Seven new ocean-going cruise ships will be christened in 2016, and if you lined them all up in one port, it would take some 19,000 people to fill every berth. Among the vessels are three mega-ships and four mid-sized ships, including one that some industry insiders say will be the most luxurious ship ever built. That would be Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer – the one with the nearly 3,000 square foot Regent Suite that will run $5,000 per person, per night.
With more than 22 million people cruising worldwide each year, the cruise industry will invest $25 billion to launch 55 new ships between now and 2020, according to Cruise Lines International Association, the marketing and regulatory arm of the industry.
Here’s a round-up of the ships to come, listed in order of expected launch dates:
Viking Ocean Cruises’ Viking Sea
Maiden voyage: April 3
This ship will be the second in the fleet of this new company, which is a sister brand to Viking River Cruises, and its blue-water ships are being crafted with some of the same design ideas as its river ships, such as Scandinavian decor. It also has migrated its inclusive policies, with cruise fares covering beverages, excursions and internet access.
Holland America Line’s Koningsdam
Maiden voyage: April 8
Look for Holland America to continue its tradition of offering the popular Culinary Arts Center on this ship, which will also feature ocean view cabins designed for families– a first for the line. And, a new French seafood restaurant will debut.
Royal Caribbean International’s Ovation of the Seas
Maiden voyage: April 17
This sister ship to Royal’s Quantum and Anthem of the Seas will offer adventure features like the RipCord by iFly, the skydive simulator and the North Star, a glass capsule that gives passengers a view 300 feet above sea level. But Ovation is bound for the China market, and will make its debut there.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Vista
Maiden voyage: May 1
This ship, which will be the biggest in the fleet when it debuts, will have a bunch of “firsts:” a brewery at sea, an IMAX theater and an open-air SkyRide, but it also will feature several very popular Fun Ship favorites, like Guy’s Burger Joint, the Alchemy Bar, the Punchliner Comedy Club and the BlueIguana Cantina and RedFrog Rum Bar.
Royal Caribbean International’s Harmony of the Seas
Maiden voyage: June 12
Always thinking big, Royal’s new Harmony will be a tad larger than the two biggest ships at sea today — its Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. This ship also will have Royal’s first waterslides.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer
Maiden voyage: July 20
Along with the opulent Regent Suite mentioned above, this ship will have spacious suites in all categories. The Seven Seas Suites, for instance, will offer up to 655 square feet of living space. Also, two new restaurants will launch on Seven Seas Explorer, Pacific Rim, a Pan-Asian venue, and Chartreuse, offering French cuisine.
Seabourn’s Seabourn Encore
Maiden voyage: Dec. 4
Modeled on the line’s Odyssey-class ships and designed by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, this all-suite ship will have one additional deck, expanded public areas and a private deck with every stateroom.