New Luxury In Antarctica, Diamond Bar Carts And Mystery Trips: Cruise News For 2023

December 28, 2022
December 28, 2022

The cruise industry is poised to see its biggest year yet with new ships, new features, new itineraries and promotions galore. There are plenty of surprises in store from luxury cruise lines entering the expedition market and calling on smaller, undiscovered ports to robotic onboard thrill rides and Elon Musk Wi-Fi.

Before the holidays, many lines encouraged future bookings with a host of Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions. If you haven’t booked a cruise yet, here is some of the latest news from the cruise industry to help you kickstart your 2023 vacation plans.

Godmother Simone Biles christens Celebrity Beyond

Celebrity’s third ship in the Edge Class series is Celebrity Beyond, which was recently named by Godmother Simone Biles in early November. As the most decorated American gymnast in history, Biles is a 19-time World Champion and seven-time Olympic Medalist. The ship will sail the Caribbean this winter under the helm of Captain Kate McCue, the first and only woman to captain a large cruise ship. Rotating between Western and Eastern Caribbean itineraries, Celebrity Beyond features numerous popular amenities like The Retreat, an exclusive resort-within-a-resort area for suite guests spanning two floors, a rooftop garden, 32 food and beverage options, and The Magic Carpet, a cantilevered venue for cocktails and meals that ascends and descends the side of the ship.

MSC World Europa christened in Doha, Qatar

Dubbed “the world’s largest environmentally focused passenger cruise ship,” MSC World Europa was officially named in Doha, Qatar. The godmother of the ship is Sheikah Hind Bint Hamad Al Thani, vice chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation; the naming ceremony took place at the new Grand Cruise Terminal. The LNG-powered ship boasts more than 430,000 square feet of public space and 2,626 cabins. International singer-songwriter Matteo Bocelli performed at the event.

Silversea names newest expedition ship in Antarctica

Silversea Cruises has officially named Silversea Endeavor, its newest luxury expedition ship, during a recent sailing in Antarctica. As the 11th ship in the fleet, the ceremony took place in the Lemaire Channel, Antarctica (the first of its kind) with industry executives and Godmother Felicity Aston. There was also a blessing ceremony held at the Cape Horn Sub-Antarctic Center in Puerto Williams. Aston was the first woman to ski solo across the continent one decade ago as well as the first person to cross the continent by muscle power alone.

Renovated Norwegian Spirit heads to the South Pacific

Following a $100 million renovation, Norwegian Spirit is making its debut in Australia. It will also operate some of the cruise line’s Extraordinary Journeys trips, and itinerary that will visit French Polynesia, Australia and Fiji. This is the first time the ship will sail in and around Australia and New Zealand. Among the updates on board the 2,032-passenger ship are totally refreshed cabin interiors, restaurants and public areas.

Cunard unveils new ship Queen Anne’s 2024 sailings

Coming soon to the Cunard itineraries are a host of new sailings on its newest ship, the Queen Anne. This month, the company put a new series of trips on sale. For Queen Anne’s maiden season, it will sail both the Mediterranean and Scandinavian journeys including through the Norwegian fjords. In its inaugural season, it will visit 62 maiden ports on sailings ranging between two and 19 nights. Also for 2024, the Queen Mary 2 will sail 22 of Cunard’s signature transatlantic crossings.

Oceania adds new rum and whiskey programs

Updated mixology offerings come to Oceania Cruises next year with new rum and whiskey programs through a partnership with Edrington. New mixology classes feature Macallan’s luxury single malt whiskeys and Brugal’s 1888 rums will be popular new offerings, sometimes delivered via “The Macallan Diamond Bar Cart” adding a bit of theater to the cocktail menu. There’s also a new “Tea at Sea” mixology class using Brugal 1888 Doblemente Añejado Rum helping guests understand the history of pairing rum and tea that dates back to the 17th century as well as a selection of ice cream cocktails available at the ship’s pools, restaurants and lounges.

Mystery cruise itineraries from Uniworld

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering two, 10-day mystery cruises next summer hosted by company president and CEO Ellen Bettridge. One will start in Nice and end in Lyon, and the other will sail the rivers and waterways around Amsterdam. The destinations, excursions and special events along the way remain a secret. Also planned for 2023 is a 46-night, “rivers of the world” itinerary that combines land-based trips with sailings aboard five different ships to visit Egypt, Portugal as well as sail along numerous rivers including the Seine and the Danube.

Royal Caribbean names “Wonder Mom” as new ship godmother

Nominated by her daughter, Pennsylvania resident Marie McCrea is the new godmother of Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas. The mother, wife and cancer survivor overcame great adversity over recent years, and the search for someone who demonstrates such strength in difficult circumstances led to more than 16,000 nominations with the cruise line eventually choosing McCrea. In addition to being the ceremonial head of the ship, she and her family also won a seven-night cruise vacation aboard the ship.

Ocean Odyssey takes to the seas

Vantage Travel's Ocean Odyssey will launch its inaugural cruise as a tour operator in Aqaba, Jordan on a 134-person ship. Unusual for a small ship are the 15 solo cabins on this luxury vessel. Next year, the ship will head for Asia, the British Isles, the Mediterranean and Scandinavia plus Morocco and the Canary Islands. It will also do expedition cruising in Iceland in 2024.

New Danube River sailings with Riverside Collection

Taking the MS Mozart that sailed for now-defunct Crystal Cruises, Seaside Collection (known for resorts in the Maldives and around Europe) is launching its own river cruise line. The boat will sail the Danube River starting in 2023 with butler service, the option for all-inclusive or a la carte pricing, and onboard wellness amenities including a sauna, steam room, pool, whirlpool and spa menu. The double-wide ship is larger than a traditional river boat, which gives it additional space for amenities like the Vintage Room, one of four onboard restaurants that will have a special tasting menu.

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  • Chuck Parsons

    Chuck is Score LA’s Executive Director of Events and Marketing. He aims to help business owners and would-be entrepreneurs in Los Angeles improve their business practices.

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