Over the last couple years cruising has made a huge resurgence onto the global travel market, and of course cruise lines have taken note! They've been coming out with new ships left, right and centre, which has been a dream come true for frequent cruisers.
What's even better – because of all the competition and demand, cruise lines are putting their best foot forward with insanely beautiful, modern and technologically superior vessels. The luxurious hotel-like accommodations, paired with all the latest bells and whistles, have been turning ‘non-cruisers' into full blown cruising fanatics.
I was once one of those cruiser nay-sayers. I thought cruising was a boring old tradition either designated for old auntie Edna and her shuffleboard friends.
However a few years ago I decided to give cruising a try and became instantly hooked. For me, it's the ultimate getaway. I get to see multiple destinations without numerous red-eye flights, plus it's contained enough to make me put down my phone and get some much needed ‘me' time.
Now I'm always on the lookout for the latest news in the cruise industry, especially what new cruise ships are launching and what their latest features and itineraries are.
New Cruise Ships 2020
Cruise ships are bigger, badder and are sure to have something to please everyone, no matter your style. Seriously. Thrill seeker? There's a cruise for that. Snobby culinary critic? There's a cruise for that. Kid-free, vegan, tattoo lover? You guessed it, there's a cruise for that too.
Here are the top cruise ship debuts for 2020:
Odyssey of the Seas
Royal Caribbean | November 2020
- 4200 passengers
- Family adventure and activities ship
- 2020 sailings include the Caribbean, leaving from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The new Odyssey of the Seas is fitting to be one of the most exciting new cruise ships launching in 2020. She is taking the term ‘fun at sea’ to a whole new level with new activities like glow in the dark laser tag, a virtual-reality skypad, bumper cars, and old favorites like FlowRider and iFly.
If you like tons of activities and stimulation, this will be your new favorite ship.
Carnival | August 2020
- 5,200 passengers
- The largest ship to date for Carnival
- 2020 sailings include Caribbean itineraries leaving from Port Canaveral, Florida
Some exciting ‘firsts’ are happening for Carnival on their new Mardi Gras ship. First, they are adding 32 suites in their new ‘Excel’ suite-class that will have their own area or ‘enclave’ within the ship. This will be a welcomed retreat for many higher-end cruisers to escape the absolute theme-park energy from the rest of the ship.
They are also adding BOLT the first roller-coaster at sea, a deep-fried chicken restaurant created by Shaq, a 3-level activities playground using the top three decks, and the technology to have the ship run on liquified natural gas that is ultra-low emissions.
Virgin Voyages | March 2020
- 2700 passengers
- The first ship for Virgin
- 2020 sailings include 4-7 night itineraries from Miami to Mexico, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
Not your grandmas cruise line, Virgin is set to be a major disruptor in the cruise industry in 2020. Not only are they an adults-only cruise line, but they are including things that other cruise lines charge an arm and a leg for.
Things like wi-fi, gratuities, all dining options, and even basic drinks like soda are INCLUDED with your fare on Virgin. Not only are they changing the price structure, but also the onboard atmosphere. Their at sea focus is all about wellness, enjoyment, connection and good-vibes, with a few modern surprises of course. It reminds me of a hard Rock Hotel at sea.
Celebrity Cruises | April 2020
- 2910 passengers
- The second ship in the new Edge Class
- 2020 sailings include 4-14 night cruises around Europe from South Hampton and Barcelona until it’s re-positioning in the US for Caribbean cruises in November.
While the Apex isn’t seeing many new features compared to its sister ship Edge that launched last year, the Apex is still impressive, especially compared to other cruise lines. The Apex will have all of the perks the Edge has, including the Magic Carpet, the Eden lounge, cabins with the infinite verandas, and forward thinking public spaces.
One feature the Apex is coming out with is the addition of 16 single passenger cabins, which has been something solo cruisers have been wanting from Celebrity for a while.
Princess Cruises | June 2020
- 3660 passengers
- The 5th Royal Class ship with more pools and hot-tubs than ever before
- 2020 sailings start with 9-22 night European itineraries all summer before a 25 day crossing from Rome to Florida in October.
Even though this is the 5th Royal Class ship to be debuted by Princess, it has lots of new features never seen before. The Enchanted Princess will have an Escape Room at sea, and entire section of the new Sky Suites, infinity style Wakeview pool at rear of ship, and 80% of all its cabins having a balcony. It looks like Princess is moving out of its old style with a new facelift set to rival trendy competitors like Celebrity.
MSC Cruises | November 2020
- 6334 passengers
- One of the two largest in the entire MSC fleet
- 2020 sailings are 3-7 night itineraries in the Mediterranean
The MSC Virtuosa is a behemoth of a new cruise ship, maxing out at 6334 passengers fully loaded. Each of its 19 decks is named after a different musical instrument, giving a nod to its name which means someone who is a musical master.
The ship will feature a shows with its new partner Cirque Du Soleil, wireless wrist band entry into guest cabins, a full-size bowling alley, f1 racing simulators, a waterpark with waterslide, fine art museum, and an indoor promenade with impressive digital ceiling.
Crystal Cruises | August 2020
- 200 passengers
- All-veranda high Expedition yacht
- 2020 sailings include Japan, Australia, Bali, Taipei and New Zealand.
The Crystal Endeavor doesn’t hold back with the finer things in life. The intimate ship features suites all fitted with verandas and luxurious extras, fancy and fine common areas, 2 on board helicopters and a 7-person submersible, a panoramic 2-level solarium, and a 1 to 1 guest to staff ratio. Very impressive! If I ever manage to sell one of my kidneys on the black market, you'll find me on this ship.
P&O Cruises | May 2020
- 5200 passengers
- Largest ship ever built for the UK cruise market
- 2020 sailings are departing from London and hitting place like Spain, Portugal and the Norwegian Fjords.
The Iona is debuting a very clever new feature on its top deck called the Sky Dome. During the day it’s a hangout place and pool, and at night a stage covers up the pool, transforming the space into a hotspot after dark. The main focus of the Iona will be on dining and socializing, so they have put all their care and attention into making dozens of eateries, restaurants, bars, and entertainment areas. You will never run out of places to eat and drink on this ship.
Seven Seas Splendor
Regent | February 2020
- 750 passengers
- Every cabin is a balcony suite ranging from 307 to 4,443 sq ft
- 2020 sailings include mostly European itineraries with a few trans-atlantics thrown into the mix
One of the most exciting features of Regent’s new Seven Seas Splendor ship is who will be in charge of it. Serena Melani is set to be the captain of the Splendor, making her the first women in history to captain a brand-new ship at its official launch.
Everything else on the Splendor is exactly how you would expect it – absolutely dripping in luxury. You’ll find hundreds of chandeliers, thousands of square feet of Italian marble, and more fine dining than you could eat in a lifetime. Five brand new entertainment productions are debuting on this ship as well.
p.s.- the cabins are to die for!
SilverSea | August 2020
- 596 passengers
- Ultra-luxury ship with every room being a balcony suite with butler service.
- 2020 sailings start off in the Mediterranean and head over to the US in November.
Not only is the Silver Moon a strikingly gorgeous new cruise ship, but she comes with a very interactive addition that is sure to be a hit with any foodies on board. The S.A.L.T lab is a culinary enrichment kitchen where guests will be able to learn about cuisine, get intimate cooking lessons, and even go to market in port to learn about local ingredients. Silver Moon is also launching with a new layout compared to her sister ship Muse based on feedback and suggestions from guests.
Spirit of Adventure
Saga Cruises | July 2020
- 999 Passengers
- Smaller and more intimate boutique luxury ship
- 2020 sailings all leave from the UK and offer 4-31 night cruises around different destiantions in Europe.
Not only do all cabins of the Spirit of Adventure have balconies, but Saga is leading the way for single cruisers, dedicating 20% of their rooms to have special ‘solo-traveler’ rates. This ship will also see 2 new restaurants (Nepalese and Italian) and will be replacing and retiring the 40 year old Saga Sapphire.
It's so Great Gatsby-esque!
Vidanta Cruises | TBD 2020
- 298 Passengers
- Small Mexican based cruise line, the first of it’s kind.
- 2020 sailings are still TBD, but will include places like Puerto Peñasco, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and more.
Already a year behind schedule, Vidanta’s Elegant ship is set to launch sometime in 2020 but the actual date has not been released. Vidanta Group specializes in hotels and resorts, but is now extending its reach into the cruise industry. While this isn’t a new build ship, it’s still a new cruise company launch and the first vessel in it’s fleet, so I figured it still counts. The ship was originally built in 1990 and Vidanta is currently renovating it in Mazatlán. This will be the first cruise line to cater to Mexican travelers giving them the option to cruise from their home country without having to first fly into the US.
Ritz Carlton | TBD
The launch of Ritz Carlton Cruises was set to happen in the first quarter of 2020, but major delays has stopped the company from hitting its deadlines. All of the itineraries have been pushed back to 2021, which have left eager cruisers with booked trips very irate.
Are you booking a trip on any of the new cruise ships coming out in 2020? We would love to hear from you!