Eager to try out a new crop of megaships in 2017? We have some bad news: Not all that many are on the way — at least for the North American market.
The world’s two biggest cruise lines, Royal Caribbean and Carnival, don’t have a single new vessel debuting this year. Neither do major lines Holland America or Celebrity.
Of the six big North America-based brands, only Princess and Norwegian Cruise Line have new ships coming in 2017, and in both cases they’re devoting the vessels specifically to the Chinese market.
In short, it’s going to be an unusually thin year for big new cruise vessels aimed at North Americans.
Still, there a few. Perhaps the most notable newcomer is the 167,600-ton MSC Meraviglia — the biggest ship ever from MSC Cruises.
MSC Cruises also will be rolling out the 160,000-ton MSC Seaside, its first vessel custom-built for the Caribbean. With both of the new ships, the Europe-based line is hoping to draw more North American customers.
Also debuting this year are the third and fourth vessels for the new ocean cruising arm of river cruise giant Viking. Luxury line Silversea also has a new ship, the 596-passenger Silver Muse, and adventure line Lindblad is rolling out its first new vessel in years, the 100-passenger National Geographic Quest.
What will the vessels be like? With the peak period for cruise bookings — aka Wave Season — now underway, below is the guide to the year’s most notable new ships for North Americans (click on the vessel names below for a full page on each of the newcomers with details on on-board features, home ports, itineraries and pricing).
USA TODAY Cruise’s guide to the new ships of 2017 (oceangoing vessels)
Maiden voyage: Feb. 25 and Nov. 17
Maiden voyage: April 10
Maiden voyage: June 10
Maiden voyage: June 26
Maiden voyage: Nov. 30
In addition to the above vessels, there also are several major oceangoing ships coming in 2017 from lines that serve overseas markets such as Germany’s Aida and TUI Cruises. Closer to home, there’s also a small coastal cruiser debuting from small-ship operator American Cruise Lines. It’ll sail along the East Coast of the USA.
The lack of new vessels in 2017 from Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Holland American and Celebrity is just a temporary lull. All four brands have new ships on the way for 2018.
Cruise fans, have you booked one of the new ships of 2017? Share your thoughts in the comment area to this story.
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Source: USA TODAY