If new year, new you didn’t work out quite the way you had planned, how about new year, new cruise? With six shiny new cruise ships launching in 2017 we can’t think of a better time than now to try something totally different for your next cruise holiday. With the impressive selection on offer you can look forward to sleek, state-of-the-art design, ultra-luxurious indulgence and super sun worshipping, all whilst visiting many exciting destinations.
Take your pick from the new cruise ships below and let us know which you’d most like to meet.
Silversea, Silver Muse
Seabourn Encore is the fourth luxury ship to join Seabourn Cruises spectacular six star fleet. A welcome addition to an award winning fleet, Seabourn Encore is here to re-define small ship ultra-luxury cruising and is hailed as the most beautiful and innovative ship for Seabourn thus far. Designed by renowned hospitality designer, Adam Tihany, Seabourn Encore oozes the same elegant charm of sister ship, Seabourn Odyssey, but with an extra emphasis on beautiful details. Guests will be pleasantly surprised from one day to the next during their cruise, with a standout highlight being the incredible culinary offering onboard including the new Sushi venue. What to expect: Winter in Australasia, Summer in the Mediterranean, spectacular culinary experiences, six-star service and sumptuous surrounds.
Find cruises on Seabourn Encore
Silver Muse is set to sail in April 2017 and as the largest ship for Silversea, brings with her an incredible amount of choice for your luxury experience. Although still classed as a small ship, Silver Muse proudly claims to have the best dining experience at sea with eight different dining options on offer. From Spanish Tapas with live music and dancing in Silver Note to the sensational Japanese cuisine prepared before your eyes in Kabucki, there is something to suit all tastes onboard. Luxury becomes even more lavish for Silversea’s new flagship with a total of seven different suite types to choose from. The largest spanning 1,475 sq ft, that’s twice the size of an average UK house! What to expect: Silversea’s first full sized theatre, an abundance of culinary choices, an elegant and intimate experience, full butler service and a charming summer in the Mediterranean.
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Although relatively new to ocean cruising, debuting its first cruise ship in 2015, Viking Cruises got it so right that it’s sticking to a similar style and trend for the newest additions to its fleet. Viking Cruises ships are sleek, modern and comfortable with a distinct Scandinavian design. Practicality is infused with subtle luxurious touches onboard Viking Sky. The main pool has a retractable roof so that the area can be enjoyed in all weather, whilst the aft infinity pool provides breath-taking sea views. The ship has been specifically engineered in a way that allows direct access to smaller ports, meaning that you can sail straight to the heart of many fascinating destinations. And with destination rich itineraries including the Baltic capitals and ancient gems of the Mediterranean you’ll appreciate easy access to explore. When a day of exploring is done, Viking Sky’s innovative spa provides holistic methods and traditional Nordic treatments. What to expect: Simple yet satisfying Scandinavian style, many alfresco dining options, destination rich itineraries and a comfortable home away from home.
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Sister ship to Viking Star, Viking Sea and Viking Sky - Viking Sun joins Viking Cruises modern fleet late in 2017 offering even more choice for a stylish mid-sized cruise ship experience. With an identical design to her sister ships, Viking Sun increases Viking Cruises offering of popular holidays allowing you to explore the world in comfort. What to expect: A thinking person’s cruise with art lectures and informative port talks, a simple and stylish atmosphere with comfortable furnishings and delightful dining options.
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Dubbed as the ship for all seasons, MSC Meraviglia sets sail for MSC Cruises in 2017 with an extraordinary level of entertainment options onboard. The perfect choice for families and groups, MSC Meraviglia has plenty of cabin and suite options available including connecting cabins that can accommodate up to 10 people. Each day onboard can be different with MSC Meraviglia’s unique offering of things to see and do. Check out the indoor promenade, 12 dining venues, Aqua Park with waterslides, Himalayan Bridge (ropes course) or the TV studio broadcasting games, quizzes and interviews to screens ship wide. Kids and teens are well looked after with five kids clubs and dedicated teen hangout spaces. Evening entertainment is just as exciting with exclusive performances from Cirque du Soleil in Cirque du Soleil at Sea. What to expect: a fun filled cruise with lots to see and do onboard. Mediterranean style cruising calling at ports such as Genoa, Barcelona, Malta and more.
Find cruises on MSC Meraviglia
Follow the sun in 2017 with MSC Seaside, the ship that has been specifically designed for you to enjoy the outdoors and be closer to the sea. A unique wraparound promenade provides multiple options for alfresco dining, sea gazing, shopping and sunbathing.Experience life outdoors at sea with MSC Seaside boasting one of the most advanced Aqua Parks at sea spanning two whole decks of fun, plus an extensive Adventure Trail ropes course.
What to expect: Being outdoors most of the time with maiden season in the Caribbean, lots of thoughtful sea gazing and fantastic Mediterranean style cruising.
Find cruises on MSC Seaside
This year multi-award winning luxury cruise line, Azamara Club Cruises took steps to evolve it’s destination immersion offerings and enhance onboard experiences fleet wide. Both cruise ships in the Azamara fleet underwent an extensive refurbishment project titled Azamara Remagined, which gave each ship a complete bow to stern overhaul. Nothing was untouched and upgrades were applied to staterooms, suites and public areas. The creative concept behind the reimagining was to bring the organic essence of destination immersion onboard using the four elements of nature. Earthy muted tones add a relaxing element whilst an enhanced outdoor pool grill brings the fire. Airy new outdoor venues and new tranquil spa suites complete the full circle. Eager to know more about the revitalisation programme, Iglu Cruise sent Cruise Agent Matthew along to report back on the newly upgraded Azamara Quest.
“Hi all! I have just returned from a visit on Azamara Quest and wanted to fill you in on some exciting enhancements since the ship was reimagined in April this year. Suites and Staterooms
Azamara have added two new “Spa Suites” to the forward section on the upper deck next to the Spa. These allow direct access to the Spa and Gym with one “Night in Private Places” experience included per cruise. This means private use of the whirlpool and sunbeds on the viewing deck of the Spa, overlooking the bow with a butler who’ll cater to your every need. Those who would like to experience a “Night in a Private Place” can do so for around $60.
All staterooms have had an extensive makeover. I got to see a refurbished Deck Four forward Oceanview room, which was very spacious even with a double bed, armchair, minibar and all the usual features. All staterooms now feature a top of the range interactive TV and bathrooms have been rebuilt with upgraded stone and porcelain surfaces.
The new Inspiration Centre on Deck Four features a giant screen much like a big iPad. It has touch screen technology and tells you all about future Azamara itineraries all over the world, including ports of call, future cruise prices and so on. Touch anywhere on the map to to view videos, see beautiful photography and destination information.
The Living Room
The Looking Glass lounge at the top of the ship (forward) is now called the Living Room in which you’ll find touch screen tables where you can send a digital postcard to relatives via email from the comfort of your couch. In fact, the WiFi has been improved ship wide with a faster and more reliable connection. A small food station and coffee machine in the Living Room make it a convenient hangout in the mornings or late afternoons. The vibe is quirky and elegant with suspended birdcage chairs for fun.
Main Dining is in the Discoveries Restaurant which now has additional seating. The grand Tiffany chandelier still hangs from the ceiling and is apparently the most expensive feature on the ship. Both speciality dining restaurants feature the same cuisine but have been refurbished.
The Pool Grill is now known as The Patio, a refined outdoor dining experience with a new menu and sophisticated ambiance. Occasionally you’ll also be able to enjoy live music or open air movies from across the pool as you dine.
A word to loyal fans of Celebrity Cruises, your Captains Club loyalty points can be redeemed with Azamara Club Cruises. With fleet wide Azamara updates under Azamara Reimagined, there is no better time than now to try something new!"
Sail on Azamara Quest Reimagined
Award winning luxury cruise line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, offers a deluxe all-inclusive sailing experience. With all-suite accommodation, gourmet cuisine, sublime service and magnificent attention to detail. Eager to see this in practice, we sent Dave from the Iglu Cruise Commercial Team to find out exactly what level of attentive detail can be expected on a Regent Seven Seas Cruise. Read on for Dave’s Top 20 extra little things that made the Regent cruising experience so special.
One of the things people often say about the Regent experience is the extra little things and attention to detail offered onboard. Having just sailed from Rome to Athens, I can 100% vouch that this extra enhanced level of care permeates everything onboard. All drinks, dining, shore excursions, tips, flights, entertainment, bottles of spirits in your suite and welcome champagne are of course included as standard. In addition, here are my top 20 extra little things which I think make a BIG difference with a Regent Seven Seas cruise, and of course, it’s all complimentary. 1. Handmade chocolates, differently flavoured with lovely travel epithets waiting for you on your pillow each night. 2. A complementary laundry and ironing room, where you can watch TV (with movie channels & sports) as you wait/press. 3. Phenomenal touches including a rose petal towel cake, bubbles and a card to celebrate a birthday.
4. Incredible light installations everywhere. Regular corridors resemble top boutique hotels. 5. Barista served speciality coffees as standard for breakfast. 6. A gloriously heated aft facing Infinity pool, that when looking out to sea really does go on forever. 7. The best and most currently updated library I’ve ever seen at sea. 8. HUGE walk-in teak wardrobes as standard, with regular hangers. 9. Again, largest Balcony areas I’ve seen, with plenty of room for two loungers. Perfect for on balcony dining. 10. In-Suite dining - being able to order anything from the main (compass rose) restaurant each night is a touch. 11. Huge queen sized bed, facing the balcony, so you can have a view of the ocean as you doze. 12. Quality L’Occitaine Mer & Mistral toiletries and bubble bath replenished daily. 13. Huge Grohe rainfall marbled shower area, separate to the bath. 14. Coupled marble wash hand basins. 15. Verandah dining in the Sette Mare restaurant felt like a top signature dining experience on any other line and doesn’t need pre booking. 16. Hand squeezed lemonade as standard, whenever you ask for it, brought to you whilst sunbathing! 17. The hottest and most delicious Green Thai Curry I’ve ever tasted in Pacific Rim. 18. The first and only announcement you’ll hear are announcing disembarkation times before you leave (with a heavy heart).
19. The best, quickest and most elaborate room service at sea:
Dave - “Could you bring some popcorn and hot chocolate with Marshmallows as we’re watching a movie?” Regent - “But of course!”
20. Some of the best gelato and toppings I’ve ever had. I can heartily recommend dulce de leche and double choc combination with biscuit sprinkles.
See the extra special touches for yourself with a Regent Seven Seas cruise
From the moment you step on board a luxury cruise ship, expect first-class and personalised service, luxury staterooms and elegant suites, premium beverages and gourmet cuisine, enriching itineraries, an exceptional selection of shore excursions, intimate onboard atmosphere, and decadent no-expenses-spared furnishings.
But as with all cruise ships, you need to choose the right one to suit your particular needs and preferences. Whether you want a spacious ship or an intimate experience, we’ve narrowed down our favourite top five luxury cruise ships, so you can decide which one resonates with you best.
Regent Seven Seas Explorer
Hailed as the ‘most luxurious ship ever built’, Seven Seas Explorer epitomises elegance and refined luxury; Regent Seven Seas have really outdone themselves with this beautiful ship. The designer suites feature marble-detailed bathrooms, spacious sitting areas and private balconies. The Canyon Ranch SpaClub® offers decadent treatments. Renowned for their exquisite cuisine, you’ll find an extensive choice of dining all included in your fare. The tantalising French creations of Chartreuse, the pan-Asian dishes of Pacific-Rim, and the innovative Culinary Arts Kitchen are among some of the highlights.
Arriving in the spring of 2017, Silver Muse joins the all-suite Silversea Cruises fleet as their plush new flagship. She will redefine ultra-luxury ocean travel, and enhance the intimate small-ship experience that is the hallmark of Silversea. Amongst modern enhancements and signature Silversea features, Silver Muse will be in keeping the intimate atmosphere on board all of Silversea’s ships, with ultra-luxe accommodation for 596 guests, and an exceptionally attentive 400 crew members on board. The stylish and spacious all-suite accommodation ranges from the Classic Veranda Suite, to the prestigious Owner’s Suite, with a dedicated butler service available to all guests sailing aboard Silver Muse. The irresistible dining options on board include the authentic Italian restaurant La Terrazza, Japanese inspired Kabuki, and the classic Atlantide bar and grill.
Sirena joined Oceania Cruises fleet in April 2016, representing all that Oceania Cruises stand for - with her own unique highlights added on top. After undergoing a staggering $40 million refurbishment, she now has fresh new culinary offerings, crisp re-designed suites and a stimulating variety of entertainment options. With just 684 pampered guests aboard, the 400 professional staff offer the most attentive service. The spacious and luxurious suites boast generous dimensions; expect rich fabrics, fine furnishings, original art and an exceptionally comfortable Prestige Tranquility Bed, exclusive to Oceania Cruises. Savour The Finest Cuisine at Sea™, with options including the Asian-inspired Red Ginger, Tuscan Steak, or the handsomely dressed Grand Dining Room with designer fabrics and oversized armchairs.
Building on the success of their existing award-winning ships, Seabourn launched Seabourn Encore in March 2016. Along with the acclaimed features of the rest of the fleet, she also brings with her a host of new concepts. A bespoke aesthetic has been created by master designer Adam Tihany, with a curvaceous elegance inspired by private yachts and unexpected surprise details to discover on board. Enjoy the indulgent, exclusive experiences on offer, like shopping with the Chef at local markets, Caviar in the Surf® at idyllic beaches, and the memorable watersports on Marina Days.
Crystal Esprit is the newest addition to the Crystal Cruises fleet, bringing with it a new standard of luxury small-ship cruising. Exclusive, intimate and sleek, Crystal Esprit is a gracefully appointed yacht that caters for just 62 passengers. Featuring a shallow draft, this nimble ship can reach secluded harbours, coves and islands that are truly off the beaten track. Her innovative itineraries have been designed with this smaller size in mind, allowing maximum engagement with each destination. Discover the yachting lifestyle aboard, where you can set your own pace; relax on deck, explore at your own pace or join a cultural excursion.
When choosing a cruise it is often best to take a moment to think about what kind of stateroom you would like to stay in and what affect this will have on your holiday. Oceania Cruises give you a sense of staying in a country hotel at sea paired with sophisticated elegance and a casual country club atmosphere. Although every stateroom onboard features an exclusive Oceania Prestige Tranquillity Bed consisting of a magnificent eleven inch mattress, down feather pillows and duvets which are covered in the finest 1000-count Egyptian cotton, the view you receive from your room can really add to your cruising experience. Carry on reading to find out why we recommend staying in a Veranda stateroom or above when sailing with Oceania Cruises.
With Marina and Riviera boasting 282-square foot Veranda Staterooms, Oceania have ensured that these rooms were designed with quality and not quantity in mind. If you are someone that loves to spend time outside on the public sun decks, lounges and restaurants taking in the fresh sea air, but would like to indulge in a little privacy from time to time, then having your own spacious balcony means you can do this without feeling cramped.
A Veranda onboard an Oceania Cruises ship is intended to be used. Expect seating and a table to sit back and enjoy a drink as you overlook the ocean or enjoy an extra special touch to room service by enjoying outside dining. Go one step further by staying in a Concierge Level Veranda Stateroom or Suite and cuddle up with a luxurious cashmere blanket, perfect for relaxing on your veranda.
One of the main benefits of booking a Veranda Stateroom is the view. It is not every day you are able to wake up to the grandest waters in the world; imagine waking up and stepping onto your balcony inhaling the fresh air, as you start your day. Or imagine sitting on your balcony and watching the beautiful coastlines of the ports you are visiting come into view.
If you really want to indulge in your cruise and make it the trip of a lifetime, then consider upgrading to a Suite with Oceania Cruises. Rivalling any five star hotels, lavish suites offer grandeur and spaciousness and a host of exclusive privileges making the experience more than superb. Everything is taken care of and everything is intended to make you feel like a VIP, from priority embarkation, unlimited access to Canyon Ranch SpaClub® private Spa Terrace, a variety of Bvlgari amenities and 24-hour Butler service… There is no better reason to upgrade.
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