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Most 2020 cruise voyages were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with it, several new ship introductions were also delayed. But as ocean travel looks to resume in 2021, there is a surplus of fresh vessels — both carried over from last year and slated to launch later this year.
Also, fear not the demise of several existing ships that were scrapped following the devastating impact of the coronavirus. Upcoming hardware will introduce plenty more berths and overall amenities to supplant the old inventory and reignite client excitement for the segment.
Here are the new non-expedition ocean cruise ships slated for 2021, as of press time.
Celebrity Apex (Celebrity Cruises)Celebrity Apex from Celebrity Cruises was just barely out of the shipyard when cruise travel came to a halt last year, so this sister ship to the Celebrity Edge has had to wait it out. Celebrity Apex is scheduled to debut in May in the Mediterranean.
Enchanted Princess (Princess Cruises)Princess Cruises similarly took delivery of its Enchanted Princess in 2020, but the fifth Royal-class vessel has yet to officially set sail. Now it is earmarked for 2021 and scheduled for a May departure from Rome.
Mardi Gras (Carnival Cruise Line)Straying away from sister ships for a moment is Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, the first ship in the line’s all-new Excel class. Adolfo Perez, senior vice president of global sales and trade marketing for Carnival, has described previous ships in the fleet as “evolutionary,” but Mardi Gras as “revolutionary” by comparison. Most notable among Mardi Gras’ special features will be Bolt, the first roller coaster at sea, as well as new dining options from chefs Emeril Lagasse and Rudi Sodamin. Mardi Gras is scheduled to sail in May from Port Canaveral, Fla.
MSC Seashore and MSC Virtuosa (MSC Cruises)MSC Cruises is another line with two sister ships coming out this year: MSC Seashore and MSC Virtuosa. Both are somewhat larger than their immediate predecessors — MSC Seashore is the first Seaside Evo-class ship and is slated to sail in August from Rome; and the Virtuosa is the first Meraviglia Plus-class vessel due in April from Genoa, Italy.
Odyssey of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)Following the trend of introducing larger ships, Royal Caribbean International’s Odyssey of the Seas is the second of the line’s bigger Quantum Ultra-class ships after Spectrum of the Seas. Odyssey of the Seas is scheduled to launch in May from Rome.
Rotterdam (Holland America Line)As a sister ship to the Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam, Holland America Line’s Rotterdam marks the third in the fleet’s latest Pinnacle class. The vessel’s premier voyage is on the books for August from Trieste (Venice), Italy.
Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady (Virgin Voyages)The travel industry is not only eager to check out these new ships, but an entirely new cruise line, as well. Scarlet Lady from Virgin Voyages was making preview rounds in Europe before heading to the U.S., where it was forced to cancel its maiden 2020 season. Its official unveiling has shifted to 2021, with departures starting in May from Miami. Sister ship Valiant Lady is set to follow in November out of Barcelona.
Seven Seas Splendor (Regent Seven Seas Cruises)Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Splendor traveled all the way to the U.S. West Coast in San Diego, Calif., for preview cruises before it had to forego the rest of its maiden voyages in 2020. The sister ship to Seven Seas Explorer is currently back in Europe, where it is set to properly debut in May from Southampton in the U.K.
Silver Moon and Silver Dawn (Silversea Cruises)Silversea Cruises is another luxury line with sister ships (to Silver Muse) waiting to be unveiled. Silver Moon was ready last year, but its launch has been delayed to May 2021, sailing from Piraeus, Greece. The third in the latest class, Silver Dawn, is scheduled for a November debut from Barcelona. In fact, Silver Dawn — the fleet’s 10th ship — was just floated out from the Fincantieri shipyard in Ancona, Italy.
Viking Venus (Viking)Viking is preparing to introduce its seventh ship to the fast-growing ocean fleet: Viking Venus. In fact, it was just announced that Anne Diamond, British journalist and broadcaster, has been chosen as the vessel’s godmother. Venus is scheduled to launch in April from Northern Europe.