It is hard to keep up with new ship announcements, and as the new ships come in the smaller ones change hands and get face lifts. 

Some Headlines

  • Branson announces the shape and style of his new ships at Virgin Voyages
  • Cunard announce a new 4th ship to the fleet
  • P&O sell Adonia to Azamar where it will sail as the Azamara Pursuit
  • P&O to have one of the 4 new ships on order at Carnival, 5,200 passenger capisicty is rumoured. Name to be chosen by passengers so not Cambera, again.
  • SAGA order two new ships
  • Royal Caribbean launch biggest cruise ship ever.
  • Thomson now Marella Cruises, to get Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 and lose two smallest ships.
  • Regent Seven Seas are to have a new luxury ship built, making 5 in it’s fleet.
  • The Silverseas cruise ship Spirit is cut in half and extended.

This is by no means all the news, but 54 million people will cruise this year and only 28% will be over 60. This massive wave (pardon the pun) shows why the TV shows on cruising are popping up and it is no wonder the series of romantic books set on cruise ships is being researched into a possible TV series. SOLO CRUISER book series. Meet author Sally Katz.

LARGEST CRUISE SHIP EVER – This is not a town or a village, this is a floating city. A ship with a park, a zip line, a ten story waterfall and 20 restaurants.

Setting sale from its home port of Miami, the Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas is the biggest cruise ship ever with 2,100 crew members. That is more than many small ships hold.. 

This marks a growing trend and who knows where it will end with thoughts even heading towards building fun cities out at sea on stilts like they do oil rigs. Why, we are only guessing but super casinos and other operators might just be looking at a future as others look at space. But these new ships are not even built on old models, these are built for entertainment, they are built so generations of families can go to sea and holiday together and then do their own thing. They are built to host complete West End and Broadway shows as ships entertainment. Hey, you have to live somewhere, it might as well be at sea, and some people do live permanently on a cruise ship. Maybe the older cruise ships will become prison ships, great fodder for film makers….

The Spirit of Discovery is SAGA’s new ship that will carry 999 passengers, proving not all ships are huge! And they have announced a second new ship, Spirit of Adventure. Cunard have also announced a new ship, the first new ship in over 12 years. Cunard have liner type cruise ships. It will be the first time since 1998 that Cunard will have four ships in simultaneous service and it will accommodate up to 3,000 guests. The new P&O ship is to hold 5,200 passengers. You can already register for the inaugural journey on the SAGA ship here.

The Spirit of Discovery is due for summer 2019 and will retain the intimacy and personal service for which SAGA are renowned.

There are to be more huge ships with China entering the cruise market. Ship size will now change the chart! In the league table of 69 ships below, based on size, Saga, Azamara and Fred Olsen don’t even make the list because they specialise in small ships. We now have a small ships section that is growing. It is many years since we have been on the Black Watch and it is charming. We loved every minute of it and we did Panama to Tahiti. The smaller ships are a different experience.

Join the Britannia Cruise Chat – click the picture

It is interesting that the Britannia, which P&O class as their big ship comes way down the chart of passenger capacity at number 16 and given the spread one cannot call Azura or Ventura large ships anymore. If you like lots to do, or have a family you may gravitate towards Royal Caribbean who have six of the ten largest ships with one having over 5000 passengers. One of the three new 5200 crew and passenger large ships on order by Carnival is due to sister the Britannia and no doubt usurp it as the flag ship. It will be newer and larger and have learned the lessons from the other ships. Bigger than the £473m Britannia which has 15 passenger decks. The new 180,000-ton vessel will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas, a clean-burning fossil fuel that meets new maritime rules on harmful emissions. She will hold 5,200 passengers – 1,553 more than Britannia. It will have a similar club to the Limelight as it has been so successful with many entertainers in. We saw Darren Day there and it was a real treat.

1 Harmony of the Seas Royal Caribbean International 2016 5,494
2 Norwegian Escape Norwegian Cruise Line 2015 4,248
3 Quantum of the Seas Royal Caribbean International 2014 4,180
4 Anthem of the Seas Royal Caribbean International 2015 4,180
5 Ovation of the Seas Royal Caribbean International 2016 4,108
6 Norwegian Epic Norwegian Cruise Line 2010 4,100
7 Allure of the Seas Royal Caribbean International 2010 4,074
8 Oasis of The Seas Royal Caribbean International 2009 4,074
9 Norwegian Breakaway Norwegian Cruise Line 2013 3,963
10 Carnival Vista Carnival Cruise Line 2016 3,936
11 Norwegian Getaway Norwegian Cruise Line 2014 3,910
12 Norwegian Joy Norwegian Cruise Line 2017 3,883
13 Costa Diadema Costa Cruises 2014 3,700
14 Carnival Breeze Carnival Cruise Line 2012 3,690
15 Carnival Magic Carnival Cruise Line 2011 3,690
16 Britannia P&O Cruises 2015 3,647
17 Carnival Dream Carnival Cruise Line 2009 3,646
18 Liberty of the Seas Royal Caribbean International 2007 3,634
19 Freedom of the Seas Royal Caribbean International 2006 3,634
20 Independence of the Seas Royal Caribbean International 2008 3,634
21 Majestic Princess Princess Cruises 2017 3,560
22 Royal Princess Princess Cruises 2013 3,560
23 Regal Princess Princess Cruises 2014 3,560
24 MSC Divina MSC Cruises 2012 3,478
25 MSC Preziosa MSC Cruises 2013 3,478
26 AIDAperla[62] AIDA Cruises 2017 3,290
27 Navigator of the Seas Royal Caribbean International 2002 3,276
28 MSC Fantasia MSC Cruises 2008 3,274
29 MSC Splendida MSC Cruises 2009 3,274
30 AIDAprima AIDA Cruises 2016 3,250
31 Genting Dream Dream Cruises 2016 3,200
32 Mariner of the Seas Royal Caribbean International 2003 3,114
33 Explorer of the Seas Royal Caribbean International 2000 3,114
34 Voyager of the Seas Royal Caribbean International 1999 3,114
35 Adventure of the Seas Royal Caribbean International 2001 3,114
36 Azura P&O Cruises 2010 3,096
37 Ventura P&O Cruises 2008 3,092
38 Ruby Princess Princess Cruises 2008 3,080
39 Crown Princess Princess Cruises 2006 3,080
40 Emerald Princess Princess Cruises 2007 3,080
41 Caribbean Princess Princess Cruises 2004 3,080
42 Celebrity Reflection Celebrity Cruises 2012 3,046
43 Costa Fascinosa Costa Cruises 2012 3,016
44 Costa Favolosa Costa Cruises 2011 3,016
45 Carnival Splendor Carnival Cruise Line 2008 3,006
46 Carnival Sunshine Carnival Cruise Line 1996 3,002
47 Costa Pacifica Costa Cruises 2009 3,000
48 Costa Serena Costa Cruises 2007 3,000
49 Carnival Liberty Carnival Cruise Line 2005 2,974
50 Carnival Freedom Carnival Cruise Line 2007 2,974
51 Carnival Conquest Carnival Cruise Line 2002 2,974
52 Carnival Glory Carnival Cruise Line 2003 2,974
53 Carnival Valor Carnival Cruise Line 2004 2,974
54 Celebrity Silhouette Celebrity Cruises 2011 2,886
55 Celebrity Solstice Celebrity Cruises 2008 2,852
56 Celebrity Equinox Celebrity Cruises 2009 2,852
57 Celebrity Eclipse Celebrity Cruises 2010 2,852
58 Carnival Triumph Carnival Cruise Line 1999 2,758
59 Carnival Victory Carnival Cruise Line 2000 2,758
60 Costa Fortuna Costa Cruises 2003 2,720
61 Costa Magica Costa Cruises 2004 2,720
62 Diamond Princess Princess Cruises 2004 2,670
63 Sapphire Princess Princess Cruises 2004 2,670
64 Queen Mary 2 Cunard Line 2004 2,592
65 Star Princess Princess Cruises 2002 2,590
66 Golden Princess Princess Cruises 2001 2,590
67 Grand Princess Princess Cruises 1998 2,590
68 Disney Fantasy Disney Cruise Line 2012 2,500
69 Disney Dream Disney Cruise Line 2011 2,500

New ships have to face new regulations on emissions, like cars. New ships to fleets will be LNG ships. LNG-powered ships will start sailing for Carnival’s Costa and AIDA brands over the next five years. The size of ships is changing, and despite their size that will not put them in the top three. passenger numbers can differ as configurations can change as officer cabins get freed up for passengers and crew cabins get taken by entertainment specials. You can be assured that within a very short time the Britannia will not make the top twenty chart of large ships, it is barely there now.

MSC Cruises have ships being built in France that hold 5,400 guests and Hurtigruten, Norway’s passenger-cruise service, has plans for at least one 5300 guest ship due for delivery in 2018. It could be that by 2022 the top ten cruise ships by passenger size will all be over 5,000.

The P&O press release says ….

We’re delighted that the P&O Cruises family is about to get bigger, offering you even more holiday choice. Construction of the latest addition to the fleet will get underway next year at Meyer Werft’s Papenburg shipyard in Germany. Cruises on our new ship go on sale autumn 2018 and the ship will enter service in the UK in 2020. At 180,000 tons, it will have a capacity for 5,200 guests, making it the largest cruise ship ever built for the British market.”

What a bigger ship offers is choice. Private and quiet areas away from the crowds at a small premium so a large ship becomes small, but you still have a choice of fine dining restaurants, of different entertainment. The same ship can be a totally different experience.  You can go with the flow and never spend another penny, or use all the premium facilities and have a better experience way way expanding your basic cruise cost. And, like in any town, we can all live together and meet down the pub. That is what makes cruising  so special.

The larger newer ships will offer more choice. P&O say; …”….new levels of entertainment, dining, and relaxation, and features a host of innovative features and cutting-edge technology to wow you with new cruising experiences. The signature heart of the ship, our Atrium, will be the boldest and brightest yet. Glass walls spanning three decks will let natural light flood in while a grand staircase, gallery and overhead walkways will provide dramatic focal points.

The ship will also be the most environmentally efficient ship in the history of P&O Cruises. Powered at sea and in port by liquefied natural gas, exhaust emissions will be significantly reduced to help protect the environment.

These exciting new developments will help you and a new generation of guests find even more rewarding holiday experiences. And rest assured our P&O Cruises DNA will still shine through. You’ll be treated to the best British hospitality and standards of service that you know and love.” Our tip for the new name is Canberra even though the public have been asked to suggest a name. Click here for the press release.

How many new Cruise Passengers are needed & where will they come from?

There is interesting insight into the accelarating advance of the cruise industry in the third book of the book series Solo Cruiser. In American Portrait, Violet has become involved in marketing for a cruise liner and goes on an unexpected fact finding mission with a director. READ THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA. In the book charts! Sally Katz used the films on Doris Visits to peg her romantic cruise novels on! With our permission. Each story lead book takes place over a cruise! Book 1 is a Canary Islands cruise, Book 2 is in the Baltic, Book 3 is in the Caribbean. Books 1 to 3 are Violet’s story.



The big news on the cruise front, however, is the huge increase in the cruise market in China. It could be that within ten years China is the worlds biggest cruise market. Carnival Corporation who own many cruise brands are to double their cruise brands in China, with Carnival Cruise Line and AIDA Cruises joining Princess Cruises and Costa Cruises. The new ships specifically designed for the Chinese market will bring the number of Carnival Corporations ships up to six by 2017.

While on YouTube please also subscribe to Doris Visits. If you are worried how to choose which cruise, which ship and where to go, take a look at our how to choose a cruise blog. Why not have a look at the LATE DEALS over a coffee. Doris Visits allows you to SEE THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA. We have videos of many of the cruise stops you might make from St Lucia to Barcelona, from Tallinn to St Maarten. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share.