As demand continues to rise for cruise vacations — one of fastest-growing segments of vacation industry – three of 10 brands from world’s largest leisure travel company add new ships in 2017. Following January launch of Seabourn Encore, the company’s Princess Cruises brand in April will launch Majestic Princess – the world’s first cruise vessel built specifically for Chinese market. In July its Germany-based AIDA Cruises brand will launch AIDAperla, one of world’s most technologically advanced and environmentally friendly ships.
Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest leisure travel company, recently launched the Seabourn Encore, the first of three new ships that will enter service in 2017 across three of its 10 global cruise brands. Carnival Corporation will also launch Majestic Princess from Princess Cruises in April, which will be the world’s first cruise ship built specifically for the Chinese market, and its Germany-based AIDA Cruises brand in July will launch AIDAperla, one of the world’s most environmentally friendly and technologically advanced ships.
Following the launch of Seabourn Encore, the upcoming 2017 additions of Majestic Princess and AIDAperla are part of the 17 ships scheduled for delivery for Carnival Corporation and its brands through 2022, creating measured capacity growth over time that enables the company’s global fleet to meet accelerating demand for cruise vacations in every region of the world.
“On the heels of launching three new ships in 2016, it is exciting to have three more new ships join our fleet in 2017 as we re-invest on multiple fronts to continue raising the bar in providing our guests with a great vacation experience at an exceptional value,” said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation.
Added Frizzell: “Introducing new ships is part of our long-term strategy to build state-of-the-art vessels that are highly efficient to operate while creating excitement and demand among consumers. Of course, as stunning and beautiful as our new and existing ships are, what matters even more is the passionate focus of our 120,000 employees on providing our guests with extraordinary experiences to over 700 ports around the world that land-based vacations simply cannot match. All in all, it is rewarding to see more and more consumers recognizing that cruising is the world’s best vacation and vacation value.”
The three new ships scheduled to join Carnival Corporation’s fleet include:
Seabourn: Seabourn Encore – Official launch date of January 2017
Seabourn Encore, the fourth all-suite ship in Seabourn’s fleet, was launched Jan. 7 at a festive evening ceremony pier side at Marina Bay Cruise Center in Singapore, a key Asian shipping hub and popular homeport in southeast Asia for Carnival Corporation cruise ships. The launch featured international recording artist and world’s best-selling soprano Sarah Brightman presiding over the naming ceremony as godmother of the new 600-guest ship.
The vessel was designed by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany and features contemporary interiors and modern design elements and innovations consistent with the line’s reputation for understated elegance. Tihany is also designing a second ship, Seabourn Ovation, which is currently under construction and scheduled to launch in spring 2018.
Seabourn Encore will expand and build on the line’s award-winning Odyssey-class ships, which revolutionized ultra-luxury cruising with enhanced accommodations and innovative amenities when they were introduced between 2009 and 2011. The 40,350-gross ton ship is configured with one additional deck, expanded public areas and a private veranda for every suite.
Seabourn Encore will maintain the line’s high ratio of space per guest, enabling highly personalized service by its exceptional crew.
The new vessel continues Seabourn’s reputation as the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line. Seabourn has been named the “World’s Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” by readers of both Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler magazines. Cruise Critic named Seabourn “Best for Luxury,” and numerous other publications have recognized the brand for its luxurious accommodations, extraordinary level of service, exceptional dining and unrivaled spa facilities.
Princess Cruises: Majestic Princess – Official launch date of April 2017
Majestic Princess will be the world’s first cruise ship built specifically for the Chinese market, where Carnival Corporation, led by Princess Cruises and Italy-based Costa Cruises, maintains industry leadership in a market expected to eventually become the world’s largest cruising region. The 143,000-ton vessel, with capacity for 3,560 guests based on double occupancy, will showcase the exclusive Princess Class experience enhanced with features designed specifically for Chinese travelers.
Majestic Princess will also offer the international flavor of cruising with Princess Cruises, drawn from the brand’s award-winning expertise as the world’s leader in premium destination cruising.
Majestic Princess will be the only cruise ship that offers two specialty dinner menus designed by Michelin star chefs at sea in China.
One offering is Harmony, created in partnership with Richard Chen, former chef of Wing Lei – the first Chinese restaurant in North America awarded a Michelin star. Harmony will feature haute Chinese cuisine paired with pristine ocean views and modern décor, serving Chen’s interpretation of classic Cantonese dishes. The second Michelin star dining experience will be “La Mer – A French Bistro” from three-Michelin star chef Emmanuel Renaut.
The ship will also offer Princess’ signature Movies Under the Stars, with the largest outdoor screen at sea, and the exciting Princess Water Color Fantasy fountain and light show.
Guests will also experience the signature SeaWalk, the industry’s first glass-floor walkway at sea, and SeaView Bar featuring “flair” bartending with the best views at sea.
The Piazza Atrium, the central focal point of the ship, features live entertainment throughout the day and evening. It is a grand spectacle surrounded by The Shops of Princess, nearly 1,100 square meters of luxury boutiques, which include designer brand shops from Cartier, Bvlgari and Chopard and leather goods from Burberry and Gucci, to name a few.
Accommodations will be configured to appeal to families and multigenerational travelers, and all outside staterooms will have private balconies.
AIDA Cruises: AIDAperla – Official launch date of July 2017
AIDAperla is the 12th and second of a new-generation vessel in the fleet for AIDA Cruises, the most recognized cruise brand in Germany and one of the country’s fastest-growing and most successful tourism businesses that has pioneered the “green cruising” concept. At 124,500 tons with 1,643 cabins, AIDAperla will be among the world’s most technologically advanced and environmentally friendly cruise ships.
AIDAperla will – like its sister ship AIDAprima — feature the revolutionary hull design that significantly enhances energy efficiency. It will also use the Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System (MALS), which was a first in the cruise industry on AIDAprima. This modern technology enables the ships to glide on a cushion of air, further reducing fuel consumption.
The ship will also feature AIDA’s Spray Bar, an exclusive, all-white champagne lounge, which is spread across two decks and operated via partnership with Moët & Chandon.
More New Ships to Join Fleet in 2018
In 2018, Carnival Corporation plans to launch three new ships from Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Seabourn. The Carnival Horizon, sister ship of the Carnival Vista, from Carnival Cruise Line is scheduled for delivery in March 2018; the Seabourn Ovation from Seabourn is scheduled for delivery in spring 2018; and ms Nieuw Statendam, sister ship of ms Koningsdam, from Holland America Line is scheduled for delivery in November 2018.