4 New Cruise Ships That Will Shine in 2018

Azamara, meetings
Azamara’s new Pursuit will increase the brand’s offerings by 40 percent.

Few industries outdo themselves each year the way the cruise industry does. Once again, 2018’s new cruise ships are bigger and better, with more varied amenities and excursions.

Here are 4 new cruise ships that need to be on meeting planners’ radars.

Azamara Pursuit

Azamara Club Cruises has added the Azamara Pursuit as a sister ship to the Azamara Journey and Quest. The ship’s maiden voyage will depart Southampton, U.K., August 1 and travel to 8 Norwegian destinations, followed by an Iceland voyage on August 13, a christening voyage on August 28, and then a 13-night cruise to the Mediterranean. New-to-Azamara destinations will include Antofagasta (Chile), Lima and the Beagle Channel.

Overall, the Pursuit will increase the brand’s destination offerings by 40 percent, adding 61 more destinations, with 48 late nights and 26 overnights. Together, the three ships will now offer guests the opportunity to visit 7 continents and 217 ports from August 28, 2018 to April 5, 2019.

Celebrity Edge

Celebrity’s newest ship, Celebrity Edge, has the feeling of a boutique hotel. The Meeting Place offers 1,970 sf and can be configured for any need; other venues available for events include the three-decked Eden, cantilevered Magic Carpet, open-air Rooftop Garden, and tech-savvy Destination Gateway. Also new and designed specifically for meetings, incentives, charters, and events in the Galapagos Islands is Celebrity Flora. It features an outward-facing design and natural materials inspired by the Galapagos to merge seamlessly with her surroundings.

Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas

Symphony of the Seas enters service April 2018 with 7 neighborhoods and unique event venue spaces. She will sail on 7-night Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona thru October, then In November 2018 move to the Port of Miami and her brand new state-of-the-art  terminal, where she will begin 7-night cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.

For planners looking for an exciting new option, Royal Caribbean will soon offer three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas. The Mariner of the Seas will start sailing year-round from Miami in June 2018 after a $100 million facelift. The Mariner will be the newest and largest ship to sail on three- and four-night cruises and features many of the unique event venue spaces and conference center facilities that are found on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class ships.

Silversea Silver Spirit

In 2018, Silversea will be re-launching the Silver Spirit after a multimillion dollar refurbishment. The ship will have a new 49-ft midsection with more than 30 new suites. There will be a total of 8 restaurants to offer even more variety for incentive winners on board Silversea.

In addition to the excitement of the Silver Spirit, Silversea has seen an increase in more exotic itineraries, including the Galapagos, Reykjavik and Antarctica. In all, its small luxury ships offer the opportunity to explore the7 continents 7  and more than 900 destinations on an all-inclusive cruise.

 

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Barbara Scofidio
Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and 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, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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