As travellers and travel agents alike across Asia Pacific eagerly await the return of cruising, many are likely dreaming of experiencing their favourite at-sea attractions again. From pulse-pounding water slides to theme park quality thrill rides, today's
cruise ships are so much more than floating hotels. Here's a look at some of the most spectacular at-sea experiences travellers have missed out on amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Ultimate Abyss onboard Symphony of the Seas. Photo Credit: SBW-Photo
The second-largest cruise ship in the world, Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas, is where travellers can experience the tallest slide at sea in the hair-raising Ultimate Abyss. Brave riders
will slide through 66m of tunnels, twisting and turning as they take in multi-sensory effects and pop out onto the ship's boardwalk more than 10 stories below.
Jeff Gordon and Rob Gronkowski race on the Norwegian Encore's go-kart track. Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line
Available on both Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss, these first-of-their-kind at-sea go-kart tracks allow riders to reach speeds of up to 48km/h as they compete with others and take in breathtaking
ocean views. Both race tracks feature eco-friendly electric cars to minimise environmental impact and avoid disturbing fellow cruise passengers (race car engine sounds are piped in through speakers located in each car's headrest).
The Riptide is the industry’s only headfirst mat racer waterslide. Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean's Riptide is the only headfirst mat racer waterslide at sea. The epic ride arrived following Navigator of the Seas' 2019 overhaul, taking riders on a twisting, turning plunge that
features stretches of a translucent tube for sensational sea views as the slide edges out over the side of the cruise ship.
Viking Ocean Ship Snow Grotto. Photo Credit: Viking Cruises
Based on the Scandinavian bathing ritual of alternating between hot and cold therapies, Viking Cruises' snow grotto is best paired with a stop in the sauna. Guests will only need a few minutes amidst
the manmade snow and freezing temperatures to improve circulation and begin feeling rejuvenated.
Adventures in the sky, sea or space on World Dream's Icaros flying simulators. Photo Credit: Dream Cruises
Esc Experience Lab
It's one of the most booked-out spots onboard the World Dream, which offers a virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) arcade gaming experience on the high seas at the Esc Experience
Lab. Multi-players can race in full-size, Formula 1 chassis; plunge into an interactive motion 'dark' theatre; and even design their own roller coaster rides on the full-motion VR Finger Coaster. Similar VR activities are available on sister ship
SkyRide on Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Vista. Photo Credit: Jason Leppert
Available on Carnival Horizon, Panorama and Vista, SkyRide gives riders the freedom to pedal their way along a suspended track 46m in the air. Some riders aim to compete against others while some simply
hop on for a fun workout that features stellar views of the sea and the cruise ship below. Riders can reach speeds of 29km/h if they've got the strength and stamina.
Norwegian Encore Galaxy Pavilion Dark Ride Robot Riot. Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line
Guests sailing Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Encore have fallen in love with the ships' Galaxy Pavilions, which are essentially virtual reality playgrounds allowing guests to compete with one another
and test their skills in a variety of unique experiences, from racing to fighting aliens. These special attractions feature more traditional arcade games such as skeeball and air hockey as well.
SeaPlex onboard Quantum of the Seas. Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean International Media
Royal Caribbean's SeaPlex indoor activity space aboard Quantum of the Seas brings a classic carnival and boardwalk thrill to the sea in bumper cars. Whether riding solo or with another passenger
alongside, this at-sea first is guaranteed fun for guests of all ages and a can't-miss experience for families.
Rendering of the BOLT roller coaster onboard the Carnival Mardi Gras. Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line Media
Coming Soon — BOLT
Can you miss something you've never experienced? Yes, especially considering this is something so many cruise lovers were supposed to be enjoying time and time again already. Carnival Cruise Line's
new Mardi Gras cruise ship will feature the world's first-ever and fastest roller coaster at sea in BOLT. It was supposed to debut last year, but the pandemic delayed the launch of the new ship and the much-anticipated ride.
The epic attraction will take riders around 213m of track and as high as 55m above sea level. The all-electric coaster also allows riders to control their own speed as they compete with others for the fastest time while enjoying 360-degree ocean views.
The longest rollercoaster at sea: the Space Cruiser on Global Dream. Photo Credit: IRMS
Coming Soon — Space Cruiser
When Global Dream debuts some time
later this year, they will also house the world's longest rollercoaster at sea: the
Space Cruiser. Featuring a 300m track, riders grab on to the two-seater ‘Spike’ vehicle fitted with interactive control so they can tailor their own rollercoaster experience, at the ship's theme park, Dream Park at the Pier.
Additional reporting from Natalie Joy Lee.