FX Excursions

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Get a Glimpse of New Ships We Can’t Wait to Sail in 2024

by Terry Ward

Dec 11, 2023

PHOTO: © SEABOURN

December 2023

PHOTO: © ROYAL CARIBBEAN

According to Cruise Lines International Association’s 2023 State of the Cruise Industry Report, cruise tourism is rebounding at a quicker pace than international tourism arrivals and represents one of the fastest- growing sectors of global tourism. And 2024 shows no sign of slowing down.

Some 36 million passengers are expected to cruise in 2024, up 4.5 million people over 2023 statistics. And cruising is trending younger than ever before, too, with 86 percent of millennial and Gen-X travelers who have cruised before saying they’ll cruise again.

Cruise lines responded to the demand with innovative new ships.

“The launching of new ships has sparked a renewed interest in cruising to various destinations. Our agency is anxiously awaiting the launch of the Disney Treasure, an upscale cruise liner designed for families,” said Marci Oakley, Avenue Two Travel, a Virtuoso agency. “For couples, we are excited about Yachts of Seabourn Cruise Line’s newest additions, the Pursuit and the Venture, small ships that are equipped to bring our guests to remote destinations.”

If you’re the kind of cruiser who likes to keep things fresh and new when it comes to the latest ships and itineraries, take a look at five exciting new vessels taking to the seas in 2024.

DISNEY TREASURE
It’s impossible to talk about cruising in 2024 without mentioning Disney Cruise Line’s sixth ship, joining the fleet in December 2024. The next in line (after Disney Wish) in the cruise line’s Triton class, Disney Treasure will mirror its sister ship while leaning more into mystery and adventure vibes on the high seas as opposed to a fairy-tale theme. Look for references to Disney movies such as Aladdin and Luca, to name just a few, throughout the 1,256-cabin and -suite ship. Kids who loved the Frozen– themed dining experience on Disney Wish can segue into the world of Encanto at a new themed restaurant, Plaza de Coco, on board Treasure. The ship will spend its maiden season sailing seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral.

PHOTOS: © ROYAL CARIBBEAN

ROYAL CARIBBEAN ICON OF THE SEAS
When it debuts in January 2024, Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas will ply Caribbean waters as the largest cruise ship in the world, stretching for nearly 1,200 feet and boasting 20 decks and eight onboard neighborhoods. Maximum onboard capacity is 7,600 guests in more than 2,800 cabins. The numbers are staggering, and passengers can expect a floating festival of colors, cuisine and entertainment, including the world’s largest waterpark at sea, featuring six water slides (including the tallest at sea), a surf simulator, an adults-only pool and much more. Icon of the Seas will sail from Miami on seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries to places like St. Maarten, Roatán and Cozumel.

RIVERSIDE LUXURY CRUISES
New to European river cruising, Riverside Luxury Cruises brings a boutique hotel feel to some of the continent’s most spectacular waterways aboard all-suite ships sailing the Danube and Rhône. The 162-passenger Riverside Mozart launched with three- to 14-day itineraries along the Danube in 2023, visiting such cities as Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava. It’s an intimate affair complete with a wraparound promenade for strolling, indoor pool and a spa with sauna and steam rooms, plus four restaurants spread across four decks. Debuting for the 2024 season, Riverside Debussy will set sail on the Rhine with 110 passengers and a range of itineraries from Amsterdam, including one timed for the apex of Holland’s tulip extravaganza.

PHOTOS: © SEABOURN

SEABOURN PURSUIT
Expedition cruising is more luxurious than ever these days — case in point: Seabourn’s latest entry into the booming market. The all-suite, 264-passenger Seabourn Pursuit, the line’s second expedition ship, entered service in August 2023. It boasts a 24-person expedition team and onboard fleet of Zodiacs and kayaks to maximize adventures on land and at sea in destinations in the South Pacific, Papua New Guinea and Antarctica, all among the itineraries for 2024 and 2025. Expect an ultra-luxe, yacht-like experience on board.

EXPLORA II
Roughly a year after Explora Journeys’ first-ever luxury vessel, EXPLORA I, launched, EXPLORA II is set to debut summer 2024 with 461 ocean-front suites, penthouses and residences, all with floor-to-ceiling windows and private sun terraces. Onboard amenities include four pools (including three outdoors), six restaurants, and 12 bars and lounges. The ship will call into off-the-beaten-path ports in the Middle East, Mediterranean, India, Indian Ocean and Africa, with 25 journeys on the docket between August 2024 and April 2025.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION
More than 30 ocean-going cruise ships are on order between now and December 2027. Watch for more new vessels from these cruise lines, slated to launch in 2025 and beyond:

Celebrity Cruises
Disney Cruise Line
Four Seasons Yacht
MSC Cruises
Norwegian Cruise Line
Oceania Cruises
Princess Cruises
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
Royal Caribbean
Viking

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