As the year winds down, we can look ahead to 2015, when a new batch of exciting cruise ships will be hitting the oceans.
That means more choices for you to consider for your next great adventure.
Let's check out what's coming from the major cruise lines.
Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas is due to launch in spring 2015. This is the sister ship to the world's first smartship, Quantum of the Seas, which debuted in November 2014 and is sailing its initial voyages out of Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey. Anthem of the Seas (rendering at top) essentially will be an identical version to 4,180-passenger Quantum. You'll get a FlowRider surf simulator, RipCord by iFly skydiving simulator, SeaPlex sports court (bumper cars, roller skating, basketball, soccer), Dynamic Dining, climbing wall, 1/3-mile jogging track and a fantastic fitness center. The ship will come to the U.S. market in fall 2015 after a season in the Med.
Viking Cruises, the fast-growing and best-known river cruise company, will debut its first ocean vessel, Viking Star, in May 2015. Viking, which operates more than 50 river ships, has plans for at least four ocean ship, including the 930-passenger Star, which will cruise in Northern Europe, in the Baltics and fjords, as well as the Mediterranean. It will feature a walkaround promenade that encircles the ship and a pool with a retractable glass roof. Star also will have the line's popular Aquavit Terrace indoor/outdoor restaurant area.
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Escape will become the first ship in the Breakaway Plus class. It debuts weeklong sailings from Miami to the Caribbean in November 2015. So far, Norwegian hasn't revealed what will distinguish Escape from the two ships in the Breakaway class: Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway. Expect the 4,200-passenger ship to have many of the same features as the Breakaway ships, such as a ropes course (with walk-the-plank attraction), waterslides, waterfront outdoor promenade filled with bars and restaurants and a wide range of entertainment options. Escape will have a Tobacco Road bar, named for the iconic Miami establishment that was in existence for 102 years and owned the city's first liquor license.
Crystal Cruises announced a unique journey it is taking through the Northwest Passage. Crystal Serenity is scheduled to become the first luxury ship to venture a route that takes passengers from Anchorage, Alaska, to New York, sailing a series of waterways north of the Arctic Circle that link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, from Greenland through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The 32-day voyage begins August 16, 2016, and prices start around $20,000 per person. A 14-person expedition team will lead you on an adventure during which you can spot musk ox, seals, walruses, whales and much more wildlife -- all while enjoying the all-inclusive onboard experience with Crystal. The expedition team will conduct workshops and lectures about the region and special topics such as landscape photography.
Scenic Cruises, a river line, gave plans for its latest luxury river cruise ship, Scenic Spirit, which will launch on the Mekong River in January 2016. The 68-guest ship will sail itineraries that range from eight days between Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Siem Reap, Cambodia, to a 27-day journey that combines land adventures with your cruise traveling from Hanoi, Vietnam, to Luang Prabang, Laos.
I hope you find a fantastic voyage. Travel happy!