Updated in February 2021
From the initial design to the laying of the keel, through to the launch, the process of getting a new cruise ship on to the seas normally takes between two and three years. Throughout this period, information about the ships gets drip-fed to us, building our anticipation until the big reveal. Read on for all the info on the new best ships at sea in 2021 and everything you need to know about them.
New Cruise Ships in 2021
|SHIP||CRUISE LINE||LAUNCH DATE|
|Valiant Lady||Virgin Voyages||May 2021|
|Celebrity Apex||Celebrity Cruises||March 2021|
|P&O Iona||P&O Cruises||April 2021|
|Discovery Princess||Princess Cruises||Late 2021|
|Enchanted Princess||Princess Cruises||Summer 2021|
|Mardi Gras||Carnival Cruises||April 2021|
|MSC Virtuosa||MSC Cruises||April 2021|
|Odyssey of the Seas||Royal Caribbean||April 2021|
|Costa Toscana||Costa Cruises||December 2021|
|Rotterdam||Holland America Line||July 2021|
1. Valiant Lady, Virgin Voyages
Following in Scarlet Lady's footsteps, Valiant Lady will bring Virgin Voyages' stylish, detox-retox mantra to the Mediterranean. With state-of-the-art facilities and some of the best technology available at sea, this is a luxurious playground for adults only, guaranteed to make memories to last a lifetime. From getting a tattoo at the vegan tattoo parlour to enjoying a glamorous Broadway-style show, Valiant Lady will be sure to dazzle all who experience her.
2. Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Apex is the sister ship to the game-changing Celebrity Edge and will feature a number of the same ‘new-to-cruise’ features. Most prominent among these is the Magic Carpet, a movable deck cantilevered off the side of the ship which rises from decks 2 to 16 and transforms into a bar, restaurant, and an extension of the embarkation area. Then there’s a Resort Deck, which features a large pool flanked by sculptural trees, and two "martini glass" Jacuzzis that overlook the deck below. The Rooftop Garden venue borrows from the hugely popular Lawn Club of the Solstice Class ships, and The Retreat is a serene area that includes a private pool and sundeck, lounge and restaurant.
3. Iona, P&O Cruises
Due to set off on her inaugural cruise in the spring, Iona will weigh in at 180,000 tons making her the biggest-ever ship built specifically for the UK market. Accommodating around 5,200 passengers, P&O Cruises’ Iona will be powered entirely by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), making her the greenest ship in P&O’s history. Stand-out features include a half-mile Lanai deck complete with alfresco dining and drinking; a giant glass dome, a massive atrium with triple-deck glass windows, 17 eateries (including seven speciality restaurants), 12 bars, 13 entertainment venues, four pools, and 16 whirlpools.
4. Discovery Princess, Princess Cruises
Embodying Princess Cruises' classic style and service, Discovery Princess will bring cruisers to unforgettable destinations around the world, including Alaska and the Caribbean. With some of the largest balconies at sea, guests will experience the best ocean views onboard this Royal class ship, as well as a fantastic array of entertainment, dining and excursions.
5. Enchanted Princess, Princess Cruises
The fifth ship in Princess Cruises' Royal Class, Enchanted Princess will embark on a season of Mediterranean cruises in 2021. The 3,560 passenger vessel will feature fleet-wide staples such as the multi-story Piazza atrium, adults-only Sanctuary and Movies Under the Stars concept, as well as a number of Royal-class features like the SeaWalk (a glass walkway that extends from the top deck) and Princess Live TV studio. An all-new venue on Enchanted Princess is the Salty Dog Gastropub, a rustic-styled pub where cruisers can catch a sporting event while having a drink and some food.
6. Mardi Gras, Carnival Cruises
So named as a fun throwback to Carnival Cruise Line's first-ever ship (which retired in 1993), Mardi Gras will be the largest in the Carnival fleet – accommodating up to 5,200 guests. In a first for the line, Mardi Gras will feature six themed zones; The French Quarter, Summer Landing Zone, Grand Central, La Piazza, The Lido, and The Ultimate Playground. Mardi Gras will be based in Port Canaveral (Orlando), and will also be the cruise line's first ship to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), a form of fuel that produces considerably fewer emissions than regular fuel.
7. MSC Virtuosa, MSC Cruises
The second ship in MSC Cruises' Meraviglia Plus Class, MSC Virtuosa boasts enough room to cater for 6,297 guests. She will feature Cirque du Soleil performances, an indoor amusement park, an outdoor water park, and the first contemporary fine art museum at sea. There will also be 111 metres of indoor promenade with numerous restaurants, bars and shops, covered by a "digital sky" LED screen showing events and vistas around-the-clock. Another fantastic addition is that passengers will be able to access their cabins, book reservations, and make purchases throughout the ship using wristband technology.
8. Odyssey of the Seas, Royal Caribbean
Like her Quantum-class fleet mates, Odyssey of the Seas is expected to feature activities such as onboard bumper cars and a skydiving simulator. It should also feature the North Star, a pod that extends up and over the ship for 360-degree views, and the innovative entertainment space, Two70, which integrates HD-digital technology with singing, dancing, and acrobatics. She will actually be the second Quantum Ultra Class ship, behind Spectrum of the Seas, which we know will feature an exclusive, key-card-access-only, all-suite complex with a private swimming pool, and restaurant.
9. Costa Toscana, Costa Cruises
Maintaining the warm Italian hospitality that Costa Cruises is so well-known for, Costa Toscana will become a firm favourite for those looking for a fantastic cruise at an affordable price. With authentic cuisine in all eleven restaurants, as well as world-class live performances, classy lounges and rejuvenating spa treatments, wherever you're sailing to onboard Costa Toscana, the experience will be truly special.
10. Rotterdam, Holland America Line
Confirmed to debut in 2021, Rotterdam will pay tribute to the past ships of Holland America Line. As the third Pinnacle-class ship in the fleet, music and entertainment is at the heart of every feature. From the Rolling Stone Rock Room to B.B. King's Blues Club, this is the ultimate vessel for those who want to get on their feet, or simply relax to soothing tunes.
New Cruise Ships in 2022
We don’t have many details about the cruise ships that are on the horizon beyond 2021, but these are the confirmed ones that we know of:
Ships Launching in 2022
- P&O Cruises – Arvia – Late 2022
- Ambassador Ambience
- Virgin Cruises – Resilient Lady – 2022
- Azamara – Azamara Onward – 2022
- Celebrity Cruises – Celebrity Beyond – Autumn 2022
- Norwegian Cruise Line – Norwegian Prima – 2022
- Carnival Cruise Line – Unnamed Ship – 2022
- MSC Cruises – MSC World Europa – 2022
- Royal Caribbean – Wonder of the Seas – 2022. Read our blog on five reasons why you should choose Wonder of the Seas
- Princess Cruises – Unnamed Ship – 2022
- Disney Cruise Line – Disney Wish – 2022