New vessels to enter waters
We list out the ships you need to keep in your radar:
Last month (June), MSC Euribia made its debut in Northern Europe offering 7-night roundtrips from Kiel Germany and Copenhagen to the Norwegian Fjords. MSC Euribia represents the future of cruising with her remarkable efficiency, emitting up to 19 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions per passenger per day compared to her predecessors and 44 per cent less than ships built a decade ago. “MSC Euribia features the first MSC Foundation Youth Centre at sea with activities focusing on sustainability, extra space for teenagers and live family game shows,” says Karthik Radhakrishnan, Sales Manager, MSC Cruises GCC & Sri Lanka.
“MSC Euribia features the first MSC Foundation Youth Centre at sea with activities focusing on sustainability, extra space for teenagers and live family game shows”
- Karthik Radhakrishnan
Doubtless one of the most anticipated debuts this year will be brand-new cruise line Explora Journeys’ debut of Explora I this month (July). Explora Journeys, the luxury lifestyle brand of the MSC Group, has announced up to six vessels, with Explora II scheduled for summer 2024.
August 2023 will see the inaugural sail of Norwegian Viva, second out of six Project Leonardo-class ships in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet; Silversea Cruises Silver Nova, Emerald Cruises Sakara and Seabourn Pursuit.
“Seabourn Pursuit is designed and built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards and includes modern hardware and technology perfect for expedition cruising. The vessel will carry two custom-built submarines, 24 Zodiacs, kayaks and a 26-person expert expedition team whose role is to engage guests throughout each voyage,” Lakshmi Durai, CEO, Cruisexplore, tells us.
“Seabourn Pursuit will carry two custom-built submarines, 24 Zodiacs, kayaks and a 26-person expert expedition team whose role is to engage guests throughout each voyage”
- Lakshmi Durai
Regent Seven Seas Cruises is set to debut Seven Seas Grandeur in November this year, followed by Carnival Cruise Line’s Jubilee, Celebrity Cruises Ascent and Virgin Cruise Line’s Brilliant Lady all scheduled to debut this December.
Come next year, Royal Caribbean International’s Icon of the Seas will welcome passengers in January – the first in the all-new Icon class of ships and will feature more than 15 nightlife and restaurant venues. “Royal Caribbean saw its single largest booking day in its 53-year history when reservations opened for the Icon of the Seas, so the interest levels are high indeed for this grand debut,” says Mohamed Saeed, Managing Director, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara & Silversea Cruises – Middle East. “The vessel has just under 40 categories of cabins, with 14 of them new to the cruise line,” he adds.
“Royal Caribbean saw its single largest booking day in its 53-year history when reservations opened for the Icon of the Seas, so the interest levels are high indeed”
- Mohamed Saeed
Sun Princess by Princess Cruises will enter the seas on February 2024, the first in an all-new class of ship for the cruise line. While it will have most of the line’s popular signature spaces such as the next-level, brand-iconic Piazza, it will debut some never-before-seen spaces on the cruise line such as The Dome, a geodesic entertainment venue; and a three-story Horizons Dining Room. It will also be the first Princess ship to have a separate suites-only complex, adding to the cruise line’s premium offerings,” says Ashok Kumar, Founder and Managing Director, Cruise Master, GSA for Princess Cruises, Cunard, and P&O Cruises UK, in the region.
Cunard will launch its fourth queen – its first new ship in over a decade – when Queen Anne debuts this May 2024. The vessel is expected to have a completely redesigned interior mixing Cunard’s traditional feel with a contemporary aesthetic. “Queen Anne will have a new wellness and beauty concept – a first for Cunard – which will feature a wellness studio and a private spa suite, fitness and spa facilities,” says Ashok Kumar.
“Queen Anne will have a new wellness and beauty concept – a first for Cunard – which will feature a wellness studio and a private spa suite, fitness and spa facilities”
- Ashok Kumar
Silver Ray by Silversea Cruises, scheduled for a June 2024 debut, will be the second in an all-new class of ship for the cruise line. It will feature the line’s largest selection of restaurants, bars and suite categories, and at 728 guest capacity (double occupancy), it will boast a crew-to-guest ratio of 1 to 1.3. “Silver Ray will spend its maiden season in the Mediterranean from June to December 2024 – we expect a lot of interest for this product from our region,” Mohamed Saeed tells us.
Another Royal Caribbean International extravaganza with a guest capacity of about 5,650, Utopia of the Seas will be revealed in July 2024. The LNG-powered Utopia of the Seas will be the sixth ship in the line’s Oasis class and is being promoted as a weekend getaway for three-to-four-night sailings in Florida, with over 40 options to wine, dine and party.Explora II by brand-new cruise line Explora Journeys will be ready for guests by August 2024. With a guest capacity of 922 (double occupancy) its maiden season includes The Mediterranean, Middle East, India, the Indian Ocean and Africa.