With new orders recently placed by lines such as MSC and Royal Caribbean International, and with several other headline vessels nearing completion in various yards, I thought that now might be a good time to recap on what is actually coming down the line in the way of new builds.
This list does not claim to be exhaustive, or one hundred per cent complete. It is more by way of a ‘heads up’ than anything else.
MSC has a pair of new, 160, 000 ton ships of a completely new design on order from STX France. Meanwhile, rumours continue to surface that the Italian company is also about to place an order for another pair of similar sized vessels with Italian favourite, Fincantieri.
Meanwhile, the rival Costa Cruises will take delivery of the Costa Diadema from the same yard this October. The ship- the largest ever built for Costa- will be christened in Genoa on November 1st this year, before embarking on a season of year round, seven night Mediterranean cruises.
At the same time, the astonishing forward momentum of Royal Caribbean International received another boost with the announcement of orders for not one, but two more of the game changing Oasis class cruise ships- the largest the world has ever seen- from STX France. This, in addition to the looming October inauguration of the brand new, first of class Quantum Of The Seas (China bound in 2015) and her sister, Anthem Of The Seas, slated for delivery in the spring of 2015.
Meanwhile, over at the rival Carnival Cruise Lines, the 135,000 ton Carnival Vista is slated for delivery in the winter of 2016. A one off, stand alone ship (so far), this new vessel is not a repeat of the highly successful Dream class ships, but will no doubt be heavily influenced by those vessels.
Also due next year is the new, P&O Cruises contestant, Britannia. This ship-currently taking shape at Fincantieri, Italy- is built on the same platform as the Royal Princess and her sibling, the imminent Regal Princess.
Sticking with the Carnival stable, Holland America Line will take delivery of its largest ever ship, a 100,000 ton new design known as Pinnacle Class, in the spring of 2016.
Meanwhile, the rival Norwegian Cruise Line is looking forward to next year’s delivery from Meyer Werft of Papenburg of the ‘improved Breakaway class’ new build, Norwegian Escape. A second of class- the Norwegian Bliss- is scheduled to arrive on the circuit in 2017.
Meyer Werft is also creating a pair of similar, 150,000 ton sister ships for Asian affiliate, Star Cruises, the first new builds for that line since 1998. While details are scarce and no names have been confirmed, it seems that these two ships will be built on a very similar design to the Breakaway class.
This is a seemingly endless liturgy of big ships, but there are other new ships coming that offer a more human scale, too. Most eagerly awaited is next year’s Viking Star, the first ocean going new build fo river giant, Viking Cruises. The 47,600 ton ship draws a deliberate bead on high end, traditional luxury cruising and, with two sister ships- Viking Star and Viking Sea- now also confirmed. this line is definitely going to be one to watch.
In the realm of the sybaritic, Seabourn is one of the most illustrious names. The deluxe line has a fourth ship on order, an enhanced version of the successful Odyssey class, slated for delivery from Fincantieri in the second half of 2016. This new ship will be approximately twenty five per cent larger than her siblings, and will feature one more deck.
Meanwhile, the much bruited Regent Seven Seas new build, Seven Seas Explorer, is now a certainty, too. Another entrant in the all suite, all inclusive de luxe market, this stunning new ship is also being built by the always busy Fincantieri, and is scheduled to debut in the summer of 2016. With all suite accommodation for 738 guests, she will be similar in size to the recently refurbished, hugely popular near sisters, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Voyager.
And lastly for now, but by no means least, Ponant will take delivery next year of a fourth of class vessel, the 10,000 ton, French flagged Le Lyrial. The line is also going all inclusive for the 2015 season.
So, there you have it; quite a roster. And proof, as if proof is needed, that the cruise market is still tremendously buoyant world wide. Happy sailing!
As ever, stay tuned for updates.