New cruise ships: the class of 2016

New cruise ships: the class of 2016

A remarkable number of new cruise ships are coming into service in 2016 — from intimate river yachts to the new largest passenger vessel in the world. Here, we look at some of the new builds and ships transferring over from one line to another, beginning with ocean-going vessels.

AIDA Cruises
April: AIDAprima, is the first of two upcoming ships for German line Aida Cruises, part of Carnival. The 3,300-passenger, 125,000 tonne vessel will be the largest in its fleet.

Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Vista
May: Built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, the 133,500 tonne, 3,936-passenger Carnival Vista will be the largest in the lines’ considerable fleet (this will be its 25th ship) and first in the Vista Class. It will feature a mini golf course.

April: P&O Cruises Adonia will be reassigned to Fathom, Carnival Corporation’s ‘social impact’ brand, from April 2016. The 826-passenger ship will sail from Miami.

Holland America
April: Koningsdam will become the biggest ship in Holland America’s fleet and the first in its Pinnacle Class when it launches in April 2016. Following its maiden season, the 2,650-passenger ship will homeport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

A rendering of Koningsdam

MS Spitsbergen
May: The environmentally friendly 320-passenger vessel, first built in 2009, will initially sail on the company’s Norwegian coastal route. It will replace MS Midnatsol, which will be redeployed in Antarctica.

Oceania Cruises
April: Currently sailing as Ocean Princess for Princess Cruises, Sirena will undergo a 35-day, £26 million refurbishment in Marseille before joining Oceania. The 826-passenger ship was built in 1999, first sailing under Renaissance Cruises.

Regent Seven Seas
Regent Seven Seas Explorer
July: The largest in Regent Seven Seas’ fleet, Explorer will feature all-balcony suite accommodation, including the Regent Suite, which is a staggering 3,875 sq ft (including the balcony). There will also be a two-storey theatre. 

Royal Caribbean International
Ovation of the Seas
April: Royal Caribbean’s third Quantum Class vessel will follow the bells-and-whistles style of Quantum and Anthem of the Seas with SeaPlex and North Star pod. It will depart on an inaugural 52-night cruise from Southampton to Tianjin in China, where it will homeport (see p23).

Harmony of the Seas
June: The third in the Oasis Class, Harmony of the Seas will surpass Oasis and Allure of the Seas by 2,000 tonnes to become the largest ship in the world. It boasts the Bionic Bar (usually on Quantum-class ships) and will begin Royal Caribbean new love affair with waterslides, previously not seen on its ships.

Empress of the Seas
February: The 1,840-passenger ship was first built in 1990 for RCI. It will return to the line after eight years with Pullmantur.

Seabourn Encore
December: The first of a new class, the Fincantieri-built Seabourn Encore will be the ultra luxury line’s fourth and largest ship. All of the vessel’s rooms will be suites with balconies. Celebrated designer Adam D Tihany has taken charge of the ship’s interiors

Thomson Cruises
Thomson Discovery
June: Splendour of the Seas, a Vision-class cruise ship, operated by Royal Caribbean International will transfer to Thomson Cruises in the summer, taking the name Thomson Discovery. The 2,076-passenger vessel, built in 1995, will sail from Palma following some modernisation work.

Variety Cruises
April: Callisto is a classic motor yacht that can accommodate 34 passengers. It was renovated in 2015 and will take guests to Greece in the summer and Costa Rica and the Panama Canal in the winter.

Viking Ocean Cruises
Viking Sea
April: Following Viking Star, the second Viking Ocean Cruises ship, its sister ship Viking Sea, will debut in spring 2016. The 930-passenger ship will have a sports deck, theatre and on-deck dining venue By 2020, it will be one of a fleet of six. See p40 for Viking River Cruises’ new ships.

Viking Star
Viking Ocean Cruises’ Viking Sea, will join sister ship Viking Star

River cruise continues its remarkabe growth with a series of new ships.

April: The 158-passenger AmaStella will debut in spring, followed shortly after by the AmaViola. Both are sister ships tothe AmaSerena.

American Cruise Lines
May: The 185-passenger America will sail on the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland rivers.

Avalon Waterways
April: The 128-passenger Avalon Imagery II will launch in 2016 and sail on the Rhine. It will have 52, 200 sq ft suites and 12 staterooms

April: The 166-passenger Avalon Passion will sail the Upper and Lower Danube River.

April: Celebrating its 40th anniversary (see p40), CroisiEurope will debut the Princesse Elbe in spring 2016. Accommodating 80 passengers in 40 cabins, it will sail on the Elbe and Moldau

April and July: MS Daniele, a hotel barge, will accommodate 24 passengers in 12 cabins and travel on the Briare Canal between Burgundy and the Loire Valley. The 24-passenger Deborah Barge will sail France’s Garonne Canal, making stops in Toulouse, Serignac-Sur-Garonne and Damazan.

Crystal River Cruises
July: Ultra luxury line Crystal will enter the river cruise market a year earlier than planned (see p40) after it bought the MS Mozart. The 160-passenger ship will be known as the Crystal Mozart.

Emerald Waterways
June: The 182-passenger Emerald Belle will follow the 2015 launches of the Emerald Dawn and Emerald Sun, becoming the fifth ship in the three-year-old river line’s fleet

Emerald Waterways launch
Emerald Waterways’ Emerald Belle, will join sister ship Emerald Sun

Amadeus River Cruises
The MS Amadeus Silver III will join its sister ships, Amadeus Silver I and II, all of which have been commissioned in the last three years.

January: Sailing on the Mekong, the 68-passenger Scenic Spirit is the first of three new ships launching for the luxury river line in 2016.

April: The 96-passenger Scenic Azure will have a staff-to-guest ratio of almost 1:2. It is purpose built for Portugal’s Douro
September: The 44-passenger, all balcony-suite Scenic Aura will launch on the Irrawaddy river in 2016

Tauck River Cruises
April: The American company, which celebrated its 90th birthday in 2015, will launch the 130-passenger Ms Grace and MS Joy in 2016.

February: The luxury cruise line will launch its Ganges Voyager early in the year. The 185 ft, 56-passenger ship will sail exclusively on the India river it is named after.

Viking River Cruises
On top of launching another ocean-going ship (see p39), Viking will launch five new longships in 2016: the Alruna, Egil, Kadlin, Rolf and Tialfi. Each will carry 180 passengers.

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