With the credit crunch hitting us hard, it seems difficult to comprehend how many millions of pounds is being invested into the cruise industry. With new ships still being ordered by the cruise lines, we can only expect bigger and better things for the future. Looking ahead to 2009, we can see a mixture of new ships ready to be launched, from smaller luxury vessels, to huge super liners.
Here is your guide to the new cruise ships for 2009:
Ready to hit our shores in May 2009, Costa Luminosa sister ship to Costa Serena is currently under construction at Fincantieri Marghera shipyard, Mantimo. The 13th ship in the Costa fleet has a GRT of 92,600. There are 1130 cabins onboard, 56 of these have direct access to the ships innovative and exclusive Samsara spa, 718 have private balconies, 44 suites have private balconies, and 4 suites have direct access to the Samsara spa. The ship will accommodate over 2,260 passengers, and with its theme of light and elegance, we can ensure the latest addition to the Costa family is going to be a real jewel.
The ship boasts 4 restaurants, 11 bars, 2 swimming pools, 4 Jacuzzis, the Samsara Spa, and for the more adventurous, the ship even contains a Grand Prix simulator.
Costa Luminosa will set sail from Venice on its inaugural voyage on the 5th May 2009. The 10 night Vernissage Cruise around Greece and Turkey, will visit Bari, Katakolon/Olympia, Rhodes, Izmir, Istanbul, Mykonos, and Piraeus. After the ships initial voyages in May, it will take mini Vernissage cruises from Venice, before heading to Amsterdam to visit Northern Europe and the Norwegian Fjords throughout the summer.
The ships christening on the 5th of June, will be an extraordinary event, taking place in Genoa. This unique event will display both Costa Luminosa, and Costa Pacifica, as a double celebration, with both of MSC’s new additions to the fleet being christened together.
Costa Pacifica, the fleets 14th ship in the fleet, will be the 3rd sister ship in the Concordia class, making the Costa Pacifica, the newest and largest of the Costa fleet. Currently under construction at Fincantieri’s Genoa Sestri Ponente shipyard in Italy. The Italian lines newest addition is an impressive 114,000 tonnage, with 1540 cabins, the ship can take up to 3780 passengers. The ship will share many features with the other Costa Concordia and Costa Serena, its sister ships including the Samsara spa, 5 restaurants, 13 bars, 4 swimming pools, and 5 Jacuzzis.
The ships design and styling has been inspired by the musical theme onboard. Each area has been characterised by a different type of music, you will see this in the My Way restaurant, Ipanema Lounge, Route 66 Sports Bar, La Bamba pool deck and other areas around the ship.
The Grand Inaugural cruise will be sailing from Savona on the 6th June, the 9-night cruise will visit Marseille, Barcelona, Palma, Tunis, Valetta, Palermo, and Civitacheccia/Rome. After this, the ship will be based in Barcelona, for the summer taking 7 night Mediterranean cruises.
Ready to launch in July 2009 is MSC Splendida. The second in the new design style from MSC and sister ship to the recently launched MSC Fantasia, you can expect ‘cutting edge technology and luxurious comfort’. The 133,500-tonnage ship currently under construction at the STX Europe, St Nazaire, France, will take up to 3,300 passengers.
To ensure pure luxury, MSC are offering six star service in the form of the MSC Yacht Club, with 99 suites, a special VIP area as well as 24-hour butler service. Onboard MSC Splendida you can also experience the Aurea Spa, a wellness centre offering amazing treatments, including Balinese massage, Turkish baths, solariums, relaxation rooms and much more.
After the christening of MSC Splendida in Barcelona, the maiden voyage will visit La Goulette, Valletta, Messina, Civitacheccia, Genoa, and Marseille. Throughout the summer, the ship will be based in Barcelona, visiting the Mediterranean.
The Seabourn Odyssey will be launched in June 2009, the 32,000 tonne, 450-passenger ship is the first new build ship for The Yachts of Seabourn for over 15 years, and the first new build luxury ship for 6 years. Under construction at Italy’s T Mariotti’s shipyard, the ships christening had been scheduled for June 24th 2009 in Genoa, Italy.
With 225 ocean view suites on offer, 90% with private balconies, luxury is guaranteed. With great onboard facilities including a spa, it will be a treat to be onboard the newest luxury liner in the cruise industry’s offerings. The maiden voyage from Venice will see you sail 14 nights around the Eastern Mediterranean, visiting Dubrovnik, Kotor (Montenerago), Mylos, Aghios Nikolaos, Rhodes, Santorini, Navplion (Mycanae), Piraeus (Athens), Mykonos, Kusadasi (Ephesus), and Istanbul. Before spending the summer cruising these islands, visiting some amazing locations.
The latest addition to the fleet of Celebrity Cruise line is the Celebrity Equinox. Set for its launch in August 2009, the Celebrity Solstice class ship is 122,000 tonnages with the accommodation taking up to 2850 passengers. Under construction at Germanys Meyer Werft, Papenburg, the ship has incredible features and has been designed to exceed your expectations, from start to finish.
Onboard the Celebrity Equinox, you will find some familiar features from the Solstice class. The Lawn Club, a freshly manicured lawn area onboard that features real grass, for passengers to play sports including golf and croquet. You will also find the Aqua Class staterooms, which are cabins sharing a deck with the Aqua Spa, a relaxation room, incorporating spa elements into the staterooms.
The Maiden voyage from Southampton is set for 8th August 2009. The 10-night “Best of Europe” cruise will visit Paris, Cherbourg, Vigo, Lisbon, Gibralter, Cartagena, Barcelona and Rome. It will then sail 13-14 night itineraries “Ancient Empires” these are based from Rome, on these voyages two brand new ports Haifa and Ashdod, Israel will be visited. After this, the ship will cruise the transatlantic to Fort Lauderdale, before starting the 10 and 11 night “Ultimate Caribbean” itineraries.
In September 2009, we will see the arrival of Carnival Dream. The 130,000-tonnage ship will be accommodating around 3562 passengers. Currently under construction at the Fincanteri shipyard in Italy. The ship boasts the largest outdoor deck space, more stateroom categories, the largest spa Carnival have ever built, Carnival Waterworks, and a new indoor/outdoor entertainment area called the Ocean Plaza.
The ships maiden voyage ‘The 12-night Grand Mediterranean’ cruise from Rome is scheduled in September. Before heading across the Transatlantic to New York, where it will start 8 night Port Canaveral and Bahamas cruise, before operating year round 7 night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises itineraries.
Late in 2009, we will see the arrival of the much-anticipated Oasis of the Seas. The latest creation and addition to the Royal Caribbean fleet. Oasis of the Seas, comes in at a massive 220,000 tonnage, and will accommodate an incredible 5400 guests in 2700 staterooms. The ship was originally ordered in February 2006, and had been constructed at the STX Europe, formerly Aker Yards.
With seven different neighbourhoods onboard, we can see a new concept by the cruise line introducing different areas similar to those found at a theme park. Each neighbourhood will have distinct characteristics, and will be themed and named; examples of these are the Youth Zone and the Boardwalk.
The Boardwalk will feature a unique Aqua Theatre, the first ever Carousel at sea, and games and amusements to entertain the whole family. Amongst the new additions, you will also find Madame Zamara’s – a psychic and tattoo parlour.
Based out of Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale. The ship will be visiting the Caribbean, alternating seven night Western and Eastern Caribbean itineraries.
Finally, in late 2009, the Silver Spirit will be debuting. Currently at the Fincantieri Ancona Shipyard, the 36,000 tonne, 540-passenger vessel will feature more balcony cabins, more dining choices, more facilities onboard and more luxury.
The ships debut voyage features an 11 night maiden voyage from Barcelona to Lisbon, before the 16 night transatlantic to Fort Lauderdale where the naming ceremony will take place. In January 21st 2010, the Silver Spirit will commence its 91-day South American voyage from Fort Lauderdale to La and back to New York. It will then spend the summer in the Mediterranean, before spending the Winter/Autumn in the Caribbean.