Over 40 New Cruise Ships Planned To Launch By 2010
by Roy Witman © 2007
Cruise enthusiasts have been in a gleeful state over the last year due to the abundance of new ships that have launched. If that's what makes you happy, you ought to find yourself delirious with joy over the announcements about 40+ new ships to take to the seas during the next three years.
Practically every major cruise line has plans for at least one new vessel. Many have three or even four slated by 2010. And, just as the number of new ships is growing, so is the trend toward building bigger and more luxurious vessels.
Although the smallest ships of the lot, Carnival has the most projects in the works over the next three years. Ranging in size from 110,000 tons to 130,000 tons, Carnival's highlight will be “Freedom, ” a new class of ship costing about $400 million and carrying 2,974 passengers. With itineraries that include the Western and Eastern Caribbean, European tours to Rome and transatlantic crossings, “Freedom ” will give cruise enthusiasts something to look forward to.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)
Announcing its new Freestyle Cruising campaign in 2006 was just another step in a long process of completely revamping the entire NCL fleet from the inside out. Since its buyout in 2000, NCL has made great strides in listening to the cruising population and then delivering what they want. With innovations including rock-climbing walls, Garden Villas and bowling alleys, you would think NCL had run out of ideas. It seems not! “Pearl” is slated to launch in October 2007 and has gotten rave reviews thus far. The crowning glory of the NCL fleet, however, will be three ships in an entirely new class deemed “F3.”
Weighing in at 150,000 tons and carrying 5,400 passengers, these “F3” class ships have been described by NCL as “a further evolution of NCL's progressive dismantling of the structure, regimentation, and constraints of the traditional cruise experience.” One of the most impressive features is that 100% of outside cabins will have balconies.
Three projects are also on the docket for Royal Caribbean between 2007 and 2010. “Liberty of the Seas” and “Freedom ” (yes, Carnival and Royal Caribbean will have ships with the same name) and “Independence of the Seas” all shine far above the rest of the fleet with a tonnage of 160,000 each. Costing in excess of $700 million each, they will accommodate 3,600 passengers respectively. While they will be exceptional vessels offering inventive features, there is one ship that will outdo them. In fact, Royal Caribbean's grandest vessel yet will outdo every other ship built to date.
Creating an entirely new class of ship, Royal Caribbean has drafted “Genesis.” This will be, to date, the largest ship ever built by any cruise line. It will even surpass the size of “The Queen Mary,” which holds the current record at 151,400 tons.
Accommodating up to 6,400 passengers, “Genesis” will weigh about 220,000 gross tons and cost an estimated $1 billion. Royal Caribbean chairman and CEO Richard Fain brags, “Project Genesis truly is a remarkable ship. Its bold design, daring innovations and technological advancements will delight our existing cruisers and help us draw in new ones.”
Others are also jumping in on the new ship bandwagon. Keep your eyes peeled for “Emerald” from Princess Cruise Lines, “Queen Victoria” from Cunard, and “Solstice” and “Equinox” from Celebrity.
Cruise options are growing more abundant by the day, which makes this a cruisers' market. The cruise lines are bound to offer more incentives in order to fill these new, expensive ships. Stay on the alert for what are bound to be incredible bargains to come.
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