What are the new destinations or ships available? That’s a question few people ask, but should. Today I saw two articles announcing new ships and/or new destinations that I want to share with you.
Azamara – new ship, new destinations
Azamara is currently a two vessel ocean cruise line owned by Royal Caribbean. They recently announced they are adding a third ship, scheduled to launch early 2018. As this article explains they are refurbishing another of the old Renaissance Cruises ships, meaning the ship will be similar in size and style to Azamara’s existing ships. All three ships will have a capacity of 690 guests making them small to mid sized ships. As such they have access to many ports that the larger ships can’t physically get to. Which makes sense since Azamara offers a destination intensive experience.
With new capacity, Azamara also announced new destinations including Adadir Morocco, Monemvasi Greece, Antofagasta Chili, San Martin Peru, Chilean fjords, Beagle Channel, Samos Greece, Fowey UK, Seyoisforou Iceland and Maceio Brazil. Just listing these destinations makes me want to go out and explore them up close and personal! This list should make any seasoned traveler excited!
We will be going on an Azamara cruise next month (Dec 2017) and will report back.
Viking – lots of new ships
The news is out that Viking River cruises just ordered 7 new vessels to be ready in 2019. Viking is already the largest river cruise company in terms of number of ships. When the new vessels are complete they will have a staggering 69 vessels around the world. And by 2019, Viking Ocean cruises will add a sixth ocean ship to its fleet.
Of particular note is that one of the new ships will be designed specifically for the Douro River in Portugal. This has become of the hottest selling itineraries in the industry – most of 2018 is already sold out as of this writing (Oct 2017). So adding new capacity certainly makes sense.
Viking’s expansion includes launching 6 ships in 2012, 10 in 2013, 12 in 2014, 12 in 2015, 6 in 2016 and 2 in 2017.
“So what” you may say. Well I think it means a few things.
- This reflects the continued growth of the luxury travel sector. These new ships represent millions of dollars of investment so it appears that demand is sufficient to support the investment.
- It represents additional opportunities for travelers to see new destinations. If you thought every cruise ship port looks the same, think again because these new destinations are quite different.
- It remains to be seen how the added supply will impact pricing. The last time Viking added so many ships, European river cruise remained flat. With added supply and a non growing demand, prices moderated. Prices are recovering for most locations now and so we’ll see what the trend will be.
- One thing I caution my clients about is quality control. Can the cruise line handle the additional capacity and logistics yet still maintain their high levels of quality? Find out how previous expansions went by talking to an informed travel agent.
Want to learn more?
- Contact us directly to learn about river cruises, ocean cruises or any other type of vacation you might be thinking of.
- Browse this blog as there many articles here that might be of interest.