The past 12 months have been wildly exciting in the world of cruises, with a glut of new ships taking to the seas, including the Anthem of the Seas, P&O Britannia and the Norwegian Escape, as well exciting new itineraries, on-board features and technologies. We’re sure 2016 is going to be just as exciting – so we have asked some of our favourite cruise experts and bloggers to speculate about what the next 12 months is going to produce in the world of cruising.
John Honeywell (Captain Greybeard) – Editor of World of Cruising
“It’s going to be a BIG year for cruising, with the arrival of a new contender for biggest cruise ship in the world, in Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas — and Carnival and Holland America getting their biggest ships to date, Vista and Koningsdam. Thomson will also be stepping up in size when Splendour of the Seas becomes Thomson Discovery. Lots more cabins to fill and lots more passengers to find. The Med’s going to get mighty crowded, so it’s a good job Cuba is becoming a hot destination, and more ships will be on their way to the Far East.”
Gary Bembridge – Tips for Travellers
“I believe that 2016 will see the acceleration of four trends in cruising:
- Travellers, especially families, choosing to replace land-based vacations involving flying with cruises on large resort-style ships attracted by UK-based departures, value-for-money, on-board attractions and kid’s clubs.
- Multi-generational families cruising together on ships offering a range of cabins, excursions and entertainment to satisfy all ages.
- Cruise lines introducing even more unusual and different itineraries to satisfy regular cruisers looking for new places to visit.
- River cruising will grow rapidly driven by the flow of new ships and activities to attract travellers beyond their current older core.”
Danielle Fear – Cruise Miss
“2016 is going to be THE year for cruises; CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) are predicting that in 2016, 26 million people will take a cruise! That is a staggering amount and I can quite believe it thanks to the launch of over 20 new vessels next year for ocean and river.
Looking ahead, I think we are going to see a brand influx over the next year, RCI already announced Tiffany’s will feature onboard, so there has to be more to come. I’m not a massive fan of this, but let’s see what the future brings.
With regards to destinations, Asia is still looking like the key player and cruise lines now have more ships home-ported in the east than ever before.”
Emma Gray – Emma’s Travel Tales
“I think 2016 is set to be another exciting year for the cruise industry. There are reportedly 43 ships on order for delivery between 2016 and 2021, and I have no doubt that more ships will be announced during the course of the year. I think a big focus on new ships will be integrating technology into ship life and I think we’ll see some big advances there. I can’t wait to see some great new ships and exciting itineraries!”
Becky – English Mum
“With a raft (excuse the pun) of new ships due in 2016, including Carnival Vista, Royal Caribbean’s Ovation and Harmony of the Seas, and Viking Sea (but sadly not Titanic II, which looks like it might now appear in 2018) there’s further proof that the cruise industry is going from strength to strength.
I think family cruisers, having completed Med and Caribbean cruises, will now look for more creative itineraries. I think the Norwegian Fjords are going to be very popular, especially with Disney Cruise Line sailing from the UK in 2016, and I’m still hearing loads about Alaska cruises too. My own bucket list includes China and Hawaii.”
Jane Archer – The Telegraph Cruise Correspondent
“Looking into my crystal ball, I’m struggling to see that much-loved but rather outdated cruising institution known as the main dining room. Instead, where that ancient monument once stood on all cruise ships I see a chic restaurant with an eye-wateringly expensive menu. Steaks, prime rib, scallops and lobster. All the favourite dishes are there but now you have to pay.
“None of the patrons seem too worried though. They are too busy imbibing the ‘free’ booze the cruise lines now include in their prices and making use of the faster, cheaper internet now available at sea to Instagram pictures of their food to friends and family.”
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Alessandro Caproni, Ian Gampon, Tobias Van Der Elst, exalthim.