthcoming.
Carnival Cruise Lines – Carnival Panorama
Size: 133,500 GRT / Guests 3,960 / Crew: 1,450 / Length: 1,055 ft. / Beam: 122 ft.
Launching: November 2019
True to its name, the Carnival Panorama will feature a variety of outdoor spaces, including open-air seating at several restaurants and bars, the pedal-powered SkyRide, WaterWorks Aqua Park, and an elaborate sports square. Panoramic views continue in the Havana class accommodations with private patios facing the promenade, and an exclusive outdoor bar and pool. The Panorama will be the first new Carnival ship to be homeported in the West Coast in 20 years.
Princess Cruises – Sky Princess
Size: 143,700 GRT / Guests 3,660 / Crew: 1,346 / Length: 1,083 ft. / Beam: 155 ft.
Launching: October 2019
Princess Cruises is known for building ships with consistent layouts so its guests feel right at home on every vessel. The Sky Princess will be no exception, following in her sisters’ wake as the fourth Royal class ship, but will feature two new innovations. First is the new Sky Suite accommodation, measuring 1,565 sq. ft. including a 700-sq.-ft. balcony furnished with day beds, loungers, outdoor TV and bar. The two-bedroom, two-bath suite accommodates up to five, with a separate dining and living room, and 270° views high atop the ship. A new themed bar will also be onboard, details of which are still under wraps.
Celebrity Cruises – Celebrity Flora
Size: 5,739 GRT / Guests 100 / Crew: 81 / Length: 333 feet / Beam: 55.7 feet
Launching: May 2019
The all-suite, all veranda Celebrity Flora will elevate the Galapagos cruise experience with the largest and most luxurious accommodations (up to 1,288 square feet) in the region. Built for just 100 guests, onboard venues will include the Observatory with floor-to-ceiling windows, an al-fresco Ocean Grill, and a stargazing platform. Menus will be curated by a Michelin-starred chef, and each suite will be staffed with a Personal Suite Attendant to provide everything the guests need. The Flora will be sailing in the Galapagos year round, offering ten and eleven-night packages including overnight stays in Quito. The all-inclusive fares will cover all shipboard beverages, tours, lectures, Wi-Fi, snorkeling equipment, and gratuities.
Other noteworthy ships for 2019
Here are a few other notable ships launching in 2019:
||Expected launch date
||Two helicopters and a submarine onboard
||262-ft. LED dome, Cirque du Soleil at sea
||323-ft. LED dome, Cirque du Soleil at sea
||Underwater observation lounge
||Underwater observation lounge
*New ships featured in this article represent only a small selection that we have chosen to highlight, and not the complete list of new builds. As all ships are still under construction, all information and statistics are subject to change.
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