Bigger and better seems to be the mantra for most cruise companies heading into next year.
And this healthy dose of competition spells good news for travellers with each ship seemingly more extravagant than the last.
AMBIENCE: BEST OF BRITISH
Travel in style: Ambassador’s newly refurbished liner Ambience will set sail from London Tilbury next year
New British cruise line Ambassador enters the market next April with a newly refurbished ship, Ambience. Sailing from London Tilbury to the Baltic, Black Sea, the Med and Norwegian Fjords, Ambience is primarily aimed at over-50s.
Classic cruising includes afternoon tea and captain’s gala dinners.
Speciality restaurants include Sea & Grass, serving steak, or the Chef’s Table for a gourmet experience.
Pictured is Ambience’s stylish atrium – the ship will embark on its maiden cruise in April 2022
Themed cruises include ‘Cricketing Legends’ hosted by Garry Richardson on December 11, 2022.
BOOK IT: Four-night maiden cruise from London Tilbury to Hamburg on April 6, 2022 from £529 pp (ambassadorcruiseline.com, 0808 102 8030).
CELEBRITY BEYOND: VILLAS ON THE WATER
Step out on to a rooftop garden extending over the sea on Celebrity Beyond or book a two-storey villa with a private plunge pool.
Staterooms with infinite verandas blur indoor and outdoor living, while The Retreat, a resort within a resort, has a two-level sundeck.
The design by Kelly Hoppen CBE and Tom Wright creates indulgent, contemporary living with 30 restaurants, bars and lounges, a two-deck Sunset Bar and Michelin-star chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant, Voyage.
Celebrity Beyond joins Celebrity Cruises’ fleet on April 27, 2022. There’s a huge focus on wellness with experiences and products from Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow, Celebrity’s well-being adviser.
BOOK IT: Ten-night Western European maiden voyage from Southampton on April 27, 2022, from £1,649 pp (celebritycruises.com, 0344 493 2043).
MSC WORLD EUROPA: LONG ON THRILLS
MSC World Europa will enjoy an inaugural season sailing from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and Qatar in December 2022
With a Y-shaped aft opening on to a 341ft (104m) ocean-view promenade, MSC World Europa not only looks different from other cruise ships, she’s an environmentally focused city at sea.
The revolutionary ship also promises thrills with The Spiral, a slide that spans 11 decks to get from the top of the ship to the promenade.
At 1,092ft (333m), MSC World Europa is the longest ship in the fleet and the first MSC ship to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman, says: ‘This signifies another step forward in our long-term vision for zero emissions.’
The Spiral, pictured in the rendering above, is a slide that spans 11 decks of the MSC World Europa cruise liner
A rendering for the ship’s Jean-Philippe Chocolate & Cafe – MSC World Europa will have 13 dining venues
The ship’s districts range from tranquil adults-only to lively kids’ zones, six pools, an aquapark and 13 dining venues, including six speciality restaurants. A pub splits across two decks and brews craft beer.
There are 19 cabin styles and Yacht Club duplex suites have large balconies and a hot tub. After an inaugural season sailing from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and Qatar in December 2022, the ship moves to the Med.
BOOK IT: Cruise only three-night ‘Emirates’ round-trip from Dubai on December 21, 2022 from £239 pp (msccruises.co.uk, 0203 426 3010).
ARVIA: 16 DECKS OF SURPRISES
The Arvia’s retractable SkyDome, pictured, is a relaxed pool area by day with dining and entertainment by night
In Latin, Arvia means ‘from the seashore’ and P&O Cruises’ new 16-deck ship lives up to its name by letting in sea air through the retractable SkyDome, a relaxed pool area by day with dining and entertainment by night.
A high-ropes experience 177ft (54m) above the ocean, three pools, including an infinity pool, swim-up bar and 12 restaurants add to the attractions. Green & Co featuring Mizuhana serves a plant and fish-led menu plus sushi bar, while 6th Street Diner offers retro seating, a juke box and all-American fried chicken and waffles with bourbon mascarpone.
The 1,131ft (345m), LNG-powered ship is home to the Oasis Spa and Health Club, Ocean Studios cinema, 1,300 m sq of shops, mini-golf and a casino.
BOOK IT: The 14-night Canary Islands maiden voyage departs on December 9, 2022, with fares from £1,449 pp (pocruises.com, 03453 555 111).
NORWEGIAN PRIMA: SCANDI CHIC
The smart decor of Norwegian’s 3,215-passenger cruise ship Prima, which is due to launch next summer
Making the most of the sea views is central to the Norwegian Prima’s design with an Ocean Boulevard that wraps around Deck 8.
The 3,215-passenger ship launches next summer, the first of six new Norwegian Cruise Line Prima-class ships, and outdoor living continues with an infinity pool on each side of the ship, glass bridges and an open-air lounge with forward-facing sea views.
Guests can also get in touch with their arty side on The Concourse, a sculpture garden with an art wall by David Harber and installations by Alexander Krivosheiw.
The 3,215-passenger ship is the first of six new Norwegian Cruise Line Prima-class ships
There’s a mix of indoor and outdoor seating at the restaurants, which include a rotisserie, noodle emporium, Tamara for Indian dishes, a tapas food truck and Garden Kitchen for salads.
For a surcharge, guests can book restaurants Onda By Scarpetta for Italian cuisine, Mexican Los Lobos and The Local Bar & Grill for classic American dining. The ship, at 964ft (294m) long, offers 13 suite categories. But for extra luxury, The Haven by Norwegian is a ship-within-a-ship complex with 107 suites and a courtyard with sundeck, infinity pool and spa.
BOOK IT: Eight-day ‘Northern Europe: Iceland to Norway’ maiden cruise departs Amsterdam on August 17, 2022 with fares from £2,137 pp (ncl.com, 0333 241 2319).
WONDER OF THE SEAS: BIGGEST OF THE LOT
Royal Caribbean’s 5,734-passenger Wonder of the Seas is set to become the world’s largest cruise ship
Royal Caribbean’s 5,734-passenger Wonder of the Seas debuts in March 2022 to become the world’s largest cruise ship, featuring a nine-deck zipwire, 19 pools and the Ultimate Abyss — the tallest slide at sea.
Families can also book the Ultimate Family Suite, which has a slide from the children’s bedroom to the living room, and a LEGO wall.
The 18-deck ship’s 26 bars, lounges and restaurants include Hooked Seafood where oysters can be ordered.
The ship features a nine-deck zipwire, 19 pools and the Ultimate Abyss (which will be the tallest slide at sea)
The ship will be seen first in the U.S. and Europe, setting sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to the Caribbean on March 4, 2022, before making its way to Barcelona and Rome in May.
BOOK IT: Five-night ‘Western Caribbean & Perfect Day’ cruise from Fort Lauderdale calls into Cozumel in Mexico, private island Perfect Day at CocoCay and the Bahamas.
Cruise-only price from £506 pp (royalcaribbean.co.uk, 0344 493 4005).