Biggest year for new cruise ships

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Royal Caribbean

New cruise capacity to be at an all-time high

This coming year will be the biggest for new deliveries of cruise ships since 2001, the 2018-2019 Cruise Industry News Annual Report says.

In 2001, 17 ships and 25,052 berths were introduced to the cruise industry. For 2018, the number of ships will be the second biggest ever, with 16 ships scheduled for delivery, according to the global cruise ship order book.

But introductions of berth and capacity will be at an all-time high in 2018, with 34,352 berths expected to hit the market. That will beat the existing record in 2010, when 28,676 berths were brought onto the market.

However, all records are likely to fall in 2019, when 24 new ships are expected to be introduced in 2019.

Which ships?
The biggest of 2018’s new vessels will be Royal Caribbean’s enormous $1.35 billion Symphony of the Seas due in April, with a 227,625 gross tonnage and capacity for 5,400 passengers.

Also on the mega side will be Norwegian Bliss due in May, costing $1.1 billion with a 164,600 tonnage and capacity for 4,200 passengers.

Another sizeable ship is MSC Cruises’ 4,140-capacity Seaview, also due in May, costing $950 million and with a tonnage of 154,000.

Then there’s the world’s first liquefied natural gas powered cruise ship, costing $950 million and with a 183,900 tonnage and space for up to 5,000 passengers, scheduled for delivery to AIDA Cruises in December.

Others include Carnival Horizon ($780 million, 4,000 pax, March), TUI’s Mein Schiff 1 ($625 million, 2,900 pax, May), Seabourn Ovation ($350 million, 604 pax, May), Viking Ocean’s Viking Orion ($400 million, 930 pax, July) and Celebrity Edge ($900 million, 2,900 pax, November).

Hurtigruten’s hybrids
One Nordic vessel to watch for this year will be Hurtigruten’s Roald Amundsen, being built at Kleven Verft shipyards in Ulsteinvik, Norway, at a cost of $220 million with a tonnage of 20,000 and space for up to 530 passengers, due for delivery in August.

The first of two hybrid ships Hurtigruten will add to its fleet over the next few years, it will cut emissions by sailing with electrical propulsion.

Hurtigruten says that this hybrid technology, combined with “advanced construction of the hull and effective use of electricity on board”, will slash fuel consumption and CO2 emissions on the ships by 20%. Building the two ships represents the largest single investment in the history of Hurtigruten.

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