As the industry rebounds from the devastating economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, cruise lines are kicking off the season with plenty of news and developments. It’s not just hospitality companies looking to make a splash with guests this spring. From new godmothers and themed cruises to a host of new ships debuting in 2022, these are some of the highlights that will thrill cruise-goers to set out again on the world’s oceans and rivers, especially at the start of spring break.
Katy Perry named godmother to Norwegian Prima
Scheduled to debut later this year, Norwegian Prima will have a familiar framed face on board. Pop star and American Idol judge Katy Perry will christen the ship as her new godmother later this year, continuing the Norwegian tradition of using music icons as godmothers. Beginning her itineraries in Europe, the ship will move to the Caribbean later this year. Perry says she enjoys going on cruises herself. To celebrate the occasion, Norwegian has created a special Spotify playlist featuring some of their hit songs. Highlights of the new Norwegian Prima, the first of a new class of ships for the line, will include a split-level theater with seats that fold down to create space for a huge nightclub and several new dining concepts with rotating menus.
Emerald Azzurra embarks on the Red Sea
Emerald Cruises launched its first ocean-going yacht this month in Aqaba, Jordan, with plans to sail a Red Sea route to destinations like Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt; Eilat, Israel; and Petra, Jordan. The ship carries just 100 passengers and will be officially christened in Venice later this year before starting Mediterranean crossings later this year. The ship will offer plenty of activities for an active lifestyle, including e-bikes, a marina platform with water sports equipment, an infinity pool, infrared sauna and a host of shore excursions.
Silversea christens Silver Origin in the Galapagos Islands
Silversea Cruises christened the 100 passenger Origin of money recently in a ceremony inspired by an expedition to San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands. After the traditional bagpipe ceremony, Johanna Carrión, an environmentalist and resident of the Galapagos Islands herself, raised her glass of champagne on one of the Zodiac boats as the ship’s godmother. As part of the cruise line’s sustainability efforts (including reducing single-use plastic and using reef-safe sunscreen on board), the company has launched the Silversea Fund for the Galapagos supporting long-term educational projects. The ship will sail around the Ecuadorian archipelago throughout the year.
Oceania launches its new Vista in Italy
At the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy, Oceania Cruises has launched its new 67,000 ton ship, with capacity for 1,200 passengers View end of February. The ship will have a dozen food outlets, including four new ones for the cruise line, known for its many culinary options. With 800 employees, it will also have two crew members for every three passengers. Another new development is the addition of Concierge Level Veranda cabins for solo travelers to meet the needs of a growing segment of cruisers.
The Norwegian launches the “Meet The Winemaker” range and adds crossings in Europe
Wine lovers can mingle with well-known winemakers and industry experts in Norwegian’s sixth annual “Meet The Winemakers” series, which returns this spring. Wine tastings, oenological dinners, seminars and culinary demonstrations bring the wines and their different characteristics to life for interested customers. Onboard events cost between $22 and $100. Customers can sail with some of the best wine producers, including Antonio Hidalgo, Gérard Bertrand, Salvatore Ferragamo and Domaines Barons de Rothschild (LAFITE), among others. The series is already available on Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss sailings this spring, but will take place in Europe on select Greek island sailings on Norwegian Escape later this year.
Azamara appoints godmother of new ship Azamara Onward
Azamara has chosen the founder and CEO of women’s travel community Wanderful, Beth Santos, as the new sponsor of its ship Azamara Onward, which will debut this spring. The announcement earlier this month was made on International Women’s Day. Santos Travel Group helps more than 45,000 women travel the world and enjoy local events and immersive experiences in dozens of destinations. Santos will officially christen the ship on May 2 in Monte Carlo.
Lindblad igloos at sea
On two of Lindblad’s newest polar ships, National Geographic Endurance and National Geographic Resolution, the company has introduced two one-of-a-kind igloos on deck where guests can sleep with epic views. Each of these glass-domed igloos has a teak wood daybed with fur throw, and they are open to everyone during the day. Each evening, guests can reserve them to spend the night in view of the stars and icebergs or the passing landscapes. Hot water bottles, bathrobes and fleece-lined capes add to the experience. Special LED lights that recreate the feel of the Northern Lights for a little more romance. The igloos were originally built as solar units for the deck’s hot tubs. Company founder Sven Lindblad’s interest in Inuit architecture inspired their repurposing for something customers could use.
Sea Cloud partners with the Steinway Talent Program
In an effort to support and showcase budding young musicians, Sea Cloud Cruises features several cruises with notable talent on board as part of its themed cruises. These include cruises with German pianist and conductor Justus Frantz in April and a “Steinway Voyage” with special events, including an evening at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation’s new concert hall in Copenhagen with the Trio con Brio Copenhagen. Other themed cruises include a wine cruise in April and a culinary cruise later that month with Germany’s youngest two-Michelin-star chef.
Istanbul’s Galata Port continues to expand
Outstanding restaurants, eclectic shopping and sensational Bosphorus waterfront views aren’t all that’s new at Galataport, Istanbul’s new downtown cruise hub and Europe’s second-largest LEED-certified project. Platinum. Coming soon is a new Peninsula Hotel, due to open later this year, and Istanbul Modern, a contemporary art museum designed (and rebuilt) by Renzo Piano. The D.Ream restaurant group, well known in the city for famous outposts like Roka and Liman, has several restaurants in the neighborhood. Close to all of Istanbul’s tourist attractions, the summer cruise season will see many ships arriving in port, including the return of Seabourn, which will be carrying many ship visits to this new underground cruise terminal after a short hiatus.
Viking Octantis will be baptized in New York
In April, Viking will officially welcome its second expedition ship at a christening ceremony in New York. Viking Octantis will join Viking Polaris, which currently sails Antarctic routes, as part of the cruise line’s growing fleet of 80 river vessels, six ocean vessels and now two expedition vessels. The ship will accommodate up to 378 guests and will begin sailing the Great Lakes this summer making stops in cities like Cleveland, Milwaukee and Toronto before heading south to the Caribbean, South America and possibly Antarctica.