These 5 New Ships Are Redefining the ‘Cruise’ (#GotBitcoin?)
For more adventurous, less snoozy sea and river voyages—sailing in the Galápagos, Iceland, even Zanzibar—check out these new and soon-to-launch cruise ships. These 5 New Ships Are Redefining the ‘Cruise’
Waste Knot, Want Knot
THE SHIP: Billing itself as the first hybrid cruise ship and launching this summer, the 265-cabin MS Roald Amundsen from 126-year-old Norwegian line Hurtigruten will be partly fueled by liquefied biogas—a renewable gas made from organic waste. You’d never know the ship is so granola: Designed by Rolls-Royce, it’s kitted out with flourishes like an infinity pool on deck 10, stylish Scandinavian furnishings and outdoor hot tubs for the aft suites. Shore excursions tend to be sporty, like a guided hike in Antarctica or a snowmobile safari in Norway.
WHERE IT WILL SAIL: Alaska, Antarctica, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Peru, Portugal and Spain
SAMPLE SAILING: The 15-night Viking Heritage tour of Iceland and Greenland includes stops to survey an architectural dig on Greenland’s Lindenow Fjord and a soak in a hot springs on an uninhabited island. Departing Aug. 6, from about $8,457 per person, hurtigruten.com
Highflying On The High Seas
THE SHIP: If you’re not content to merely glide along the surface, consider the Scenic Eclipse (which launches this August) with two onboard helicopters and a seven-seat submarine. It’s also set to have 114-suites with stocked mini bars, butler service and an almost 1:1 staff-to-guest ratio.
WHERE IT WILL SAIL: Alaska, Antarctica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Falkland Islands, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Spain and South America, including the Galápagos
SAMPLE SAILING: A 30-day jaunt through Patagonia and Antarctica will, unlike Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 experience, involve lots of pampering. Departing Nov. 8, from about $40,290 per person, scenicusa.com
Whale Watch and Listen
THE SHIP: The 92-cabin Le Bougainville, from the luxury French line Ponant, launches in April with a design that pushes the “waterproof” envelope. The ship’s claim to fame is a lounge submerged 8 feet underwater, with whale eye-shaped portholes and underwater audio.
WHERE IT WILL SAIL: Western Europe, the Seychelles, Tanzania and Turkey
SAMPLE SAILING: Zanzibar’s Stone Town and Unesco site Aldabra, a coral atoll where 350-pound tortoises roam, are among the sites on the Zanzibar and the Treasures of the Indian Ocean expedition cruise. Departing Feb. 4, 2020, from about $8,362 per person, en.ponant.com
Catching Darwin’s Drift
THE SHIP: Sailing the Galápagos starting this month, the Theory—a luxury expedition ship from Ecuador’s Ecoventura line that was just accepted into Relais & Châteaux—accommodates just 20 passengers. Cabins aboard the 142-foot-long yacht are relatively tiny (145 square-feet), but they’re elegantly furnished and each has three windows, including one in the shower, so you won’t be deprived of views of the Galápagos Islands, the only place this ship sails. On a boat this small, onboard activities are rather limited. Highlights include Peruvian and Ecuadorean dishes and lectures by naturalist guides. The ship also stocks all kinds of watercraft for off-board diversions, including stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and snorkel gear.
WHERE IT WILL SAIL: Around eight or so islands in Galapagos National Park.
SAMPLE SAILING: The 8-day North Western Cruise nature-focused sailings depart weekly from March through December. Two guided shore excursions a day are included in the rate. From about $7,850 per person, ecoventura.com
An Even Lazier River
THE SHIP: Promising to be the sleekest iteration yet of a 19th-century riverboat, the 190-guest American Harmony launches this August. Double staterooms on the ship—which was built in Salisbury, Md.—are 275-square-feet and up, with private balconies, “hotel-size bathrooms,” and (in most cases) floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. Shore excursions will include a swamp airboat tour of the Atchafalaya Basin, during which you can feed an alligator butcher’s fat and a stop at a wharfside restaurant to sample fried frog legs and crawfish boulettes.
WHERE IT WILL SAIL: The Mississippi River
SAMPLE SAILING: The 8-day Lower Mississippi River cruise, which runs from Memphis to New Orleans. From $4,320 per person, americancruiselines.com
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Monty H. & Carolyn A.Go back