Next year is set to be a biggie for the cruise industry, with a bumper selection of new ships set to enter into service. In fact, so many new ships are taking to the seas that it’s starting to get a little bit confusing, so we’ve remedied this with our list of new ships preparing for their maiden voyages in 2016.
Harmony of the Seas
The world will have a new largest cruise ship next year when the Harmony of the Seas takes the crown from the other members of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class. The 227,000 gross tonne megaship will have a maximum capacity of 6,360 passengers and will incorporate some of the most futuristic cruise amenities available.
Spending her first few months completing sailings throughout the Mediterranean and trips from the Port of Southampton, UK cruise fans will have plenty of chances to enjoy the largest ship in operation before it moves to the other side of the Atlantic to complete itineraries around the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
Designed for cruise fans of all ages, the Harmony of the Seas will become the first member of the Royal Caribbean fleet to feature slides, including the Ultimate Abyss – a 10-storey mega-slide.
The massive vessel is due to take to the seas during the month of May, but her position of undisputed largest ship in the world looks set to be short-lived as her as-yet-unnamed sister ship is set to join the Royal Caribbean fleet in 2018.
Ovation of the Seas
Royal Caribbean are going to be busier than most next year as they launch two giant liners within the first six months. Slightly smaller than the Harmony of the Seas, the Ovation is set to become the third member of the Quantum Class – the most technologically-advanced cruise vessels in the world.
The Ovation of the Seas is expected to enter into service in spring 2016 and will complete a couple of itineraries around Europe including a lovely week-long sailing between Southampton and Barcelona. This ship will then make its way to Australia to complete a season Down Under, and around Asia.
In addition to the two new ships, Royal Caribbean will also be welcoming Empress of the Seas back to the fleet following a few years sailing under the Pullmantur banner.
As the Chinese cruise market continues to grow – a number of Europe and US-based lines are sending ships over to Asia in a bid to capitalise on the huge demand. But the region’s own lines are also looking to benefit from the continuing growth – with Star Cruises building the Genting World, which is set to launch at the back end of 2016.
With a capacity of 3,360 passengers, the ship is rumoured to follow a similar design to Norwegian Cruise Lines Breakaway Class vessels.
Although not a big name over here, Star Cruises is in fact the third largest cruise line in the world – dominating the Asia Pacific market. The line currently had six ships in service, but the new ship will become by far the largest in the fleet.
AIDAprima & AIDAmia
As part of Carnival Corporation’s massive fleet increase, German cruise line, AIDA Cruises, are due to receive two new members, AIDAprima and AIDAmia. The AIDAprima is due to be delivered right at the end of 2015, and will enter into service in the early stages of the New Year – to be later joined by the AIDAmia.
These two mostly identical ships will become the largest ships in the AIDA Cruises fleet, although they will be usurped by an as-yet-unnamed liner set to be launched in 2019.
Images sourced via Royal Caribbean Press Center and Flickr Creative Commons. Source: Loïc Lagarde