Upcoming Cruise Ship Launches: All You Need to Know About New Vessels


There are few things more exciting than a new cruise ship launch on the horizon, a brand spanker with exclusive features and never-before-seen amenities. Whether it’s a generation-defining ship, or an updated version of an old-favourite – every new ship launch gets us a little hot under the collar.

Thankfully, there are plenty of new ships launched with great regularity, and at the moment there’s an absolute glut of exciting new ships in the works, in shipyards all around the world. Below are a selection of vessels launching in the coming months and years:

So, to whet your collective appetite, we’ve put together the info we know about the most exciting upcoming cruise ships – and we’ll continue to update this list whenever a new ship is announced.

HAL Nieuw Statendam

Line: Holland America Line

Launch Date: November 2018

Standout Features:

  • World Stage – A 360-degree entertainment venue
  • Blend – Wine-mixing venue
  • B King’s Blues Club – Jazz and blues venue

The second member of HAL’s Pinnacle Class of ships, Nieuw Statendam follows the Koningsdam, but boasts a series of new features and amenities, with a focus on entertainment. Whether you prefer intimate jazz venues or larger-than-life arena shows; your entertainment tastes will be catered for on board Nieuw Statendam.

She’ll spend her maiden season sailing through the Caribbean. However, if you’d rather experience her closer to home, she’s due to complete itineraries through Northern Europe and the Mediterranean in spring and summer 2019.

luxury white cruise ship

Celebrity Edge

Line: Celebrity Cruises

Launch Date: December 2018

Standout Features:

  • Magic Carpet – Multi-deck, multi-purpose, cantilevered deck
  • Eden Lounge – Entertainment and dining venue with unique interior
  • Rooftop Garden – Al fresco playscape

Few upcoming ships evoke the same excitement as Celebrity Edge – a ship which promises to be generation-defining and truly without compare. The Celebrity Cruises team have gone to great lengths to ensure Edge’s position at the very pinnacle of cruising with a series of world-first features.

Perhaps the most exciting is the Magic Carpet, a cantilevered moving deck which will serve as gangway, restaurant and party area throughout your cruise. This is just one part of the Celebrity team’s plan to ensure every inch of Celebrity Edge (and the subsequent three members of the Edge Class of ships) provides exceptional experiences on the sea every minute of every day.

MSC Bellissima

Line: MSC Cruises

Launch Date: March 2019

Standout Features:

  • Cirque du Soleil – Theatrical circus show
  • Illuminated Promenade – Wraparound promenade with LED ceiling

Identical to 2017’s MSC Meraviglia, the upcoming Bellissima focuses on the finer aspects of excitement and entertainment on the seas. There’s plenty for the self-respecting foodie, with 12 restaurants and a raft of celebrity chefs sharing their know-how.

There is also plenty for the younger members of the family to enjoy too, with a huge kids’ club, boasting partnerships with LEGO and Chicco. The RFID wristbands are also great for families travelling on board Bellissima, removing the risk of losing keys and making paying for dinner and souvenir, effortless.

For a more refined time away, head over to the Yacht Club, a luxury ‘ship within a ship’ with a wonderfully relaxed ambience.

Spectrum of the Seas

Line: Royal Caribbean

Launch Date: April 2019

Standout Features:

  • North Star – Observation Deck
  • Virtual Balconies – LCD TV screens providing panoramic views to interior rooms
  • Two70 – High-tech entertainment venue

Spectrum of the Seas will become the fourth member of Royal Caribbean’s hugely popular Quantum Class of ships – the most high-tech ships on the open seas. Although not as large as the Oasis Class ships, in terms of size, Spectrum will pack plenty of excitement on the high seas.

With skydiving simulators and surfing lessons, there’s plenty for the adrenaline junkies of the family to enjoy, and with a 300ft-high observation pod, North Star, open for viewing – you’ll get some of the best panoramas available anywhere.

Also, be sure to head to the Bionic Bar, a robot-tended bar with precisely measure cocktails whipped up to order.

New cruise launch

MSC Grandiosa

Line: MSC Cruises

Launch Date: October 2019

Standout Features:

  • Cirque du Soleil – Theatrical circus show
  • Illuminated Promenade – 111-metre-long promenade with LED ceiling

When she launches at the end of 2019, the MSC Grandiosa will be the 7th largest ship, in terms of capacity, anywhere in the world. With a capacity for nearly 6,300 passengers, the ship is certainly Grandiosa in nature as well as name.

Keeping all those guests happy is an amazing array of features and amenities providing entertainment and intrigue. From the fine art museum to the on-board Cirque du Soleil performance, there is something for every member of the family.

There’s even a two-deck amusement park – perfect for the youngest members of the family.

Norwegian Encore

Line: Norwegian Cruise

Launch Date: Autumn 2019

Standout Features:

  • Horizon Lounge – Exclusive panorama deck

The newest member of the Breakaway Plus Class of ships from NCL, there’s not much information available about Norwegian Encore yet, although the line has promised plenty of exclusive features for guests in The Haven.

The itineraries which have been announced so far for the ship include jaunts around the Caribbean and Transatlantic voyages.

Sky Princess

Line: Princess Cruises

Launch Date: November 2019

Standout Features:

  • Piazza Atrium – Three-deck reception area
  • Movies Under the Stars – Open-air cinema

Since 2013, Princess Cruises’ Royal Class of ships have been delighting guests all over the world, and now a fourth member is joining the fleet. Although similar to Royal, Regal and Majestic; Sky Princess will boast a few unique features such as the three-deck-high Piazza atrium.

Much-loved Princess Cruises favourites such as the open-air cinema, Movies Under the Stars will also make appearances – providing unforgettable cruise holiday moments for all the family.

Cruise deck

Carnival Panorama

Line: Carnival Cruise Line

Launch Date: November 2019

Standout Features:

  • Carnival 2.0 Features – Wide-ranging upgrades to amenities

Similar to 2016’s Carnival Vista and 2018’s Carnival Horizon; Panorama blends the established with the new – promising a series of never-before-seen features. Currently being built in the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, many of the ship’s standout features are being kept under wraps by Carnival. For now.

If you’re keen to try out any of these new ships, we have great deals on a huge number of itineraries. For all the latest cruises, head over to our homepage or give our friendly customer care team a call on 0808 2746 777.


About Author

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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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