Luxury Cruise News

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Panoramic lounge on board Aqua Mare

Luxury cruise lines are enhancing their product offerings with new yachts, more suites, larger private onboard retreats, exclusive shore excursions, swoon-worthy wellness offerings, and itineraries that explore the far reaches of the globe.

Here’s what’s new from 6 luxury cruise lines:


Seabourn is debuting its second purpose-built expedition vessel, Seabourn Pursuit, this August. She will embark on five voyages in the Mediterranean before setting off on two voyages across the Atlantic and through the Caribbean. On Oct. 10, the ship will arrive in Barbados from where it will begin its expedition journeys, taking guests to remote corners of the globe. Seabourn Pursuit will head south for expeditions exploring coastal South America, the Amazon and Antarctica into late March 2024.

Aqua Expeditions

There’s a new 16-passenger explorer yacht in the Galapagos: Aqua Expeditions’ stunningly gorgeous Aqua Mare. Offering a 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio, it’s the first superyacht to make permanent berth in the volcanic archipelago, and it features the largest owner’s suite in the Galapagos.

With only seven suites, this is the smallest ship in the Aqua Expeditions fleet, which also includes the brand-new, 20-suite Aqua Nera, sailing the Amazon, and sister ship to the 16-suite Aria Amazon; the Aqua Mekong in Cambodia and Vietnam; and the 15-suite Aqua Blu explorer yacht in Indonesia.

Celestyal Cruises

Set for her September debut, Celestyal Journey is a showstopper. Following an extensive refurbishment, Celestyal Cruises’ newest ship will set sail on Sept. 2, 2023, initially taking over Celestyal Crystal’s program, the 7-night Idyllic Aegean itinerary.

Celestyal Journey offers 630 staterooms, 149 of which feature balconies. F&B options abound with eight bars and lounges and seven dining venues that offer everything from Mediterranean to Asian and include a cooking demonstration area and an exclusive Chef’s Table venue. Celestyal’s Concierge Service features a dedicated priority check-in counter, expedited embarkation and express luggage delivery service including assistance with unpacking.

Explora Journeys

Explora Journeys is bringing a European vibe to the east coast of the U.S. and Canada on board Explora I this September through November as part of the ship’s debut Inaugural Journeys Collection, with experiences that will include stops in marquee destinations like New York, Boston, Halifax and Quebec City, where clients will enjoy a combination of breathtaking scenery and natural landscapes with a dive into the urban settings of the big cities.

Highlights of the U.S. portion of the itinerary include stops in New York City, where your clients will get a backstage pass to a Broadway show and a private tour of the MOMA. In Boston, they’ll check out Fenway Park, visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and enjoy a traditional afternoon tea. Port Canaveral means the Kennedy Space Center and a private visit with a NASA astronaut, and Portland will bring a sail on a lobster boat and a trip to a local Maine winery.

In Canada, attendees can visit the Baie Comeau and kayak the St. Lawrence River with an expert guide, then spend a morning at Charlottetown hobnobbing with the local falconers and their birds of prey. Other stops include Gaspe, Havre-Saint-Pierre, La Baeu (Saguenay), Quebec and Halifax, where a round of golf will make an appearance at The Links at Brunello.

MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises is delivering on its promise to cater to the North American market with a new World Class ship coming in early 2025, the MSC World America, and the largest cruise terminal in North America readying for its debut at PortMiami.

Debuting on April 12, 2025, MSC World America will be sailing the Eastern and Western Caribbean with all itineraries visiting Ocean Cay MAS Marine Reserve, MSC Cruises’ private destination in The Bahamas. She’ll span 22 decks, measure more than 150 ft. wide, feature 2,626 cabins and contain more than 420,000 sq. ft. of public space. There will be 13 restaurants; 20 bars and lounges, including a Comedy Club (a new concept for MSC); six pools; and a reimagined outdoor World Promenade experience.

Among the accommodations the MSC World America will feature is The MSC Yacht Club, with 152 Yacht Club suites, a dedicated lounge and restaurant, a private pool and sun deck facilities, and 24-hour concierge and butler service.

MSC World America will sail from the new LEED-certified terminal at PortMiami, which is set to open early next year.

Scenic Group

2023 is one of Scenic’s most exciting years, with two new ships launching, doubling its ocean yacht capacity: Scenic Eclipse II and Emerald Sakara.

Scenic Eclipse II will include an expanded dedicated infrared “ocean view” lounge with color light therapy to energize and reinvigorate skin cells; a new bar area on Deck 10 with indoor and outdoor seating that offers guests the ability to enjoy stunning views with a drink in hand; and a large, oval-shaped pool with comfortable relaxation space that serves as a perfect venue for events. The yacht’s electric submersible will hold eight guests.

Emerald Sakara, meanwhile, will be joining her sister yacht Emerald Azzura, sailing the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas, as well as the Caribbean. Carrying only 100 guests, the 361-ft. vessel will feature a large infinity pool, spa, gym and a marina platform outfitted with aquatic toys including paddleboards and snorkeling equipment.

This article originally ran in our sister publication, Recommend.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.