Whether you prefer to relax on an intimate river voyage along the world’s most famed waterways, desire adventure and exploration on an expedition yacht, or crave luxury aboard the ocean’s most elegant vessels, there’s a new crop of cruise ships⏤and a few that have been recently refurbished⏤that you need to know about before you plan your next vacation.
Some of these ships are already on the water, many are open for advanced reservations, and others are launching very soon, but our CruiseInsider experts are “in the know” and will make sure you’re among the first to experience the latest, greatest river vessels, yachts, ocean liners, and luxury small-ships on the horizon.
Having debuted this year on the Rhine, this stunning river ship has received rave reviews already. Featuring newly-designed rooming configurations and connecting staterooms to accommodate large groups and families, AmaKristina's new design allows for more twin balcony staterooms and suites while reducing the overall number of cabins and thereby ensuring a luxurious ride for all guests.
And coming soon from AmaWaterways, the AmaLea (2018) , which will feature expanded biking and hiking excursions and a complimentary "Sip and Sail" cocktail hour, where all beverages and spirits are free, the AmaMora (2019) which will focus on Rhine itineraries, and the largest river ship to ever hit the Danube, the beautiful behemoth AmaMagna (2019) which will be twice as wide as any current river ship and is a new concept specifically designed to elevate modern luxury river cruising.
Azamara Club Cruises
Now open for booking (with special pricing and extra perks exclusively from CruiseInsider) Azamara is introducing 15 maiden ports, new itineraries, and unforgettable, unique experiences on their brand new ship Azamara Pursuit. Plus, they’ll be returning to several destinations with more immersive experiences than ever before. New destination highlights will include Antofagasta (Chile), Lima (Peru), Seydisfjordur (Iceland), Agadir (Morocco), Spetses (Greece), and more of world’s many wonders, making the Pursuit on of the most exciting new ship additions.
Crystal River—Crystal Bach (2017)
Bookings are now open for Crystal River Cruises' four new first purpose-built river cruise ships—known collectively as the Rhine Class – which will be launching in the coming months. Crystal Bach made her debut earlier this year and will be followed by sister ship Crystal Mahler coming soon. Two additional ships⏤Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel⏤will follow next year. These river vessels will introduce a new standard of luxury in river cruising on many fronts, including upgraded accommodations, exclusive dining experiences ashore, and innovative activities and excursions not found on any other river cruise lines.
Crystal Yacht—Crystal Endeavor (2019)
Crystal Endeavour, a brand-new luxury expedition mega-yacht with polar capabilities, will feature two helicopters and two submarines, plus Zodiacs, jet skis and equipment for scuba, snorkeling, kayaking and fishing. The twin sister to Crystal's recent yacht addition Crystal Esprit, the Endeavor will sail expedition-style itineraries to Antarctica and the Arctic, the coast of the Americas, Europe, remote islands in the Atlantic and Pacific, as well as tropical locales. Along with far-flung itineraries and polar-class upgrades, the intimate luxury vessel will accomodate only 200 passengers in 100 suites plus include a private conservatory; indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi; sightseeing area with 270-degree views; an infinity pool that can become a dance floor or dining area; and a large, full-service spa and wellness center.
Unnamed Ship (2022)
Cunard's as-yet-unnamed next-generation vessel will be the first new-build ship since the launch of Queen Elizabeth in 2010 will continue Cunard’s legacy of superior service and elegant style. Sharing the iconic livery and red funnels, the new ship will accommodate up to 3,000 guests⏤the largest in the fleet⏤and feature distinct Cunard signatures and brand new luxury experiences.
MS Roald Amundsen (2018)
This state-of-the-art expedition vessel will feature new and environmentally sustainable hybrid technology that will reduce fuel consumption and show the world that hybrid propulsion on large ships is possible. The first of two hybrid ships Hurtigruten will add to its fleet over the next few years, the MS Roald Amundsen (and future sister ship MS Fridtjof Nansen) will lead the way toward a more sustainable way of traveling and be specially constructed for voyages in polar waters bringing adventurers from all over the world to the most spectacular destinations in the most sustainable and comfortable way.
Hurtigruten’s new hybrid technology will make sailing with electric propulsion for 15–30 minutes a reality and reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 20%, amounting to more than 3,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.
National Geographic Quest (2017)
The newest addition to the Lindblad Expeditions fleet is the National Geographic Quest, which made her inaugural voyage this year. Like her twin sister ship National Geographic Venture coming online in 2018, they are the first new builds in Lindblad’s history and the only purpose-built expedition ships designed and built from scratch in the USA. The design incorporates all that Lindblad has learned in 30+ years of operating expedition cruises into every aspect of their construction including larger cabins, many with balconies or the ability to connect, better views from the bow to the bridge to the beautiful observation decks, a fleet of 24 sea kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling equipment, and modern Zodiacs, all of which are geared to get guests out and into the wild, remote places being explored.
Regent Seven Seas
Regent Seven Seas Splendor (2020)
Regent has signed a contract with Italy’s famous Fincantieri shipyard to build a 750-guest sister ship to Seven Seas Explorer for delivery in 2020. The new Explorer-class vessel will feature many of the same high-end features and amenities that were recently introduced on Seven Seas Explorer⏤billed as the world’s most luxurious cruise ship⏤including top dining, spacious accommodations and a new class of ultra-luxurious suites, as well as an innovative entertainment program. As plans are being finalized for the highly anticipated ship, Regent Seven Seas is on track to raise the standards of luxury cruising once again.
Next year Seabourn will introduce the ultra-luxurious Seabourn Ovation, a sister-ship to the already prestigious Seabourn Encore that set sail last year. Ovation represents another welcome stage in the evolution of small-ship cruising, which Seabourn pioneered and has consistently expanded and enriched. The new ship will be as strikingly beautiful and as excitingly innovative as any Seabourn has ever debuted and will crown a fleet that is already the newest, most modern and most acclaimed in the ultra-luxury segment.
Silver Muse (2017) and Silver Moon (2020)
Silversea’s newest flagship, Silver Muse is without question an inspirational work of art. Delivered this year, the new ultra-luxury ship accommodates 596 discerning guests and truly embodies the small-ship intimacy and spacious all-suite accommodations that are the hallmarks of the Silversea experience. The addition of Silver Muse, and the 2020 debut of sister ship Silver Moon, will expand Silversea's fleet to ten ships, and once again significantly raises the bar in the ultra-luxury cruise market with a wealth of enhancements to the onboard experience, while satisfying the uncompromising requirements for comfort, service, and quality of the world's most discerning travelers.
U by Uniworld
The A and The B (2017)
Reinventing river cruising in 2017, U by Uniworld's cool sister ships offer a fresh approach to traditional river cruising targeting 21-45 year olds looking for a fun, hip alternative to exploring Europe by land. Equal parts boutique waterfront hotel, yacht, taxi, bar, favorite restaurant, nightclub and yoga studio, travel becomes a bit more relaxed and a lot more hassle-free aboard these next gen river ships. Sleek and sophisticated, The A makes her home on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers, ﬂowing through the Netherlands and Central Europe. The B cruises down France’s Seine River—her chic style and Parisian inﬂuence putting you in the French spirit even before stepping off the ship.
Uniworld River Cruises
S.S. Joie de Vivre (2017)
Uniworld introduced the S.S. Joie de Vivre this year along France's historic Seine River. As the name implies, this fun, exciting new ship reflects the French "joy of living" philosophy and the nation’s profound appreciation for food, wine, art and music. French inspired handcrafted furniture with rich fabrics, antiques, art, gilded and wrought-iron accents will mix with modern-day conveniences on board the new ship, which also will feature Uniworld’s farm-to-table cuisine and superb local wines.
Viking Orion (2018)
The 930-guest small ship Viking Orion—the fifth Viking ocean ship—touched water for the first time this year at it’s celebratory “Float Out”, but will join her beautiful sisters Viking Sun and Viking Sky (also brand new) on the high seas in 2018. This intimate, all-veranda luxury vessel combines form and function like never before creating a comfortable, understated, elegant and thoughtfully created experience designed to enrich your interaction with your destination in every way.
Update on Upgrades
Read below for the latest insider information on all the recently refurbished, remodeled, and re-imagined ships that you should know about before planning your next cruise adventure.
Crystal Symphony (2017) and Crystal Serenity (planned for 2018)
What’s new? Emerging from their longest-ever makeovers, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will feature more of what their pampered guests already love…only better. More innovative dining options with expanded specialty venues and open-seating, more state-of-the-art technologies including free, unlimited Wi-Fi, and more luxurious and spacious new suites and penthouses. Replacing existing staterooms, the newly added accommodations will reduce guest capacity to further increase the ships’ already generous service and space ratios to be among the loftiest in luxury travel.
Seabourn Symphony (2017)
What’s new? In addition to improvements to staterooms, suites, and common areas, Restaurant 2 will be replaced with The Grill by Thomas Keller, and the Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil program will be added.
Silver Cloud (2017)
What’s new? Silver Cloud recently underwent a complete transformation and costly refurbishment to become Silversea's fourth luxury expedition ship. The elegant ship was converted into an ice-class vessel perfect for Arctic voyages and exploring the most remote corners of the earth in elegance. Refit bow to stern to accommodate a limited number of guests, particularly just 200 in polar waters, the Silver Cloud now has the highest space to guest and crew to guest ratios in expedition cruising. It also received a fleet of 18 Zodiac watercraft to carry onboard and added broad sweeping decks with multiple open spaces and a swimming pool to complete what is surely the most distinctive expedition ship sailing today.
Silver Spirit (planned for 2018)
What’s new? A 49-foot-long midsection will be added to Silver Spirit during this major refurbishment. The additional space will allow for new suites: 26 Veranda Suites, six Silver Suites and two Panorama Suites. Other upgrades include new dining venues and decor in suites and public areas indoors and out, all inspired by sister ship Silver Muse. Technical upgrades will also be made throughout the ship.
For more insight or inspiration on the newest ships, nicest remodels, and most desired voyages—plus the very best deals you can find—speak to an expert today at 1 (877) 734-6858 and get insider access to everything that’s new in cruising.
The World's Best Festivals & Events
Around the world, in every season, festivals bring people together in colorful celebrations of unique heritages and cultures. Celebrating with locals and immersing yourself in the festivities is a great way to truly discover a destination as an insider–and the very best way to experience it all is from the comfort and safety of a cruise ship.Posted February 2nd, 2018
Insider Focus: Viking Cruises
Some cruise lines "rule" the river. Others cruise lines "own" the ocean.Posted January 26th, 2018
6 Tips for Taking a Family River Cruise
River cruising has long been associated with retirees and baby boomers, but many lines have begun to forgo their sedate, "stuffy" reputations to offer fun adventures for the whole family! With exciting sailings, exclusive savings and entire ships designed to appeal to children of all ages and multigenerational family adventures, there has never been a better time to get the brood on board a river cruise. [BREAK] A leisurely river cruise is the perfect way for families to connect while experiencing the history, cuisine and culture of exotic locales in a peaceful, scenic and enriching way.Posted January 17th, 2018