Six New Cruise Ships to Consider in 2022
Pushing the Boat Out
By Richard Jones
Cruising is back. After the washout of 2020/21, the tide has finally turned for the industry, and leading tour operators are pushing the boat out to get pent-up customers back on the open water.
The enforced hiatus has not only enabled the cruise lines to get their existing fleets ship-shape, but they’ve also been able to put the finishing touches on some brand-new, mind-blowing vessels.
If you fancy sailing off into the sunset this year, we look at six new cruise ships that will be making waves.
Virgin Voyages – Valiant Lady
Rockstar-themed suites, vegan restaurants, a DJ spinning vinyl records and an onboard tattoo parlour. Virgin Voyages has ripped up the rule book by catering for people that may have never thought of cruising. Their vessels are designed to be like a hip hotel and floating Nikki Beach, rather than your typical cruise ship. Fans of The Apprentice may have seen Virgin’s new Scarlet Lady during the latest series, and Virgin is launching not one but two more ships in 2022 – Valiant Lady in March, followed by Resilient Lady in the summer. Valiant Lady, ‘sponsored by’ Jennifer López (who gifts each passenger free on-board credit), is also said to be the most sustainable cruise ship in the world. And given that the ship was basically built for social media, Virgin provides free WiFi to all guests.
Virgin Voyages offers 12 nights on board the Valiant Lady on their ‘Late Nights in Portugal and Spain’ tour from £930pp. Ship docks at Portsmouth, La Coruña, Lisbon, Cádiz, Gibraltar, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona.
More info: virginvoyages.com
Royal Caribbean – Wonder of the Seas
Wonder of the Seas is now the world’s largest cruise ship. But it’s not just her size that’s impressive – the ship boasts heaps of cool features including eight neighbourhoods, an on-board wave machine, a huge park, the tallest slide at sea, rock climbing walls, and a cantilevered bar. The ship made her debut in Florida last month, before embarking on a series of itineraries around the Caribbean and Mediterranean. During a Western Caribbean cruise, you can call off for a ‘Perfect Day’ at CocoCay and conquer the tallest waterslide in North America before snapping a shot from up to 450 feet up in a helium balloon. Then, hike through Mayan ruins in Mexico, before diving into deep blue cenotes – aquamarine sinkholes surrounded by limestone caves.
Royal Caribbean offers seven nights on board the Wonder of the Seas’ ‘Western Caribbean & Perfect Day’ tour from £666pp. Itinerary includes Orlando, Florida, CocoCay, Bahamas, Cozumel, Roatan and Puerto Costa Maya.
More info: royalcaribbean.com
Norwegian Cruise Line – Norwegian Prima
The much-anticipated Norwegian Prima will make her debut in the summer and will feature some of the cruise line’s largest-ever cabins and open-air marketplace Indulge Food Hall. There will be 13 suite categories on board, including 107 Haven suites, where passengers can enjoy perks such as private lifts and access to a dedicated infinity pool. Thrill-seekers won’t want to miss out on a leisurely stroll along the Oceanwalk, which consists of glass bridges over the waters below. NCL’s Northern Europe cruise takes in the ‘Venice of the North’ Amsterdam, where you can discover mansions from the Golden Century. You’ll also get chance to kayak the serene waters of the fjord that fronts Ísafjörður, before visiting Reykjavik and venturing into the picturesque Thingvellir National Park, with its a wildflower-carpeted lava field.
Norwegian Cruise Line offer 11 days aboard the Norwegian Prima on its ‘Northern Europe’ tour from £1,770pp. Ship calls at Southampton, Zeebrugge, Amsterdam, Bergen, Geiranger, Ålesund, Akureyri, Isafjordur and Reykjavik.
More info: ncl.com
Disney Cruises – Disney Wish
The House of Mouse is pulling out all the stops for its fifth cruise ship Disney Wish, which begins sailing in June. Guests can revel in a royal celebration with Frozen friends; team up with the Avengers on a Marvel cinematic dining adventure; and travel to a galaxy far, far away in a first-of-its-kind Star Wars experience. Another highlight is Aquamouse. Here, families join Mickey and Minnie on a fun water ride spanning 760ft of the upper deck. Little ones will delight in an all-new Toy Story-themed district designed for families with toddlers and young children. Meanwhile, at Disney’s own private island Castaway Cay, you have everything you need for the perfect beach getaway – from lounge chairs and beach umbrellas to tasty food and entertainment.
Disney Cruise Line offers four nights on board the Disney Wish on a ‘Bahamian Cruise’ from £2,062pp. Ship departs from Port Canaveral, Florida, before stopping off at Nassau, Bahamas and Disney’s Castaway Cay.
More info: disneycruise.disney.go.com
Princess Cruises – Discovery Princess
Princess Cruises have raised the bar with their Sky Suites on board the Discovery Princess. A dedicated Suite Experience Manager showers guests with luxury, while the 1,000 square-foot ‘largest balconies at sea’ feature 270-degree views. Live entertainment-wise, there are mesmerising new West End-style production shows, including fan favourite Rock Opera, in the Princess Theatre. Other signature Princess amenities include the Piazza, Lotus Spa, The Sanctuary, Movies Under the Stars, Princess Live! Café, Good Spirits at Sea Bar, The Shops of Princess, Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Center and Discovery at SEA programmes. Los Angeles is the port of embarkation and disembarkation for the Mexican Riviera cruise, and sailors can explore the sunny community of Venice and picture-perfect beach town of Santa Monica.
Princess Cruises offers a seven-night ‘Mexican Riviera Cruise’ from £549pp based on departures in October. Setting off from Los Angeles, California, call off at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.
More info: princess.com
Celebrity Cruises – Celebrity Beyond
A rooftop garden with pools that are cantilevered over the open ocean and a Magic Carpet floating platform that reaches heights of 13 storeys above sea level. Just two of the highlights of Celebrity Cruises’ new ship dreamt up by renowned designers including Dragons’ Den’s Kelly Hoppen. The impressive cabins range from chic staterooms to two-storey suites, and foodies can enjoy menus created by Michelin-starred chef Cornelius Gallagher, while those in need of some R&R won’t be disappointed with the onboard spa. On a Western Europe cruise, you can explore fine-wine vineyards in Bordeaux, enjoy a lively Fado music performance in Lisbon, and tour huge underground caves full of stalactites and stalagmites in Palma De Mallorca.
Celebrity Cruises offers a 10-night ‘Western Europe Cruise’ from Southampton, sailing to La Rochelle, Bilbao, Lisbon, Seville, Malaga, Palma De Mallorca and Barcelona, from £1,534.
more info: celebritycruises.com