Earlier this year I wrote about all the new cruise ships being launched in 2018 and 2019. They included Seabourn's all suite ship the Ovation, Scenic's Eclipse Discovery yacht, Viking's fifth ocean cruise ship Orion and Ponant's new explorer class Le Laperouse and Le Champlain ships, the Celebrity Edge and Holland America's Niew Statendam which launched in December and the mega ships launched by Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean.
Not to be outdone, Amadeaus, AmaWaterways, American Cruise Lines, Avalon Waterways, CroisEurope, Crystal, Emerald Waterways, Uniworld and Viking launched or will launch new river ships.
A lot of new ships. Very exciting!
The article highlighted new innovative venues and experiences. To read more about them, check out the article:
2019 continues the theme of innovation and new, exciting venues. Following are highlights of 3 new ships.
Photos courtesy of Hurtigruten
Hurtigruten, well known for their cruises along the Norwegian coast, is also a leader in exploring the polar regions, especially Antarctica. In fact, Hurtigruten is the #1 cruise line in this region, specifically in terms of number of passengers and number of departures. As a specialist in small ship cruising, I've known about Hurtigruten for some time, but they remain somewhat unknown in the US. This new ship will help it becme more of a household name.
In 2019, Hurtigruten will add a brand new ship to its fleet: MS Roald Amundsen. This state-of-the-art vessel will feature new and environmentally sustainable hybrid technology that will reduce fuel consumption and show the world that hybrid propulsion on large ships is possible.
As Hurtigruten states: "Sailing on electrical power is not only a great benefit to the environment, but it will also enhance the impact of experiencing nature for the guests. “Imagine sailing silently along the ice edge in the Arctic or Antarctica, or along the banks of the Amazon. That is truly unique and exceptional."
The silence is what I find especially exciting. Just you and nature at its best.
Photos courtesy of Celebrity Cruise Lines
Another exciting new ship is Celebrity's Flora, the luxury, all suite, 100 passenger ship built specifically for the Galapagos Islands.
The cabins are luxurious and spacious, many including the new Infinite Veranda, an element that virtually takes your room right to the water's edge. I experienced this feature on Celebrity's newest ship, the Edge, and I must admit, this is spectacular. It not only expands your living space, but allows you to enjoy the veranda and the "outside" with an open or closed window.
The Flora also has a sunset to sunrise glamping experience, where you can sleep under the stars in a private cabana after an exclusive "campfire themed" dinner and cocktails. A special star-gazing platform and Observatory library dedicated to the Galapagos Islands are also exclusive to this ship.
Photos courtesy of American Cruise Lines
American Cruise Lines launched the modern river cruise ship the Song in 2018, and will launch her sister ship the Harmony in 2019.
The Song and Harmony are not your typical river cruise ships. With 187 passengers, the ships have spacious staterooms, all with private balconies, large sliding doors and hotel sized bathrooms. Both ships have cabins (with balconies) for solo travelers.
Aside from the cabins, the large picture windows in the observation lounges are what sets the boats apart from other lines. Triple the glass of other riverboats, the lounges, some 40 feet above the water, offer awesome panoramic views.
The Song can be enjoyed on the Columbia and Snake Rivers; the Harmony n the Mississippi.
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