It’s always an exciting moment when a new ship launches. Personally, I love to see how brands and companies evolve their product over time, and now is no exception with so many new ships and concepts coming forward.
With the Coronavirus Pandemic a number of ships were launched in 2020 which have never had any passengers on. So, for that reason, I’ve included them within this broader list. So, here’s the most anticipated cruise ships launching in 2021.
Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Apex was originally due to launch in April 2020. The sister to Celebrity Edge, she brings all the innovation and luxury that we have grown to expect with Edge and Celebrity Cruises. She will have a few new features, including a whole host of exciting new entertainment, a new menu at Le Petit Chef specialty restaurant and a new bar, the Craft Social Bar.
I was lucky enough to visit Celebrity Apex when she was nearing completion and she will be well-worth the wait. You can read about my time on board here and I will hopefully be joining her for some much-needed R&R later in 2021.
Scarlet and Valiant Lady, Virgin Voyages
Ok, so Scarlet Lady technically launched in 2020 just before the pandemic, but she has never officially had any guests on board, so her true debut will be in 2021. Similarly, her sister, Valiant Lady, is undergoing final touches in the shipyard in Italy and will join Scarlet later this year.
You can read all about my time on board Scarlet Lady here. Overall, I was really intrigued by the product they are creating, and I would definitely sail on her. Virgin wanted to design a ship that turned cruising on its head, and boy does she do that, with a different approach to entertainment, a striking design both inside and out and other benefits such as all-inclusive food.
Spirit of Adventure, Saga
Originally to debut in 2020, Spirit of Adventure is the sister to Spirit of Discovery. Providing a small-ship experience, including for single travelers, she will feature many of the same features as Discovery, but with a couple of new twists, including the first Nepalese restaurant at sea.
Viking Venus, Viking
The seventh ship in this successful class of ocean-going vessels, Venus will be identical to her sisters and offer a variety of cruises including initially around Norway and Scandinavia. For me, the design of Viking ships really sets the bar for design and approach to small-ship cruising. Her Godmother is famous UK journalist and broadcaster, Anne Diamond.
Iona, P&O Cruises
Iona will be a game-changer for the UK cruise market. Building on a wider successful design by parent company, Carnival, Iona adds the classic British flair that P&O are known for. She will be the biggest ship specifically built for the UK, and will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), making it one of the greenest cruise ships afloat. Another first for the line will be the half mile promenade featuring al-fresco dining, indoor and outdoor pools, a large three-story atrium and 17 reimagined restaurants on board.
Enchanted and Discovery Princess, Princess Cruises
The fourth sister in Princess Cruises’ Royal Class of ships, Enchanted Princess is also the second ship in the Princess fleet to be built from the ground up with Ocean Medallion technology (you can read my review here). With an updated design inside and out, some of the largest suites at sea and the various amenities Princess is known for – she is one to watch. A further sister, Discovery Princess, should debut towards the end of 2021 and will be the fifth and final Royal Class ship for Princess – All being well, I’ll be joining Discovery in 2022 in California.
Mardi Gras, Carnival Cruise Line
The newest ship in the Carnival fleet is named after their very first ship, but that’s perhaps where the similarities end. In fact, Mardi Gras technically more in common with Iona above than other ships, as they are based off of the same design and will also be powered by LNG. Similar to Iona and her market, Mardi Gras focusses on American family cruising. She will be the biggest Carnival ship, typically accommodating 5,200 guests and will feature a number of distinct areas on board, not to mention the first true roller coaster at sea, BOLT, as well as all the fun ship features that Carnival guests expect.
Odyssey of the Seas, Royal Caribbean international
Odyssey represents another evolution of Royal Caribbean’s successful Quantum Class of ships. She will feature many of the features we’ve grown to expect on board including the Two70 aft-facing theatre, Music Hall, the robotic bartenders at the Bionic Bar and the various specialty restaurants the lines’ known for. But she is an evolution, and she will feature a number of different features including a reimagined tropical-inspired open pool deck, a larger SeaPlex indoor sports area, complete with Playmakers Sports Bar, and other new features. Perfect for sailing the warmer climates of the Caribbean or Mediterranean.
MSC Virtuosa, MSC Cruises
MSC Virtuosa is the fourth ship in Meraviglia Class of ships. She includes on board shows by Cirque du Soleil show and a 111-meter-long indoor promenade with a LED screen, numerous restaurants, bars and shops. Being family focussed, the ship also features a large indoor amusement park (including bowling, F1 and other simulators, two large theatres and an outdoor water park.
Silver Moon, Silversea
Silver Moon is the sister to Silver Muse. While she is similar, many of the interior features have been rearranged from feedback from Muse and will be one of the most luxurious ships at sea. The Spa on board has also been expanded.
Rotterdam, Holland America Line
Rotterdam will be Holland America’s third Pinnacle Class ship, building on the successful Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam. She will feature many of the same new features, most notably an incredible music offering on board, including B.B. King’s Blues Club, Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard Onboard.
So, which ship(s) can you see yourself sailing on in the coming years? Let me know in the comments and on social media.