During this festive period, we spend a lot of time looking ahead to 2014: our plans, our goals, and what we can look forward to, and the same applies to cruise lines. But we should also reflect on the success stories and changes in 2013, so we don’t forget where we’ve come from. So we wanted to take a look back at the biggest updates from some of our best cruise lines over the past year.
There’s been a lot going on for Royal Caribbean International in 2013, but in my view the announcement that the Anthem of the Seas will sail from Southampton in 2015 is hard to top. The ship will be one of the major players in the UK cruise market, cementing the great position that Royal Caribbean already enjoys.
Back in August, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines announced the return of the popular Caribbean fly/cruise itinerary. The sailings hadn’t been available for some time, but have now become part of the 2015 brochure with early sales showing great promise. It’s sure to remain a popular option as part of the future selection of cruises.
The ‘solsticization’ of the Celebrity Cruises was completed this year when the Celebrity Constellation went under makeover treatment. The Constellation was the last of the Millennium Class ships to have new features added, in a process which began back in 2010, so now all of these contemporary ships benefit from great modern features.
The biggest change for MSC Cruises was the relocation of one of the newest ships in the fleet, the MSC Divina, to the Caribbean. She now offers year-round sailings in the region, a first for MSC, giving a completely new option of Italian-style cruising around these beautiful islands.
For Princess Cruises, while there is plenty to talk about there’s one stand-out event that we have to mention, and that’s the hugely successful launch of the Royal Princess following a sterling event where godmother HRH The Duchess of Cambridge officially christened the vessel. Her sister, the Regal Princess, will launch next year.
In a similar vein, earlier in the year Norwegian Cruise Line welcomed the New York-themed Norwegian Breakaway to the fleet. It’s another ship that offers great freestyle cruising, and will shortly be joined by her sister ship the Norwegian Getaway.
And when speaking of new ships, the keel was laid for the newest addition to the P&O Cruises fleet, set to launch in 2015. We also found out that she would be called the P&O Britannia. She’s certainly one to be excited about, and we can’t wait for more details in 2014.
Holland America Line celebrated its 140th anniversary this year, with the interesting touch of the development of a unique tulip, dedicated to the cruise line. We’ve got some, so look out for our updates in future as we plant our bulbs and grow our own authentic Holland America Line tulips.
Finally, staying on the subject of anniversaries, it was announced this year that, for the 2015 celebration of Cunard Line’s 175th year, all three ships in the fleet will rendezvous in Liverpool, and the Queen Mary 2 will recreate the original 1840 Atlantic crossing of the Britannia from the city to Boston via Halifax.
It’s been quite the eventful year, but here’s to a fantastic 2014 in the world of cruise!