Next year promises to be a bumper time for innovative new vessels with features to rival any resort ashore, from private cabanas on deck to luxurious suites, butler service and West End shows. Here’s a look at some of the most recently announced.
Hapag Lloyd Europa 2 – Launches May 2013
The vision for Europa 2 is slightly different to that of her sister ship Europa and the philosophy is for a blend of casual elegance combined with
the latest technology, catering to a sophisticated, international and cosmopolitan audience. The ship will focus less on the classic cruise formalities and more on creating an atmosphere where each passenger is able to relax surrounded by the very best in service, facilities and design.
Europa 2 will have 11 decks offering the largest space-per-passenger ratio in the cruise industry. All 251 suites will have their own outdoor verandas and some will have whirlpools with ocean views, so guests can unwind in the privacy of their suite. Dining on board will offer diversity and flexibility – there will be eight restaurants to
A seven-night cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona, departing 25 May 2013, starts from £3,188 (approx). Call Hapag Lloyd on 0049 (0) 40 3001 4580 or visit hl-cruises.com/contact-services
Le Soléal – Launches June 2013
Compagnie du Ponant’s newest vessel may be small – only 132 staterooms and suites – but it promises to be as stylish and chic as the rest of the French-owned fleet, with a modern colour scheme combining natural wood with shades of grey and white. Le Soléal will give its 260 passengers the opportunity to discover breathtaking Arctic landscapes, majestic icebergs and the colourful villages of Greenland, glaciers, fjords and blue lagoons, and to explore some extreme destinations.
A seven-day Arctic cruise starts at £1,909 per person, not including flights. For more information or to book, call 0800 980 4027 or visit ponant.com
After a multimillion-dollar renovation, Paul Gauguin’s Tere Moana (previously Le Levant) is set to be unveiled with a new contemporary look.
A seven-night cruise from Barcelona to Rome in April starts at £2,514 per person, based on two people sharing. See pgcruises.com
Following a $155 million makeover Carnival Sunshine (previously Carnival Destiny) promises ‘Fun 2.0’ including a tequila bar and rum bar, an EA Sports bar, the first three deck- high Serenity adults-only retreat (complete with waterfall), and a comedy club.
A seven-night cruise from Barcelona to Venice in April starts at £519 per person. Call 0845 351 0556 or visit carnival.co.uk
Other launches in 2013
Princess Cruises’ newest ship launches in the UK next June (and with a name like that, we’re wondering who might make the perfect godmother?). Highlights include the biggest ever on-board Movies Under The Stars screen, a vast atrium lobby that will form the glittering backdrop to glamorous formal night cocktail parties, an adults-only pool with private cabanas, an evening water-and-light show spectacular and the SeaWalk, an enclosed walkway and bar cantilevered out over the water – with a glass floor.
A 12-night Maiden Mediterranean voyage from Barcelona to Venice, departing June 23, 2013 costs from £1,499 pp, cruise only. Visit princess.com for more info.
The 13th addition to the MSC Cruises fleet completes the company’s flagship MSC Fantasia class. Like her sister ships Preziosa will have the luxurious yacht club and Aurea Spa (winner of the Best for Wellbeing award at this year’s Cruise International Awards). Her official launch will take place in March 2013.
A seven-night Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona to Marseille, Genoa, Naples, Messina and Tunis starts from £449, cruise only. Visit msccruises.co.uk for more info.
Interiors reminiscent of a private yacht, spa suites with private butler and half an acre of living lawn on the top deck on which you can sunbathe with a Pimms, listen to jazz or luxuriate in a private cabana are all hallmarks of Celebrity Cruises’ new ship, Reflection. The ship will sail out of Miami in winter and in the Mediterranean next summer.
A seven-night east Caribbean cruise from Miami to San Juan, Philipsburg and Basseterre (St Kitts) departing March 2, 2013 costs from £1,265pp, including flights. Visit celebritycruises.co.uk for more info.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, Norwegian Breakaway, launches in May with no less than 15 restaurants and eight bars, alongside all manner of evening entertainment, from a circus show to a seagoing version of the hit musical Rock of Ages. With no formal dress code and open-seating dining, as well as fantastic nightlife, Breakaway is a great ship for younger cruisers looking for a more informal holiday.
A seven-night cruise costs from £509pp, round-trip from New York to Florida and Nassau, cruise-only, departing October 11, 2013. Visit breakaway.ncl.co.uk for more info.
Launching in May 2013 and boasting some of the largest staterooms available on Europe’s rivers, Avalon’s Artistry II has two full decks of suites with wall-to-wall panoramic windows that create unique Open-Air Balconies. Staterooms are chic and luxurious, and there’s also an open-air bistro on the Sky Deck so you can dine al fresco while you admire the stunning architecture around you.
An eight-day Romantic Rhine Cruise to Cologne, Koblenz and Strasbourg, starts from £1749 per person. For more info see avaloncruises.co.uk.
Carnival Cruise Lines have announced they’re going to be building two new vessels – a Carnival ship with capacity for 4,000 passengers, launching in winter 2016, and a new ship for Holland America, with the capacity for 2,660 passengers, launching in autumn 2015.
Royal Caribbean has two ships due to be delivered in 2014 and 2015, and has announced it’s in negotiations for a third Oasis Class ship to be delivered by 2016. Meanwhile P&O’s new £340 million ship is due to launch in March 2015, with capacity for 3,611 passengers.