What are the best new cruises in 2017? The hottest new ships? The most exciting new itinerary?
Avid cruisers, we’ve sailed on many ships, from a luxurious phinisi in Indonesia (where we spied Komodo dragons!) to a lovely riverboat in Myanmar. Naturally, we’re keen to know what new cruises we can experience (and tell you about) in future.
So we reached out to our cruise contacts and cruise experts (and scoured the Internet) to see what’s making waves for 2017.
Hop aboard for an advance peek!
Hot new ships
1) Star Clippers’ Flying Clipper
Modeled after the 1911 France II – the largest square-rigger ever built – the five-masted Flying Clipper (part of the Star Clippers’ fleet) recreates the Golden Age of clipper ships. Think lots of gleaming wood and brass!
What’s hot: You can learn to dive in a glass-bottom swimming pool.
Launching: Late 2017
2) Uniworld’s S.S. Joie de Vivre
This one-of-a-kind rivership from Uniworld – with French antiques and gilded decorative accents – will sail France’s Seine River.
What’s hot: Suites come with butlers trained to the same exacting standard as Buckingham Palace.
Launching: March, 2017
3) Silversea’s Silver Muse
“Simply divine.” That’s how Silversea describes the ultra-luxury Silver Muse. Gigantic suites (minimum size 400 square feet) are de rigueur.
What’s hot: There no less than eight restaurants for 596 passengers.
Launching: April, 2017.
4) National Geographic Quest
Built as an expedition vessel, the 100-passenger National Geographic Quest will venture into remote spots in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest before heading to Costa Rica, Panama, Belize and Guatemala.
What’s hot: A fleet of 24 two-person kayaks mean you can explore on your own.
Launching: June, 2017
5) MSC Seaside
No cruise ship promises to serve up more of that sun-and-sea feeling than the sizzling MSC Seaside when she starts to follow the sun year-round in the Caribbean.
What’s hot: Three outdoor glass catwalks extend beyond the edge of the ship.
Launching: December, 2017
6) Viking Sky and Viking Sun
These two from Viking Ocean Cruises certainly rank high among the best new cruises in 2017. Could they possibly be the best new cruise ships ever? The Viking Sky and Viking Sun are the third and fourth sister ships to the ground-breaking Viking Star, which wowed the cruise industry with all-veranda staterooms and other goodies when she set sail in 2015.
What’s hot: You can make like a Norwegian (complimentary) in the hot- and cold-water spa.
Launching: February and October, 2017
Exciting new ports
Ocean Cay, MSC Cruises new private out-island opening in December, 2017 will tick off a lot of boxes for a day of fun in the Bahamas.
But Timor-Leste in Southeast Asia is probably the most exotic new port.
How many people can boast trailblazing through one of the world’s newest countries? Discover tiny Timor-Leste on a Fiji-Bali cruise in April or June on the Paul Gauguin. You’ll find hand-woven baskets in the colorful markets and the world’s tallest statue of Jesus (88-feet high).
Pssst, there are few tourists too, we hear.
Most in-demand new itinerary
No round-up of the best new cruises in 2017 would be complete without touching on Cuba.
Frozen in time since the Cuban Revolution in the late 1950s, Cuba is THE place Americans want to see. And now, as relations between the U.S. and Cuba thaw, you can visit under “people-to-people” travel guidelines.
Best new cruise experience
Greet giant grouper and spiral down underwater caves, said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.” The British Virgin Islands are your playground with The Moorings on their ultimate dive vacations aboard the crewed, five-cabin (all ensuite) Poseidon Pearl.
It’s fully equipped with scuba gear so you can dive right off the boat with your PADI dive master guide. Non-divers will have fun too – the 58-foot catamaran stocks kayaks, standup paddleboards and waterskis.
At night, kick back over rum punches and hors d’ oeuvres as you listen to the next day’s dive brief.
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Read more about the best new cruises in 2017
Janice wrote about the best new cruises in 2017 for ISLANDS magazine, published in its hot-off-the-press December, 2016 issue. This post touches on some of the highlights in her “Cruise News 2017” ISLANDS article. Click on the image below to read a PDF of this 2-page print feature. (See here for the online version.)