2019 has been an amazing year for cruising, innovative ships have been produced, new itineraries created and old ships made to feel new again. Here are just a few cruise highlights from 2019.
2019 saw many changes put in place to help protect the environment including several cruise lines like Cruise & Maritime Voyages banning the use of plastic straws. Many cruise line operators are in the process of opting to use biodegradable straws or allow guests to purchase reusable metal straws on board, as an alternative to the previously used plastic ones.
Regent Seven Seas also decided to eliminate plastic bottles this year, meaning all water will be served from re-usable, glass bottles on board any of their cruise ships. They aimed to eliminate over 2 million plastic bottles a year.
In November 2019, Norwegian Cruise Lines launched Norwegian Encore with the help of Kelly Clarkson smashing a bottle of champagne against its side. Throughout the night models wore skirts made out of plant-based cartons to promote the ship being the first large cruise ship to be free of single-use plastic water bottles.
Another cruise line company to help the environment this year is MSC Cruises who pledged to be the first carbon-neutral cruise line. They said they’ll achieve this goal by January 2020 by offsetting all carbon dioxide emissions through different projects. This includes contributing to marine projects, planting trees and supporting communities who rely on the sea.
MSC Cruise Lines launched MCS Bellissima and MSC Grandiosa. A handful of celebrities attended MSC Bellissima’s launch in Southampton at the beginning of March, from the likes of Craig David to Andrea Bocelli. MSC Grandiosa was christened at the start of November in Hamburg, with Sophia Loren cutting the ribbon to the promenade. The Michelin-starred chef, Harald Wohlfahrt provided a tasty three-course dinner and DJ, Mousse T supplied the music.
Royal Caribbean International took delivery of Spectrum of the Seas at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven during April. The ship’s homeport is Shanghai and since June she’s been sailing in and around China. This Quantum Ultra Class ship features a revolutionary design with the latest technologies, perfect for families wanting to make once-in-a-lifetime memories.
Celebrity Flora launched this year and its first sailing to the Galapagos Islands taking place in June. Celebrity Cruises specifically built this expedition ship with the Galapagos in mind so there’s plenty of spaces where you can catch sight of the scenery and research capabilities that help to conserve and restore the area.
Hurtigruten christened its latest expedition ship, Roald Amundsen in Antarctica this November. Whilst the hybrid-electric-powered ship sailed out, the clear skies behind made the perfect backdrop for passengers watching from tender boats nearby.
After introducing Steakhouse at the Verandah to Queen Mary 2 last year and discovering its booming success, Cunard made changes to their other two ships to ensure they all feature this spectacular restaurant. Although the main menu showcases New York steak, rack of lamb and Wagyu beef, vegetarian options are also available.
In 2019 Princess Cruises made changes to their existing ships after trialling Medallion Technology on Caribbean Princess and Regal Princess. This technology includes internet, cabin entry, virtual concierge service and a tracking system that was loved by their guests so Royal Princess, Crown Princess and Sky Princess all received this upgrade during the year.
MSC Cruises’ private island, Ocean Cay opened in December 2019 to passengers sailing on MSC Divina. Although this paradise island is designed for guests to relax on the beaches and splash about in the waters, conservation was kept in mind. The company focused on the marine life nearby by restoring damaged corals, implanting best practices related to protecting the environment and putting in place education programs.
Guests onboard Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas were some of the first to experience a port of call at Perfect Day at CocoCay this May. A $250million investment was put towards the construction of turning this island into a family-friendly funfair. It features the largest wave pool in the Caribbean and the tallest waterslide in North America.
If you would like to book a cruise on one of the new or refurbished ships mentioned above, call the team on 0800 035 0701 or contact us via our website. We will be happy to help and discuss the different itineraries available to you, enabling you to decide on your ideal cruise.