Bigger and better seems to be the mantra for most cruise lines going into next year.
And this healthy dose of competition means good news for travelers, with each ship seemingly more extravagant than the last.
AMBIENCE: THE BEST OF BRITISH
Travel in style: Ambassador’s newly refurbished Ambience ship departs from London Tilbury next year
New British cruise line Ambassador will hit the market in April with a recently refurbished ship, Ambience. Sailing from London Tilbury to the Baltic, Black Sea, Mediterranean and Norwegian fjords, Ambience is primarily aimed at the over-50s.
Classic cruises include afternoon tea and gala dinners for the captain.
Specialty restaurants include Sea & Grass, which serves steak, or the Chef’s Table for a fine dining 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 6 April 2022 from £529 pp (ambassadorcruiseline.com, 0808 102 8030).
OUTDOOR CELEBRITY: WATERCOLOR VILLAS
Step out onto a rooftop garden that stretches out to sea on Celebrity Beyond or book a two-story villa with a private plunge pool.
Staterooms with infinite porches blur the indoor and outdoor living, while The Retreat, a resort within a resort, has a two-level sundeck.
Kelly Hoppen CBE and Tom Wright’s design creates indulgent contemporary living with 30 restaurants, bars and lounges, a two-storey Sunset Bar and the Voyage restaurant, Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud.
Celebrity Beyond will join the 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 wellness consultant.
BOOK IT: Ten night Western European maiden trip from Southampton on April 27, 2022, from £1,649 pp (celebritycruises.com, 0344 493 2043).
MSC WORLD EUROPE: LONG TIME
MSC World Europe will enjoy its first sailing season from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and Qatar in December 2022
With a Y-shaped rear opening that opens onto a 104-metre boulevard overlooking the ocean, MSC World Europe not only looks different from other cruise ships, it’s also an environmentally conscious city at sea.
The revolutionary ship also promises thrills with The Spiral, a slide that spans 11 decks to go from the top of the ship to the boardwalk.
At 333m in length, MSC World Europa is the longest ship in the fleet and the first MSC vessel to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, said: ‘This represents another step forward in our long-term vision for zero emissions.’
The spiral, pictured in the above view, is a slide that spans 11 decks of the MSC World Europe cruise ship
A display for the Jean-Philippe Chocolate & Cafe on the ship – MSC World Europe will have 13 dining options
The ship’s districts range from quiet adults-only zones to lively kiddie zones, six swimming pools, a water park and 13 dining options, including six specialty restaurants. A pub is spread over two decks and brews craft beer.
There are 19 cabin styles and the Yacht Club duplex suites have large balconies and whirlpool tubs. After a first season sailing from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and Qatar in December 2022, the ship will move to the Med.
BOOK IT: Cruise just three nights ‘Emirates’ return from Dubai on 21 December 2022 from £239 pp (msccruises.co.uk, 0203 426 3010).
ARVIA: 16 DECKS SURPRISES
The Arvia’s retractable SkyDome, pictured, is a relaxing pool area by day with dining and entertainment by night
In Latin, Arvia means ‘from the coast’ and P&O Cruises’ new 16-deck vessel lives up to its name by letting in sea air through the retractable SkyDome, a relaxing pool area during the day with dining and entertainment by night.
A high-rope experience 54m above the ocean, three pools, including an infinity pool, a swim-up bar and 12 restaurants add to the attractions. Green & Co with Mizuhana serves a plant-and-fish menu and sushi bar, while 6th Street Diner offers retro seating, a jukebox, and all-American fried chicken and waffles with bourbon mascarpone.
The 345m long, LNG-powered vessel is home to the Oasis Spa and Health Club, Ocean Studios cinema, 1,300m² shops, mini golf and a casino.
BOOK IT: The first 14-night voyage in the Canary Islands departs on 9 December 2022 and costs £1,449 pp (pocruises.com, 03453 555 111).
NORWEGIAN PREMIUM: SCANDI CHIC
The smart layout of Norwegian’s 3,215-passenger cruise ship Prima, which will launch next summer
Making the most of the sea view is central to the design of the Norwegian Prima with an Ocean Boulevard that wraps around Deck 8.
The 3,215-passenger vessel will launch next summer, the first of six new Norwegian Cruise Line Prima-class vessels, and the great outdoors 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 artistic side at 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 is a mix of indoor and outdoor seating in the restaurants, including a rotisserie, noodle empire, Tamara for Indian dishes, a tapas food truck and Garden Kitchen for salads.
For an additional fee, guests can reserve restaurants Onda By Scarpetta for Italian cuisine, Mexican Los Lobos and The Local Bar & Grill for classic American dining. The ship, with a length of 964 ft (294 m) offers 13 suite categories. But for added 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 17 August 2022 with fares from £2,137 pp (ncl.com, 0333 241 2319).
WONDER OF THE SEA: LARGEST IN THE LOT
Royal Caribbean’s 5,734-passenger Wonder of the Seas becomes the world’s largest cruise ship
Royal Caribbean’s 5,734-passenger Wonder of the Seas will debut in March 2022 and will become the world’s largest cruise ship, featuring a nine-deck zipwire, 19 pools and the Ultimate Abyss – the tallest water slide at sea.
Families can also book the Ultimate Family Suite, which has a slide from the nursery to the living room and a LEGO wall.
The 18-deck ship’s 26 bars, lounges and restaurants include Hooked Seafood, which serves oysters.
The ship has a zipwire with nine decks, 19 pools and the Ultimate Abyss (the highest slide at sea)
The ship will debut in the US and Europe, sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to the Caribbean on March 4, 2022, before heading to Barcelona and Rome in May.
BOOK IT: A five-night Western Caribbean & Perfect Day cruise from Fort Lauderdale brings you Cozumel in Mexico, the private island of Perfect Day in CocoCay and the Bahamas.
Cruise only from £506 pp (royalcaribbean.co.uk, 0344 493 4005).