By David Barclay | November 2, 2022
Interest in luxury cruising is growing rapidly and the luxury cruise lines have responded with a long list of new ships that have either launched in the past few years or are under construction and will launch over the next few years. The new ships retain the best aspects of their cruise lines’ offerings and add new bespoke experiences as each cruise line vies to offer the best luxury cruise experience.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that this rapidly growing segment has attracted the attention of other well-known players in the travel industry. These new entrants to the luxury cruise segment bring their own unique offerings and look to differentiate themselves from the existing lines. Below are three new cruise lines sailing into the luxury cruise segment that you will want to keep on your radar (and try for one of your future cruises).
Explora Journeys is a new luxury cruise line from the MSC group. This family owned company is one of the largest cargo shipping companies in the world and entered the cruising industry in 1988 with the launch of MSC Cruises.
Explora Journeys benefits from the immense sailing knowledge (and financial stability) of the MSC Group, but also looks to create a unique brand and experience in the luxury cruise segment. Its brand focuses on “The Ocean State of Mind” and creating enriching, respectful journeys with the sea as the main focus.
It currently has 6 ships planned (Explora I, II, III, IV, V and VI) with Explora I launching in summer 2023 and a new ship added every year until 2028. The ships will be slightly larger than the flagships of the other luxury cruise lines and will accommodate around 900 guests. Each ship will boast 27,000 ft2 of exterior deck spaces, a spacious Sundeck with 64 private cabanas, 3 outdoor swimming pools, one indoor swimming pool covered by a retractable glass roof, several Jacuzzies, 9 different dining options, and 10 indoor and outdoor bars and lounges.
Explora I’s maiden voyage will start on July 17, 2023 and will sail on a continuous journey so that no itinerary repeats a prior itinerary’s route and ports of call.
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
Ritz-Carlton just launched the Evrima, the first of 3 announced ships, to bring the Ritz-Carlton experience to the sea. This line looks to set itself apart by offering a more casual yachting experience combined with Ritz-Carlton’s well-known service. While the Evrima is slightly smaller than the typical luxury cruise ship, she also carries a maximum of 298 guests, resulting in a space to guest ratio that exceeds those of current luxury cruise ships. But her smaller size doesn’t detract from the service and experience on board. She boasts an almost 1:1 crew to guest ratio and offers 7 dining venues.
The Evrima will sail the Caribbean and Mediterranean (along with transatlantic repositioning sailings) and is booking for Fall 2022 though Fall 2024.
In 2024 and 2025, the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will launch the sister ships Ilma and Luminara. These ship will be larger than the Evrima, accommodating up to 456 guests, but will also offer an even higher space to guest ratio.
Four Seasons Yachts
Four Seasons recently announced that it will bring its luxury standards to the world’s oceans starting in 2025. The preliminary yacht specs are similar to the smaller ships of the main luxury cruise lines, but will only offer 95 suites (accommodating ~190 guests) indicating Four Seasons is looking to outdo the competition by offering more on board space per guest. The smallest suite will measure 580 ft2, almost twice the size of a standard veranda suite on the better known luxury lines. The yacht will cost $4.2 million per suite to build, more than double the suite build cost record set by the Crystal Endeavor (now the Silversea Endeavour) when she launched in 2019.
Owner, Barclay & Company Travel
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