A Year of New Ships
As you travel to different port cities over the next year or two, you might start noticing a few unfamiliar faces docked in the harbors. Don’t worry, you’re probably not alone! At the rate that cruise lines are building new ships, it’s a real challenge to keep up with the latest and greatest arrivals at sea. The trend continues in 2015, as cruise lines will continue to expand their fleets by building even more innovative cruise ships.
Continue below for a guide to some of the most highly anticipated new cruise ships on the horizon, all of which are now available to book!
Anthem of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)
Christening Date: April 2015
Passenger Capacity: 4,180
Royal Caribbean’s latest ship, Anthem of the Seas, makes her grand debut in about two months, and we couldn’t be more excited. She’ll feature many of the high-tech industry firsts that appeared on her sister ship, Quantum of the Seas, in 2014. Some of the revolutionary highlights include a bar operated by robots, a skydiving simulator, “virtual balcony” staterooms, food trucks (at sea!) and mesmerizing video shows, among others.
The Anthem of the Seas’ will also feature many of Royal Caribbean’s typical crowd-pleasing activities and public spaces, including a 30-foot rock climbing wall, FlowRider surfing simulator and H20 Zone water park. The Anthem of the Seas will also continue Royal Caribbean’s long standing tradition of booking top-tier live entertainment with the We Will Rock You musical tribute to Queen.
- The North Star: a large mechanical arm that lifts passengers skyward in a jewel-shaped capsule. The capsule’s arm can extend out over the side of the ship for unique ocean views.
- Ripcord by iFly: a skydiving simulator that allows guests to step into a simulated free-fall to experience the thrill of flying within a clear chamber located at the ship’s rear!
- SeaPlex: a unique multi-use area that can transition between a lively roller skating rink, a basketball court, a family-friendly Circus School and a fast-paced bumper cars arena. The SeaPlex also features a “floating” DJ platform to help you pump up the jam.
- Two70: a revolutionary entertainment space with massive floor-to-ceiling windows spanning three decks at the ship’s stern. During the day you’ll find a gourmet cafe with a library, enrichment classes and engaging lectures. At night, Two70 transforms into a dazzling entertainment venue with 100” video monitors and jaw-dropping aerialists performances.
- Virtual Balconies: even interior staterooms provide ocean views with Anthem of the Seas’ virtual balconies, which feature 80” wall-mounted TV monitors displaying live feeds of the ship’s surroundings.
When she debuts in April 2015, the Anthem of the Seas will sail to the Mediterranean. After a full season in Europe, she’ll relocate to Cape Liberty, NJ in November 2015 to begin Caribbean itineraries. The Anthem of the Seas is now available to book; contact our experts at 1-800-377-9383 to become one of the firsts to experience this grand ship.
Viking Star (Viking Oceans)
Christening Date: May 2015
Passenger Capacity: 928
In May of 2015, Viking Cruises will bring their popular river cruising recipe to the ocean with the launch of Viking Oceans and the line’s first ocean cruise ship, the Viking Star. The Viking Oceans experience is designed to bring the line’s destination-centric attitude to the high seas, and the veranda-only Viking Star does this in style. Meals prepared aboard the Viking Star will include fresh locally-sourced produce, which further enhances the cultural enrichment for Viking’s guests.
The 928-passenger Viking Star also maintains an intimate, exclusive feel – while still featuring adequate public spaces to stimulate engaging conversation and social activities. These public spaces will often be filled with guest speakers or entertainers delighting cruisers with history and stories about upcoming destinations. Plus, because of her smaller size, the Viking Star will be able to access smaller ports of call, and she’ll often spend more time in each.
With Viking Oceans’ focus on destinations comes an increased respect for the earth, and a greater attention to the Viking Star’s environmental impact. Not only does the Viking Star utilize hybrid engines, she’s been specially designed for increased fuel efficiency and lower emission cruising.
- Aquavit Terrace: an indoor/outdoor dining venue that transforms from closed to open-air with the push of a button.
- Onboard Pools: the Viking Star’s Main Pool will feature a glass mechanical roof that retracts on sunny days and closes during inclement weather. Cantilevered off the ship’s stern is one of only a few infinity pools at sea.
- Explorers’ Lounge: a two-deck venue atop the Viking Star that offers panoramic views of surrounding destinations. Guests can gather here within the floor-to-ceiling windows to recount tales of their daily land-based adventures.
- Wintergarden: a truly one-of-a-kind relaxation space where guests can enjoy teas and light snacks while listening to a live harpist. This modern retreat features a wooden canopy that blends with the overhead skylights to let in a perfectly soothing amount of the sun’s rays.
- Snow Grotto: a cool Nordic-inspired spa experience where snowflakes fall gently from the lounge’s ceiling. The room’s cold therapy stimulates guests’ circulatory systems, which is perfect before relaxing in the sauna.
When the Viking Star launches in May, she’ll sail a variety of immersive Northern European and Mediterranean itineraries. The Viking Star is now available to book; contact our river cruise experts at 1-800-377-9383 to experience Viking’s first ocean cruise ship.
Norwegian Escape (Norwegian Cruise Line)
Christening Date: October 2015
Passenger Capacity: 4,200
Norwegian Cruise Line’s next state-of-the-art wonder, the Norwegian Escape, will debut in the fall of 2015. The Norwegian Escape is part of the line’s Breakaway “Plus” Class and will be Norwegian Cruise Line’s largest cruise ship at over 163,000 tons. And don’t worry, all that space isn’t going to waste! The Norwegian Escape will feature the line’s largest water park and largest ropes course, complete with three-stories of nearly 100 different components, including a sky rail and two planks extending out over the ship’s side.
Dining and entertainment will be a huge part of cruising aboard the Norwegian Escape. The ship will feature a new dinner show that combines both, called For the Record. This exclusive show will fuse John Hughes’ classic 80’s teen movies with modern cabaret performances. You’ll also find new bars aboard the Escape, including the ever-changing Skyline Bar and the vintage Tobacco Road, which pays homage to the famous Miami bar.
Families will be pleased to know that the cruise line’s popular Nickelodeon-themed activities will continue aboard the Norwegian Escape, so the kids will still enjoy hanging with SpongeBob and Dora the Explorer.
- Margaritaville: a new partnership will bring the first Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville to sea aboard the Norwegian Escape. This casual (and complimentary!) venue captures the artist’s laid-back attitude. This partnership will also include the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar, which will be located on the ship’s indoor/outdoor Waterfront.
- Broadway Entertainment: The Norwegian Escape will debut with two distinct Broadway-style performances: After Midnight, which is a celebration of Harlem jazz, and Million Dollar Quartet, which is inspired by the music of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.
- Aqua Park: the Escape’s impressive water park will contain a separate kids section, two pools and four hot tubs. Central to it all are the water slides, including a new Free Fall slide where the bottom drops out to start an exhilarating descent. A pair of tandem Aqua Racer water slides allows guests to choose their tube and race each other to the bottom.
- Thermal Suite: the ultimate spa experience with a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, salt room and 17 heated loungers. The Norwegian Escape will also feature the line’s first Snow Room, where flurries fall from the ceiling in this uniquely therapeutic climate.
- The Haven: an exclusive 95-suite community of luxury accommodations. Guests within the Haven will receive exclusive access to the private Haven restaurant, lounge, courtyard, pool, sauna and spa. All Haven guests will also receive 24-hour butler service.
- Studio Staterooms: The Norwegian Escape will feature 82 of Norwegian’s popular Studio staterooms designed specifically for solo travelers. Cruisers booking one of the Escape’s Studios will also have access to a private Studio Lounge where they can mingle with fellow guests over complimentary coffees and snacks.
When she launches this October, the Norwegian Escape will be the largest ship based in Miami year-round, from which she’ll sail a variety of Caribbean itineraries. The Norwegian Escape is now available to book; contact one of our experienced consultants at 1-800-377-9383 to sail aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship.
Seven Seas Explorer (Regent Seven Seas Cruises)
Christening Date: July 2016
Passenger Capacity: 750
Great news for luxury cruisers – Regent Seven Seas Cruises is building a new ship, the Seven Seas Explorer, and they’re determined to make her the most luxurious ship ever built. And while she won’t launch until July of 2016, space aboard the Seven Seas Explorer is already filling up so quickly that we wanted to include her on this list. She will only carry 750 passengers per voyage (with almost as many crewmembers), all accommodated in luxurious balcony suites.
The Seven Seas Explorer will be an intimate luxury ship with elegant public spaces, sophisticated suites and unparalleled gourmet dining. You can relax on the beautiful teak-accented Pool Deck while dedicated crewmembers bring cool beverages, or head to the Destination Services within the Atrium to choose from a variety of complimentary shore excursions. All of the Seven Seas Explorer’s plush public spaces are designed to offer guests the utmost comfort, with many also showcasing talented resident musicians who will serenade you throughout the night.
- Canyon Ranch SpaClub: Regent’s luxurious spa offers a wide range of treatments and massages, including aromatherapy, seaweed wraps, facials and more. Guests can also take advantage of various beauty and salon treatments, such as pedicures, manicures and hair styling.
- Fitness Center: Seven Seas Explorer will feature an array of modern fitness equipment – such as a Nautilus machine, free weights, striders, StairMasters, treadmills, Lifecycles and more – all in the name of promoting healthy living and total wellness. Guests can also participate in fitness classes with yoga, aerobics and others popular workouts.
- Unforgettable Entertainment: The tiered cabaret-style Constellation Theater makes sure everyone has a perfect view of the venue’s talented live performers. After enjoying a show at the Constellation Theater, head to the elegant Meridian Lounge to grab a cocktail and mingle over the impressive musical performances of Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ resident artists.
- Fine Dining: Regent Seven Seas has always focused on providing an engaging, thoughtfully planned and totally outstanding dining experience. The Seven Seas Explorer will continue this tradition with Regent’s most popular dining venues – Compass Rose, Prime 7, La Veranda, Sette Mari at La Verana, The Café and Pool Grill – along with two new complimentary specialty restaurants that haven’t yet been revealed.
The Seven Seas Explorer doesn’t launch until the summer of 2016, but space is already limited for cruises during her inaugural Mediterranean cruising season. Contact our luxury cruise experts to learn more about this marvelous new vessel. The Seven Seas Explorer is now available to book; contact our luxury cruise experts at 1-800-377-9383 to experience the world’s most luxurious cruise ship.
As you can guess from reading above, more ships means more options for cruisers, which is a great thing for consumers. Unfortunately, this can also make the cruise planning process even more daunting because there is more information to consider, and more left unknown. This is especially true with brand new ships where you don’t always have the luxury of your own firsthand experiences to guide your decision.
The good news, however, is that The Cruise Web and our preferred cruising partners make it one of our top priorities to provide our cruise consultants with the necessary hands-on experience and training. Our agents and support teams are often the first ones to sail aboard these new ships, and they’re qualified to help you choose the right ship for your personal cruising style. If you have any questions about the ships mentioned above, or anything else cruise-related, contact our cruise experts today at 1-800-377-9383.
Which new ships are you most excited about?