Navigating 2024: Newbuilds Ahoy!

A fleet of newbuilds will sail into 2024, each ship promising new high-water marks in innovation, luxury, and adventure. Here’s an overview of what we’re looking forward to sailing.

Royal Caribbean takes center stage in January with the much-anticipated debut of Icon of the Seas. This 7,600-passenger marvel already boasts record-breaking sales. Adrenaline junkies will be drawn to Thrill Island, a waterpark with slides and an over-the-water obstacle course. Meanwhile, Chill Island offers a laid-back haven with four pools, including Royal’s first swim-up bar, Swim & Tonic.

In February, Princess Cruises introduces Sun Princess, the first of its Sphere-class ships. With a capacity of 4,300 passengers, this vessel promises a family-friendly experience with the introduction of Park19, featuring the first-ever rollglider at sea. The ship also unveils Signature Collection and Reserve Collection suites, each with its own set of exclusive perks.

Early April will see Avalon Alegria bring Avalon Waterways’ intimate river-cruise experience to Portugal’s Douro River. The 102-passenger ship will feature 37 of the line’s signature Panorama Suites on two full decks, with open-air balconies and beds facing the river.

Cunard unveils Queen Anne, its first newbuild in more than 12 years, in May 2024. Partnering with two-Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux,  the new ship introduces revamped dining experiences at the Queens Grill and the Golden Lion pub, and the innovative specialty restaurants Aji Wa, Aranya, and Sir Samuels promise a gastronomic journey on the high seas.

TUI brand Marella Cruises will add the 4,000-passenger Marella Voyager to the fleet in June 2024. That month, American Cruise Lines introduces the first of two brand new catamarans, American Liberty, which will be joined by American Legend in November. These unusual, all-balcony, 100-passenger ships are designed for coastal waters, exploring locations such as Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and the Florida Keys.

In July 2024, Silversea unveils the second of its Nova-class ships, Silver Ray. An asymmetrical design is meant to maximize ocean views, with the Otium Suite boasting an unprecedented 270-degree view. The Otium Spa offers wellness as an indulgence, while the popular S.A.L.T. Lab, relocated (as on Silver Nova) to Deck 10, offers a 14-course tasting menu for culinary enthusiasts. 

Following a successful launch in 2023, new line Explora Journeys introduces its second luxury ship, Explora II, in August 2024. With a focus on upscale destination experiences, the ship offers a stunning lobby bar, gorgeous pools, and a variety of dining options, including an unlimited raw bar in the Emporium Marketplace. Families are welcomed, a rare offering in the luxury cruise market.

On September 19, the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection welcomes Ilma, a 456-passenger ship that’s larger than its predecessor, Evrima, but still maintains a luxury-minded crew-to-passenger ratio, creating an indulgent yacht atmosphere that includes fine dining options and an expanded marina area. 

In November, AmaWaterways launches AmaMagdalena on Colombia’s Magdalena River, a relatively new cruising region. The line will also expand its presence on the Nile in March with AmaLilia, offering unique itineraries and a pre-cruise stay in Cairo.

With an inaugural on December 12, Viking Vela will mark a slight departure from the familiar Viking Ocean fleet. Carrying 998 passengers, this larger ship will offer additional cabins and storage space while maintaining Viking’s lauded Scandinavian design and inclusive dining options.

In December, Disney Treasure, a sister ship to Disney Wish, enchants fans with an Aladdin theme and a focus on adventure. The interactive restaurant Plaza de Coco and Zootopia-inspired Jumbeaux’s Sweet Shop add a touch of Disney magic, as do themed cafes named after animated heroines Moana and Mulan and the new AquaMouse water slide. 

As the year unfolds, these newbuilds promise new cruising experiences, blending innovation, luxury, and exploration. Whether you seek thrilling adventures, family-friendly escapades, or refined elegance, 2024 sparkles with a sea of choices for every discerning traveler. Bon voyage! 

By Porthole Cruise and Travel


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