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Cruise News – A Ship Shape Update

It’s hard to believe it but we are more than half-way through the year now and we have already seen some fantastic ships launched. Symphony of the Seas, MSC Seaview and Norwegian Bliss are just three vessels that have recently made their debuts, but there are still plenty more exciting additions on the horizon.

In recent weeks, many cruise lines have given updates as to the progress of their ships or announced contracts to bring new vessels into their fleet in the coming years. Here’s a little round-up of the recent news in case you’ve missed any of it.

P&O Cruises


It feels like a while ago now, but back in May, P&O Cruises announced the name of their next cruise ship (launching in 2020) will be Iona. Named after an island in the Inner Hebrides, she will be the largest ship ever built for the UK market and will be powered by game-changing LNG (Liquid Natural Gas).

Since then, we have learnt more details about Iona, including the fact that she will feature a giant dome across the top two decks. The SkyDome will the main entertainment hub and will be home to a nightclub, swimming pool theatre with retractable stage, and a cinema. The dome will mean that guests can enjoy all of these facilities even when the sun isn’t shining.

One departure from P&O Cruises’ fleet was also confirmed in June. After 24 years of service, Oriana will be retired to make way for Iona.

Virgin Voyages

As with most things that Richard Branson or his company Virgin are involved in, there has been much excitement and anticipation surrounding the upcoming launch of Virgin Voyages. A couple of weeks ago, the company announced not only the name if its first ship but also a few details that will hopefully help it to stand out in a crowded industry.

Scarlet Lady (supposedly the first of many ships with the name Scarlet in their title) will be an adult-only vessel aimed at a younger audience than that which typically chooses a cruising holiday. She will also have a focus on wellness (branded Vitamin Sea), a very distinct design both inside and out, and various steps will be taken to ensure she is as environmentally friendly as possible.

Virgin Voyages has also committed to offering women the chance to take on a number of jobs usually dominated by men, including captaining the ship itself. CEO Tom McAlpin said “I want all future crew to know that Virgin Voyages will create an onboard environment that is fair, inclusive and where everyone has an opportunity to reach their full potential.”

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Edge

There have been two big announcement from Celebrity Cruises in recent weeks, as the company prepares for the next stage of growth following the launch of Celebrity Edge, the first of the new Edge class ships, at the end of the year.

In the week that the vessel began her initial sea trials, it has been announced that Celebrity Edge will make an appearance in the UK before her official launch. This may be mainly for the travel industry to get the chance to climb aboard, but the general public may also catch a glimpse of the new ship too.

Perhaps more excitingly for the average cruiser, the second announcement concerns the name of the second ship in this new class. Launching in 2020, she will be called Celebrity Apex and will sit at the top in terms of modern luxury.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Bliss

Finally, Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that it’s adding to its already long list of vessels that are in line to be built. Fifth and sixth Leonardo Class vessels were confirmed (a class of ship we are yet to see as the first isn’t due to make her debut until 2022), taking the total of new additions in the pipeline to seven.

With a focus on energy efficiency, the Leonardo Class will bring with it yet more innovative and first-at-sea features.

If you would like to book a cruise with any of the above cruise lines, our friendly team will help you find the ideal itinerary. Iona’s cruises are due to go on sale in September, so you could be amongst the first guests on board if you give us a call on 0808 274 6476.

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