CruiseCruise lines are returning with a bang and these are the itineraries to watch.

New cruise trips that will make you go wow

By
|
Elephant seals may act as witnesses to marriages on Atlas Ocean Voyages' Antarctica sailings.
Elephant seals may act as witnesses to marriages on Atlas Ocean Voyages' Antarctica sailings. Photo Credit: Michel Verdure

When it comes to itineraries, cruise lines up the ante every year, offering more ports, harder-to-reach locales and ever more creative themes. And when ships begin returning to service in earnest after the long pandemic pause, many cruise lines will debut some of their unique itineraries.

Here are a few of the most intriguing ones on offer over the next few years.

Atlas Ocean Voyages' 2022 Valentine's Day Antarctica itinerary will offer complimentary marriage ceremonies for couples seeking what the line is calling "the most adventurous destination wedding on Earth".

The line's Happy Ever Atlas itinerary, which also offers vow renewals, will depart on 14 February on the line's upcoming newbuild, the World Navigator, and offer ceremonies either on land — with penguins, seals or other locals as witnesses — or onboard, with the ship's bridge being an option.

Like all Atlas Antarctica trips, the sailings include complimentary roundtrip air travel on Atlas' private charter jet service direct to Ushuaia, Argentina, from Orlando.

The Happy Ever Atlas wedding package includes an officiant, a legal marriage license, a wedding coordinator, a wedding cake, a professional photographer and digital photo package and gifts such as custom penguin jackets.

Cunard's Queen Victoria in the Norwegian Fjords. The ship will embark on a world cruise touching many of the same ports Cunard's RMS Laconia visited in 1922-23.
Cunard's Queen Victoria in the Norwegian Fjords. The ship will embark on a world cruise touching many of the same ports Cunard's RMS Laconia visited in 1922-23.

Cunard and Holland America will both celebrate their long cruising heritage with sailings that recreate historical voyages.

Cunard will celebrate 100 years of offering world cruises in 2023 with two Centenary Sailings that will trace part of the routes of its two ships that were the first passenger liners to do continuous circumnavigations of the globe, Cunard said.

The Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria will each sail a world cruise mirroring many of the port calls from the world sailings of the RMS Laconia and by RMS Samaria, in addition to other destinations. Stops on Queen Mary 2's 117-day Centenary World Voyage round-trip from New York will include Singapore, Hong Kong and Colombo, Sri Lanka, emulating RMS Samaria's 1923 world sailing.

Queen Victoria's 92-day sailing, from New York to Southampton, England, will visit RMS Laconia's 1922-23 port calls with stops in Hong Kong; New York; Singapore; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Colombo; San Francisco, Honolulu and Hilo, Hawaii; Manila, Philippines; and Naples, Italy. Sadly, Havana, which was on the Laconia itinerary, can't be visited.

Another slight difference will be the cost. The full world cruise on the Laconia's April 1922 departure was US$1,500 — including excursions. The Queen Victoria's fare starts at US$18,499 per person.

"Cunard pioneered the World Voyage and a century later we're as passionate about these very special voyages as ever," said Simon Palethorpe, president of Cunard.

A poster advertising Holland America Line's first ship, the Rotterdam, which sailed its maiden voyage from the Netherlands to New York on 15 October 1872, and led to the founding of the company on 18 April 1873.
A poster advertising Holland America Line's first ship, the Rotterdam, which sailed its maiden voyage from the Netherlands to New York on 15 October 1872, and led to the founding of the company on 18 April 1873.

Holland America will recreate the maiden voyage of its first vessel, the Rotterdam 1, with a 12-day, 150th Anniversary Transatlantic on its upcoming Rotterdam, which will debut this summer.

The 15 October 2022, departure from Rotterdam, the Netherlands mirrors the Rotterdam I's 1872 sailing, with a stop in Plymouth, England, except for an additional stop in Le Havre, France, before arriving in New York City. The original trip sailing took 21 days to complete, with one less port. The seventh Holland American ship to bear the Rotterdam name is currently under construction in Italy and is slated to be delivered on 30 July.

Crew family members will perform onboard as part of Windstar's Crew Hometowns: Philippines & Indonesia itinerary.
Crew family members will perform onboard as part of Windstar's Crew Hometowns: Philippines & Indonesia itinerary.

Among Windstar Cruises' new itineraries for next year is Windstar Crew Hometowns: Philippines & Indonesia, which takes passengers on two-week sailings focused mostly on stops in the two countries, where most of the line's crew comes from.

"What better way to experience this lovely region than with the people who know it best, the Windstar crew who hail from the Philippines and Indonesia," Windstar stated in the sailing's description.

The trip begins 14 October 2022 in Hong Kong and includes stops in China and Malaysia, ending in Benoa, Bali. Guests onboard will get insider tips, such as where the best local eateries are, in addition to being able to share the crew's pride in being able to show off their homeland, and for some, their families: During Manila calls, Windstar plans to bring some of the crew members' families onboard to perform dances for passengers.

This fall, the MSC Magnifica will sail from Saudi Arabia, home to sites such as the Al-Hijr Archaeological Site in Al-Ula. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Cruise Saudi
This fall, the MSC Magnifica will sail from Saudi Arabia, home to sites such as the Al-Hijr Archaeological Site in Al-Ula. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Cruise Saudi

MSC Cruises will be the first Western cruise line to homeport in Saudi Arabia, when the MSC Magnifica launches a season of Red Sea cruises from Jeddah this fall.

The Magnifica will offer seven-day cruises from 13 November through March calling at the Saudi ports of Al Wajh and Yanbu as well as at Aqaba, Jordan, for Petra and Safaga, Egypt, for Luxor before returning to Jeddah.

Saudi Arabia is home to five Unesco World Heritage Sites, including the historical centre of Jeddah and the Al-Hijr Archaeological Site in Al-Ula, both of which will be accessible to Magnifica guests.

Passengers on the Magnifica's 5 December sailing will have the added opportunity of experiencing the inaugural Formula One Saudi Arabian Grand Prix auto race, being held in Jeddah this year.

Broadway stars will perform in the Regent Seven Seas Splendor's theatre.
Broadway stars will perform in the Regent Seven Seas Splendor's theatre.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises will launch a new collection of "Spotlight Voyages" this year and next, each based around a distinct cultural-enrichment program that include tailored shore excursions and onboard experiences, some purposefully tied to experiences people might have missed during the pandemic.

For those who missed the year without Broadway or West End shows, two of those sailings might help scratch that itch.

A Spotlight on Broadway themed cruise departing 9 April on the Seven Seas Splendor from Barcelona to Venice will feature Seth Rudetsky, the Sirius XM radio Broadway host and a few of his favourite Broadway stars, such as Audra McDonald, LaChanze and Celia Rose Gooding, who will perform hit songs and tell insider stories.

The 14-day New York to Miami sailing on the Seven Seas Navigator on 23 October 2022, will be a Spotlight on the American Musical, with an array of performers who will share stories and insights into the Broadway musical via panel discussions, private dinners and cocktail receptions allowing for one-on-one interaction.

Source: Travel Weekly

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI