2016 & 2017 Big Years For China Cruising – Empress of the Seas To Return to Florida – Pacific Explorer To Bring P&O Australia Fleet To Six

The Cruise Examiner for 26th October 2015


China phototory courtesy Carnival cCrp & plcLast week’s big news was the announcement by Carnival Corp & plc, in the presence of the Chinese president and British prime minister, that it was forming a new Chinese-based cruise line (whose ships may fly the UK flag) in conjunction with two Chinese state-owned concerns. Meanwhile, plenty of action is set to take place. In 2016, Royal Caribbean International will introduce the first newbuilding to China when its Ovation of the Seas sails east, Norwegian Cruise Line will send its Norwegian Star, MSC Cruises its MSC Lirica, Costa and Princess one more ship each and Star Cruises the first of two newbuildings. In 2017, three more newbuildings are set to follow, with the Norwegian Bliss (to be renamed), Majestic Princess and the second new Star ship, while Carnival Cruise Lines and AIDA Cruises enter the China market for the first time with one ship each.

The Trend To Mid-Size Ships: Saga Orders A Vessel From Meyer Werft

The Cruise Examiner for 5th October 2015

Saga image courtesy Meyer Werft

Artist’s concept of the new Saga ship seems to indicate a wraparound promenade deck

Last week came news from Saga that it had ordered a 55,900-ton cruise ship from Meyer Werft in Papenburg, builders almost three decades ago, in 1986-92, of such well-respected ships as the Homeric, Crown Odyssey, Horizon and Zenith. The new Saga ship, for delivery in 2019, plus a possible sister for 2021, will join the eight “R” ships that set the precedent for this size of cruise ship in 1998-2001, along with Oceania Cruises’ Marina and Riviera from 2011-12 and the Viking Ocean Cruises trio of 2015-17. Compared to the ultra-luxury ships that have tended to occupy this size bracket in the past, these ships will prove that there is a market to be met between the mass market ships carrying thousands of passengers and the ultra-luxury ships carrying just hundreds. This new class of ship will bring back passengers whose needs have not been met by the very large mass-market ships, no matter how many attractions.