The new year will see a range of brand spanking new river and ocean ships that will be sailing all around the world including some intrepid destinations. Here’s a look at what to expect.

Symphony of the Seas

Royal Caribbean

She’s going to be the world’s biggest ship, Symphony of the Seas will beat her sister ship, Harmony of the Seas by 28 cabins. She’ll have the capacity to carry up to 6,870 passengers and will be spending summer in the Mediterranean. On board this amazing piece of engineering will be seven neighbourhoods including the Boardwalk. There will be designer shops on the Royal Promenade as well kitsch cafes. Fabulous activities for the entire family include theme parks, a 10-storey slide, the Ultimate Abyss, and the Perfect Storm trio of waterslides.

MSC Seaview

MSC Cruises

The second ship of the Seaside generation (MSC Seaside launched in November 2017), MSC Seaview will debut in June 2018 with the capacity to carry 5,429 passengers. The cruise line is known for its Italian ambiance and flair, and this will be apparent throughout the entire ship. On board guests will find a holiday village on Deck 8, a seafront boardwalk circling the ship with restaurants, bars and shops. For those who want to cool off, swimming pools include the Panorama Pool, which has uninterrupted views of the sea.

Norwegian Bliss

Joining sister ships Norwegian Escape and Norwegian, Norwegian Bliss will arrive in our winter and will be also sailing to Alaska. She’ll have cool features such as a two-storey go-kart track, free-fall Ocean Loops waterslides that hang off the edge of the ship, and a laser-tag course set in an abandoned space station. There will be lots of the food outlets included in the price of the cruise. For the solo travellers, there are a large number of interior cabins specifically built for the singles where cruises have a virtual-reality view.

Celebrity Edge

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Edge will live up to her name with cutting-edge technology. The ship has a Magic Carpet – a platform on the outside of the ship that rises up and down the ship. Depending on the time of the day, the platform will be used as an extension of the pool area, or as an al fresco dining area or a viewing platform at the water’s edge. Guests won’t have balconies but rather Infinite Verandas where the whole room turns into a balcony at the touch of a button. Also, Celebrity Edge will have a three-storey indoor space called The Eden which is a lush public venue with lounge areas, bars, restaurants and a garden. The ship will be sailing from December 2018.


Carnival Horizon

Carnival Cruise Line

The new Carnival Horizon will be sailing around Europe from April for the Mediterranean summer. Like some of her sister ships, Horizon will have features such as the SkyRide, a twin-track cycle course suspended above the Sportsquare. In this area, guests can play football, volleyball as well as table tennis. For the Dr. Seuss fans, there is a colourful WaterWorks park. There’s also an IMAX cinema as well specialty dining options. The rooms also have a Cuban flavour with colour schemes reminiscent of Havana. Even in the outdoor areas also have a Cuban theme with hammock chairs as well as a Havana bar and pool area.


MS Nieuw Statendam

Holland America Line

Nieuw Statendam will be launched in December 2018 and will have some lovely attractions that are special to Holland America Line. About 70 per cent of rooms will have balconies and attractions include the Music Walk live-entertainment area. The World Stage will feature BBC Earth Frozen Planet experiences while the America’s Test Kitchen will have live cooking shows and hands-on workshops. A Promenade Deck will wrap around the ship and for a little pampering, there will be the Greenhouse Spa retreat as well as two swimming pools.


The A

U by Uniworld

Uniworld, known for its decadent river cruises, has ventured into the millennial market and has created a bespoke brand aimed at the younger cruiser. Uniworld has remodelled two ships which resemble the hottest European nightclubs. The B, which was launched in 2017, is currently sailing on the Rhine, Main and Danube. The A will be launched next year on the Seine and like her sister ship, has psychedelic looking dining rooms, coffee bars and a party vibe.


Avalon Saigon

Avalon Waterways

Launching in September 2018, Avalon Saigon will be one of the most luxurious ships sailing the Mekong and will cater for just 36 guests. She will have a colonial feel to her decor and every room will have wall-to-wall, full-height windows that retreat so the whole room becomes a balcony. On board, there’s a spa, fitness room and library.


African Dream


The boutique line has created a special small ship to sail on the Chobe and Zambezi rivers and take in the wonderful sights and sounds of Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Launched in December 2017, the houseboat-style ship carries 16 passengers in two deluxe suites and six deluxe suites with French balconies. There is a panoramic restaurant so passengers can spot the big five while dining on gourmet cuisine. With a staff of eight, it offers a bespoke and unique experience.