The industry continues to grow with a throng of new cruise ships launching in 2024 across the contemporary, premium and luxury spaces.
Next year is shaping up to be another big year in the cruising space, with some big innovations. The luxury sector will see a similar boom in vessels after the success of their big sister ships this year.
New adventure ships are launching too, with luxury lines making their mark in the space by offering expedition itineraries but with white-gloved service.
Take a look at the new cruise ships launching in 2024.
For the first of its Sphere-class ships, Princess Cruises has taken a new approach to the look and feel of Sun Princess. Slated for a February 2024 launch, the 4000-passenger ship will have a host of activities aimed at the family market – a bold move for the premium line which has never had a waterslide on any of its vessels.
The ship is debuting the first roller-glider at sea – an electric ride that can reach speeds of 17 kilometres per hour. There will also be a ropes course and an obstacle-meet-ladder activity that spans two decks.
For those looking for something more refined, Sun Princess will have two new types of suites – the Signature Collection and the Reserve Collection. Both categories come with perks. The latter has access to the Reserve Collection restaurant as well as a private sundeck with a whirlpool. Guests in Signature Collection suites will have their own restaurant, sun deck and lounge.
There will also be new food and beverage offerings and the Lotus Spa will span two floors.
It’s been 12 years since the traditional British line, Cunard, released a ship. It is one of the most highly anticipated cruise ship launches of 2024. The Queen Anne is set to launch in May 2024 and will bring in a new era for the line. The ship will be able to host 3000 passengers in accommodations ranging from a Britannia inside cabin to the ultimate in luxury, the Grand Suite. This private residence comes with a separate room which can be turned into a guest bedroom or dining room, a lounge room, a private balcony and a dedicated butler.
Two-Michelin-starred British chef Michel Roux has developed menus that are specially curated for Cunard’s Queen’s Grill as well as the Gold Lion Pub. The ship will also have a new outdoor restaurant, Tramonto. Queen Anne will also have three new specialty restaurants: Aji Wa, a Japanese restaurant with sushi and an omakase tasting menu; Sir Samuels, a high-end steakhouse; and Aranya, a new Indian restaurant.
Icon of the Seas
Breaking record sales for her inaugural sailing in January 2024, Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas is touted to be an architectural marvel. The 7600-passenger ship has gone a step above the Oasis-class ships.
Icon of the Seas has activities designed for adrenalin junkies. On Thrill Island, there will be a waterpark full of slides as well as an over-the-water obstacle course. For those looking to relax, Chill Island has four of the ship’s seven pools including Royal Caribbean’s first swim-up bar, Swim & Tonic.
There will be more than 20 dining options from quick and fast bites, such as those at the Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, to high-end meals. The glitzy and glamorous Empire Supper Club, which is designed to look like a smoky New York jazz club, is where guests are served an eight-course meal with traditional American fare of oysters Rockefeller and modern renditions of Wagyu New York strip topped with shaved fresh truffle.
A sister ship to Disney Wish, the new Disney Treasure will put Aladdin as the focus, as well as new venues on the ship.
There will be a new interactive dining experience called Plaza de Coco, which is based on the movie Coco. There will also be adults-only lounges that are based on Disney theme park attractions.
There’s an AquaMouse slide which has a new Mickey and Minnie-themed adventure story, as well as two cafes named after Moana and Mulan.
Disney Treasure will sail for the first time on December 21, 2024.
The new Viking Vela will be slightly different from her sister ships. She’ll be larger and can accommodate 998 passengers in 17 additional cabins. All the rooms will have ocean ship views and storage space for additional technical equipment.
But don’t expect the Viking formula to have changed. The aesthetics, great restaurant and the thermal spa will not change – and they will all be included in the price.
MSC Group’s high-end luxury line, Explora Journeys, had a successful launch in 2023. And Explora II will debut in August 2024.
The 922-passenger ship will have the same features as Explora I – lovely pools and an array of dining options that also include an unlimited raw bar in the ship’s Emporium Marketplace.
In port, shore excursions (or experiences, as Explora Journeys calls them) have unique offerings. For example, in Riga, Latvia, guests can fly a jet warbird. A pilot will push the jet to its limits and will guide and instruct you with a flying lesson.
Much like Silver Nova, the 728-passenger Silver Ray debuts in July 2024. The Otium spa and Otium suites will be at the back of the ship, and in true luxury Silversea style, all suites come with butlers.
Most of Silversea’s favourite restaurants return but the line has decided to relocate the S.A.L.T. Lab where guests can try the 14-course tasting menu.
But the favourite part of Silver Nova, the revamped pool deck which puts the sea views front and central, returns on Silver Ray.