7 cruise developments to get excited about
From new vessels to unmissable itineraries, we share the latest cruise developments to get excited about.
1. Making a name for itself
Naming a new ship is always a challenge, but Quark Expeditions has come up with a beauty for its new polar expedition ship launching late in 2020. The technologically advanced vessel will be christened Ultramarine – meaning ‘beyond the sea’ and playing on the extraordinary colours of the waters in the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions where the new vessel will sail. Combining leading-edge technology and safety systems, Ultramarine will offer two twinengine helicopters and dual helidecks.
2. Float your boat
A market leader in self-drive boating holidays on the beautiful rivers and canals of Europe and Canada, Le Boat is offering an ‘early-bird’ booking special on its 2020 bookings. Book before 30 November and you’ll save up to 20 per cent on prices for all Le Boat destinations and departure dates next year. The company has the world’s largest fleet of self-drive boats, the widest choice of destinations to choose from and more than 50 years of experience creating memorable holidays.
3. A Uniworld of choice
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection will expand its presence in Egypt, Portugal, Italy, Vietnam and Cambodia with the launch of four new ships in 2020. S.S. Sphinx, S.S. São Gabriel, S.S. La Venezia and Mekong Jewel will set the benchmark in all-inclusive river cruising on the Nile, Douro, Venetian Lagoon and Mekong, offering guests an array of suites, dining venues, luxury finishes and exemplary service. The new river cruisers will complement the transformations and launches of S.S. Joie de Vivre, The B, S.S. Beatrice, The A, S.S. Bon Voyage and Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer.
4. In seventh heaven
Guests are in for a treat when Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Splendor embarks on her inaugural 2020 cruise season with the launch of 65 unique shore excursions across Europe that are exclusive to the all-inclusive ship. The excursions are designed to create exciting, deep learning and culturally enriching experiences from historic villages to musical performances, wine estates, art exhibitions and electric-bike rides through vineyards, among others.
5. Full steam ahead
The cruise world seems to know no bounds with the announcement that MSC Cruises and Italy’s Fincantieri shipyards have signed final contracts for the construction of four new luxury cruise ships. The AU$3.2 billion order calls for the first of the four ships to be delivered by spring 2023, with the remaining three coming into service one each year through to 2026. MSC says each ship will feature 481 suites with a cutting-edge design aimed at maximising guest comfort and relaxation.
6. The sparkle of crystal
Crystal Cruises has released a 15-night voyage from Hong Kong in March 2020 on board Crystal Symphony, taking in some of the most exciting cities in northern Asia. The cruise will visit Kagoshima, voted the ‘friendliest city’ in Japan; Tokyo to experience its pre-Olympics energy; and Shanghai with its soaring urban skyline. This sailing is one of 30 voyages in the 30th Anniversary Collection that will enjoy exclusive savings, shipboard events and commemorative gifts.
7. First among equals
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ award-winning Europa 2 has released its 2020/2021 cruise season, featuring a voyage along Australia’s beautiful West Coast for the first time. The cruise departs Melbourne on 6 January 2021, and sails for Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Albany, Busselton (for the Margaret River wine region), Fremantle (for Perth), and north to Geraldton and Exmouth, before arriving in Bali on 22 January. Other global cruise destinations in the season include the Mediterranean, western and northern Europe, the Caribbean, Oceania, Asia and across the Indian Ocean to Africa, with themed formats covering fashion, art, sport and music.