After a bit of a lull, when some of the major cruise lines decided to take stock or update their current fleet and not build anything new, in the past couple of years we’ve heard of a whole range of brand new cruise ships launching now and in the next few years. Some of them we’ve seen already, with the launch of the Norwegian Breakaway and Royal Princess in recent months standing out.
There are still many ships due to launch in the next few years, so here I’ve picked out five that I personally can’t wait to see. Some we know quite a lot about, some have just been announced even without a name, but they all offer intrigue and excitement as the cruise industry continues to go from strength to strength.
#1 Quantum of the Seas – Royal Caribbean – expected November 2014
The newest class of ship from Royal Caribbean was first announced back in 2011, but it wasn’t until 2013 that we learned any concrete details, when the names of the class and of the first two ships were revealed. Some of the details are really fascinating, such as the NorthStar observation pod that extends on an arm to get to up to 300 feet above sea level, for some stunning views. Other firsts that the ship will introduce are a skydiving simulator named ‘Ripcord by iFLY’ and dodgems. Also every interior stateroom will have an 80-inch HD screen on the wall acting as a virtual balcony, with a live stream from outside the ship.
#2 Unknown Oasis Class – Royal Caribbean – expected summer 2016
Since 2009 when the Oasis of the Seas launched and then with the launch of sister ship Allure of the Seas in 2010, the Oasis Class ships have stood proud as the largest ships at sea by far, packed with an absolute wealth of on-board features. So the announcement at the end of 2012 that the third Oasis Class ship, as yet unnamed, had been ordered and was expected to launch in 2016, with the option of a fourth in 2018, made everyone sit up and take notice. Nothing’s confirmed yet as to what is on-board but it’ll probably be similar to the Oasis and Allure, with maybe a few new touches. Whatever happens it’ll be great having another fun-filled and awe-inspiring behemoth on the seas.
#3 First ‘Breakaway Plus’ – Norwegian Cruise Line – expected October 2015
The launch of the Norwegian Breakaway this year was a huge success, with feedback being overwhelmingly positive on the new modern features and facilities. So when the first of the ‘Breakaway Plus’ ships launches in 2015, taking inspiration from the Breakaway’s design but going bigger to create a new biggest-in-fleet ship, is something that people are bound to love.
#4 and #5 – Unnamed ships – P&O Cruises and Carnival Cruise Lines – 2015/2016 respectively
These are the two ships we’ve the least information about so far, just knowing the expected size. The most recent ship from P&O was the Azura, built in 2010, while Carnival did launch the Carnival Breeze in 2012, but these new ships have plenty to get excited about. They will both become the biggest ships in their respective fleets, particularly the new P&O ship which will be around 20% bigger than the current largest, the Ventura. The only details we know are that Richmond International, renowned British hotel designers, are involved. These will both be worth keeping an eye on over the coming years on the build up to launch.
By Ian Lewis