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Whats new in cruise ships? Part 2 - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

The cruise industry continues to boom, and with many new ships to join their fleets in the next four years it looks as if there will be even more choice than there is now.

Whilst Costa appear to be producing the most new ships – three before the end of 2012, following closely behind is Carnival with two new ships, Magic in June 2011 and Breeze in spring, 2012. Celebrity are celebrating the launch of their fourth Solstice class cruise ship, the Celebrity Silhouette in the autumn of 2011, having launched Celebrity Eclipse in April, 2010, which followed Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Solstice. Having recently cruised on Celebrity Solstice, the first in its class, I can confirm that these are exciting and innovative liners. A further unnamed ship is promised for the autumn of 2012.

Disney, never one to be left behind, have two new and exciting ships, the Disney Dream in January 2011, and the Disney Fantasy in 2012. No doubt these two Disney ships will offer a unique experience and many innovative features.

The long awaited replacement for the QE2 will join the Cunard fleet in October, 2010. It has already been confirmed that she will be known simply as the Queen Elizabeth, not the QE3 as some expected. She will carry some 2, 058 passengers, and will have a two tier library and extensive facilities for babies, children and teenagers.

Both Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Line introduced brand new ships in 2010. First was the Norwegian Epic in May, 2010, a most ungainly looking ship which, in my opinion looks as if they tried to put as many decks and cabins on her as possible. She is certainly odd to look at, but no doubt she will be as popular as their other ships, offering complete freedom in dress code and dining options. At 153, 000 tons she is certainly big, and she can carry 4, 200 passengers. She features an ice bar, an Aqua Park, and the largest private villa complex on the high seas.

Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam will be the sister ship to the Eurodam, and debuting in July 2010 she will carry 2, 106 guests. She will be the fourth ship in this line to carry this name. This ship’s design is themed around Manhattan. New York and the Netherlands have a long history – the city was originally names ‘Nieuw Amsterdam’ by Dutch settlers, and there will be a multi-million dollar collection of art on board. Above the atrium there is an amazing chandelier which is an abstract sculpture of the Manhattan skyline, created from translucent blocks. There is also a huge metal ‘big apple’ on Deck 4. Passengers can even borrow an iPod to take a guided tour of all the art work on board. She is sized to be able to traverse the Panama Canal.

We have a little longer to wait for the new Princess ships, which will be the first in a new class of vessel. Princess Cruises, having introduced several ships in the grand class, including Emerald, Sapphire, Diamond and Caribbean, has no new ships until 2013 and 2014. Their names are, as yet, unknown, but they are expected to be 139, 000 tons with a passenger capacity of 3, 600.

It is sad that our great British ship building tradition is no more, and it is the yards of Fincantieri and Mariotti in Italy, Meyer Werft of Germany and the Finnish dockyards which will be building these splendid ships. Even France manages to produce two cruise ships for the MSC line. However, it would seem that the cruise industry continues to go from strength to strength as more and more people discover this innovative and exciting way to vacation.

Once the domain of the rich and famous, cruising is now in the reach of anyone who wishes to experience this most unique of holidays.

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