In the competitive world of cruise ship holidays, the major players are constantly striving to build bigger and better fleets with which to entice seafaring holidaymakers to go with them.
Of course, not every operator can unveil a new ship every single year, but there is a wave of exciting new vessels hitting the high seas in 2014. Below are the top 5.
Sailing out of Miami, with the hull artwork design by local artist LEBO, Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest behemoth has space for 4,028 passengers, who will be able to take advantage of the deck-top water park, featuring 5 multi-storey water slides, big production Broadway shows including Legally blonde, and a celebrity chef’s restaurant and bakery.
Those looking to relax can enjoy the two-floor spa, or a VIP area containing its own pool, restaurant and butler service.
Seven nights around the Eastern Caribbean start from $549 USD.
Princess Cruises’ next vessel is the sister ship to the Royal Princess, although there are some slight differences. Operating in both the Mediterranean and Caribbean, the 3,560 capacity ship will feature a glass-enclosed walkway over the ocean, a water and light show on the top deck, and a working television studio.
The usual array of food outlets and entertainment, as found on the Royal Princess, will also be present.
Seven nights around the Eastern Caribbean start from $699 USD.
Costa Cruises are releasing their largest ship to date, and the largest ship to sail under the Italian flag, the 3,724 passenger Costa Diadema. A wine bar (Vinoteca), pizzeria (Piazza Pizza) and gelateria are probably to be expected, while a beer house (Birreria) and Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant add a little more variety.
Aside from food and beverage, entertainment will include a classic rock club, a venue offering a plethora of interactive laser games, and a huge shopping area featuring designer stores and retail outlets.
The Costa Diadema will operate around the Mediterranean, stopping at Marseille, Barcelona and Rome, amongst others.
The new kid on the block, Pearls Seas Cruises is offering something a little different in its debut vessel. With room for only 210 passengers, the focus here is on luxury and accessibility to areas that bigger cruise ships can’t navigate. Although the name is new, the people behind Pearl Seas Cruises do know what they are doing, with the established American Cruise lines being its sister company.
The Pearl Mist will offer high class cruises around such areas as the Great Lakes, with all 108 cabins having balconies, and the company promising an experience like no other operator can offer. It won’t come cheap though.
A couple of weeks sailing around the Northern U.S. And Canada will start at $5,605 USD.
Quantum of the Seas
No other cruise ship of 2014 is as highly anticipated as the Quantum of the Seas, by Royal Caribbean. Based in New Jersey, and capable of carrying 4,180 passengers, the ship will show off a host of hi-tech new features, such as the Two70° area, an entertainment space featuring floor to ceiling windows that convert to a giant projector screen. There will also be a skydiving simulator and the chance to get a birds-eye-view of the ship from inside a glass capsule attached to a mechanical arm.
The ship itself will be in the top 10 largest cruise ships in the world, and also feature a live theatre and music shows, a rock climbing wall, and a water park for the kids.
12 nights around the Southern Caribbean starts at $1,659 USD.
Image sourced via Flickr Creative Commons and Royal Caribbean Press Center. Credit:EastLeighBusman, Franz Numeier, Royal Caribbean.