It is a week before Christmas, and Santa is checking his list twice to see which cruisers have been naughty and nice. With last minute shopping and holiday plans, we know that it is a hectic time of year. So, we have been keeping our eyes out for noteworthy updates from all of your favorite cruise lines. Sit back and get caught up with this edition of Cruise News December 18, 2016.
Cruise News December 18, 2016
2017 Cruise Trends
Want to know what is going to be all the rage next year? Well, the Cruise Line International Association’s annual State of the Cruise Industry 2017 edition has just hit the shelves. CLIA is the largest professional organization supporting those who work in and around cruising. The organization expects that next year will mark a milestone with over 25 million passengers taking a cruise vacation. Close to half of those travelers are expected to be first time cruisers. As cruising grows in popularity, the association expects more younger travels to choose cruise vacations as more ships are being created catering to millennial and generation Xers’ lifestyles. Still, travel agents are expected to continue playing an integral role in helping travelers find the ideal cruise vacation.
Cruise News December 18, 2016
Carnival Vista Class Unexpectedly Grows
After less than a year at sea, it looks like Carnival Vista is set to have even more siblings. Carnival Cruise Line announced last week that they will be adding a third Vista class ship to the fleet. Originally, the parent company had planned to build a similar ship for their P&O Australia brand. However, the decision was made to reposition a current Carnival ship to P&O and to add the third 133K gross ton ship to the Carnival brand. While the second Vista ship, Carnival Horizon, is set to debut in 2018, the third ship in the class is due to set sail sometime in 2019. Expect the additional Vista ships to be sailing from a variety of ports throughout the world, extending Carnival’s reach into other cruise regions.
Cruise News December 18, 2016 – Carnival Vista (Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)
Newest Destination in Arabian Gulf Accepting Cruise Passengers
If you want to see the hottest spot to travel in the Arabian Sea, then look no further than the new Sir Bani Yas in the United Arab Emirates. The opening of this island coincided with the arrival of the MSC Fantasia, which was actually unable to visit due to poor weather conditions. This 10 mile stretch of sand and sun will be the first public beach in the region that allows Westerns to sunbathe. Other traditional beach time excursions will be available including snorkeling and kayaks. Food and drink are also available on the island. About 39 ships are expected to visit this new locale during its inaugural season, including vessels from MSC Cruises, Silversea Cruises, and Costa Cruises, with more lining up to get a spot at this exclusive island.
Norwegian Cruise Line Changing Up Home Ports in 2018
Looking to offer cruisers more options, Norwegian Cruise Line previewed the changes they will be making to certain ships’ departure points in 2018. In the most notable shake-up, the line’s newest ship, Norwegian Escape, will call New York home starting in April 2018. Doing regular 7-day Bermuda sailings during the summer, the Escape will replace the Norwegian Breakaway for the season, while the Breakaway will be offering 9-night Scandinavian cruises during this time. Both ships will be in NYC for the fall, sailing to the Caribbean and New England. To make room for the two mega ships, the Norwegian Gem will be repositioned to Miami, FL where the ship will do 7-night Caribbean sailings.
Cruise News December 18, 2016 – Norwegian Escape Docked in St. Thomas
Have we missed any recent updates in our cruise news December 18, 2016 edition? Do you have any headlines you want to share? Drop us an anchor below to let all of your fellow cruisers know about the latest travel updates.