The four major cruise companies — Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and MSC — have all announced plans this year for new technology that over the next decade will transform cruising into an easier, line-free experience.
Celebrity Cruises announced Thursday it is working on the first custom-built ship to sail to the Galapagos Islands. The 100-passenger Celebrity Flora will debut in 2019 with a design created to enhance the Galapagos experience.
There are hundreds of cruise lines out there, and sifting through the options — like the themes (”The Walking Dead” or “Oprah”?) destinations (Caribbean, Alaska, Mediterranean, Asia?) and even ship sizes (travel on the largest cruise ship in the world!) — can be overwhelming.
Azamara Club Cruises’ new ship will be familiar to local cruisers: The Miami-based line is refurbishing Adonia, the vessel that took Americans to Cuba again after a 50-year hiatus. After refurbishment, the ship will debut as the Azamara Pursuit in March 2018.
Luxury cruise expert Edie Rodriguez, who spearheaded the transformation of Crystal Cruises, is now lending her expertise to French luxury expedition cruise brand Ponant. Rodriguez will be responsible for growing Ponant brand awareness in the Americas.
Cruises are still steaming to the Caribbean. Contrary to popular belief, most of the more than 50 cruise ports from Mexico to Barbados are operating without damage following the recent spate of hurricanes. Four major ports in the eastern islands are closed, along with a handful of others.
Royal Caribbean International is canceling a planned sailing for a worthier cause: rescue and humanitarian efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Adventure of the Seas will stop in San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Croix this week to pick up evacuees and deliver supplies.
Disney Cruise Line is building a third new ship, the line announced Saturday, in addition to its previously announced order of two new ships. That will nearly double the line’s fleet from four vessels to seven.
With its French fabrics, foie gras, daily arrays of local cheeses and hallways dressed in early 1900s caricatures by artist George Goursat, the Joie de Vivre is true to its French intentions, designed by Uniworld Boutique River Cruises as a floating Paris boutique hotel.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is launching a luxury cruising yacht line scheduled to hit the water in the fourth quarter of 2019, the company announced Thursday. The new Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will be based in Coconut Grove.