If 2018 was the “Year of the Cruise Ship” 2019 promises to be even more so as ocean-going cruise lines continue innovations with 18 new vessels. Shipbuilding trends include sustainability with hybrid and LNG-powered ships, high-tech gadgets, and luxury amenities in first-in-class, second-in-class, and expedition ships. The following five new cruise ships are a sampling of what to expect.
Celebrity cruise line’s Celebrity Flora will sail the Galapagos archipelago in high style with floor-to-ceiling windows, rooms with open-air balconies that transform into sunrooms, an open-air lounge with a hot tub, even the option for “glamping” under the stars, a camping-themed wining and dining experience in individual topdeck cabanas. The Flora will also have new environmentally-friendly features such as anchorless dynamic positioning to protect the ocean floor.
Coming in June will be the Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas, a 4,246-passenger ship that will mainly cater to Chinese cruisers. Along with RCI’s carryover features(virtual reality bungee trampoline, indoor sports complex, a Skydiving simulator, etc,) look for a karaoke venue, tea parlor, and Ultimate Family Suites for 11 people with creative features like slides for children to whisk down below to the living room.
October will bring the Princess Cruises’ 18th ship, the 3,660-passenger Sky Princess. With Mediterranean and Caribean voyages, guests will enjoy poolside movies, and SeaWalk, a glass-bottomed walkway over the ocean, and top deck crowning Sky Suites for five. Included will be upgrades to the adult’s only Sanctuary, two additional Jacuzzis, and a new pool.
Smaller riverboat cruises are also introducing innovative new cruising experiences for 2019. Look for AmaWaterways’ 196-passenger AmaMagna coming in May with 7-night Danube River cruises between Budapest and Vilshofen an der Donau, Germany. The ship’s expanded shape will be twice the width of standard riverboats giving room for more dining rooms, a heated pool, a wellness studio, and a chance for an excursion on a 14-passenger boat departing from a water sport’s platform.
Viking Ocean Cruises’ sixth ship to sail will be the Viking Jupiter that will take amenities of the other five ships to a new level. The Jupiter will feature an indoor/outdoor dining venue, a promenade that encircles the ship, a two-deck Explorer’s Lounge, and a planetarium. The pool will have a glass roof that can be closed in inclement weather. The Viking Jupiter will offer Mediterranean, North Europe, and South America itineraries.