The launch of any new cruise ship is exciting news for those in the industry. It not only means the unveiling of exciting new features and modern technology but also recruitment and employment opportunities across the board. Here are a few ships that have caught our eye this year.
Following the launch of Viking Octantis in January, the Polaris is the cruise line’s second expedition cruise ship setting course for the edges of the earth. These are the first polar class ships by Viking and feature spaces specifically designed for expedition cruising.
This includes an in-ship marina to shield researchers and guests from the wind and waves when getting in and out of its Zodiacs, inflatables and Arctic kayaks; a laboratory that offers guests supervised access to learn from and participate in real-time research; a sunroom in every cabin that transforms into a viewing platform; and two six-guest submarines with 270-degree spherical windows.
Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyages followed the debut of Scarlet Lady last year with the Valiant Lady in March and the upcoming Resilient Lady in August. All three feature the same specs and layout, with an incredible variety of offerings for its size.
Giant dining halls have been replaced with smaller, unique spaces while guest beds in staterooms turn into couches for the day. As with Virgin’s Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady, the new 110,000 GT ship only permits adults. It offers dining in the cruise fare as well as three fitness zones and a wide selection of bars and interactive entertainment.
The company spent the pandemic working on brand investment and innovation, preparing to launch its Prima Class in a couple of months. Reports suggest the 142,500 GT ship will offer the highest staff level, the largest variety of suite categories, and the most outdoor deck space of any new cruise ship.
Guests can expect a three-level go-karting racetrack, a 10-storey freefall dry slide, a glass-bottomed bridge, a virtual gaming complex with two escape rooms, a tidal wave inner tube water slide, and a part Broadway-style theatre, part Vegas-style nightclub as its main entertainment space. The Food Hall features a new concept with separate sit-down venues, each offering a distinctive cuisine style.
WONDER OF THE SEAS
This is the largest ship in the world, housing 6988 passengers, featuring a Suite Class Neighbourhood accessible only by keycard with an exclusive restaurant, elevated sun deck, separate plunge pool and bar. It also boasts Royal Caribbean’s newest concept – a cantilevered pool bar, as well as offerings that are staple on vessels run by the company – FlowRider, Ultimate Abyss, Perfect Storm water slides and more.
With its maiden voyage setting course for the Bahamas and Disney’s private island Castaway Cay, the Wish is highly anticipated with theatrical dining experiences, a first-ever Disney immersive water attraction at sea and Broadway-style shows of classic Disney stories. The 144,000 GT cruise ship offers indoor experiences driven by technology with mobile phone-based multidimensional digital games that bring the ship to life.