The most intriguing cruise ships debuting this year
By Andrea Zelinski from Travel Weekly, 2 May 2023
As someone whose travel calendar is dictated by the release of new ships, the next few months are looking busy.
That’s particularly true of several highly anticipated ships coming out between now and August. I’m talking about first-of-its-class vessels, major ship makeovers and the first ship for a new brand.
Here’s a quick guide to the most intriguing vessels debuting over the next few months.
Oceania Vista: New Ship, New Class
Oceania is about to debut its first new ship in more than ten years. The Vista is the first in the line’s two-ship Allura class. At 1,200 passengers, it will include 12 dining options, including four new concepts. The ship will also have eight bars, lounges and entertainment venues, including the new Casino Mixology Bar.
If the fact that the ship is the first in a decade wasn’t enough, the ship’s arrival comes as the line celebrates its 20th anniversary and bids farewell to Oceania founder Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio, who will retire at the end of June.
Explora I: from Explora Journeys
This 922-passenger Explora I is the first of six from Explora Journeys, a luxury cruise line debuting under the MSC Group umbrella. It has the capability to use hydrogen or liquefied natural gas, following MSC’s pattern of focusing much of its energy on making its ships more environmentally friendly.
Explora I will include 18 food and beverage venues, including the Malt Whisky Bar that will serve rare whiskies, and butler service available around the clock for all Ocean Residences. As a finishing touch, Steinway pianos will self-play in lounges, with technology that Steinway says more closely replicates the pressure live musicians use when pressing the keys. The ship, which was originally expected out in May, will take its maiden cruise from England on 17 July to Trondheim, Norway.
Crystal Serenity: Reborn Under A&K Travel Group
One of two ocean ships acquired by A&K Travel Group after the demise of the original Crystal Cruises, the Crystal Serenity is undergoing major renovations ahead of its relaunch. Staterooms are being made larger to modernize the accommodations, offer more space and reduce this ship’s overall capacity by more than 20%.
The spa and gym are also being revamped, and pickleball courts are being added. Common areas will have new carpeting, drapes, upholstery and upgraded furniture. The Serenity will debut on 31 July with a 12-day voyage out of Marseille, France, to Lisbon, Portugal. Its sister ship, the Symphony, is undergoing a similar makeover and will debut in September.
Silver Nova: a New Class for Silversea
The first-of-its-class Silver Nova will debut in August. The Silversea ship design zags where others zig by incorporating an asymmetrical layout, including a unique “U”-shaped pool that offers unobstructed views. Silversea also introduces new concepts, including an evening-only venue called The Shelter for pre- and post-dinner cocktails. The 728-guest ship will have 10 bars and lounges and eight restaurants.
The ship was built to use hybrid power by relying on liquefied natural gas as its main fuel and supplementing with a fuel cell system and batteries. The Nova will debut in August with sailings in the Med.
These ships are beautiful with interesting design features and great itineraries, so let us know if you’d like more information. We look forward to helping you plan your next wonderful cruise 😊.
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