NEW YORK - Seatrade Cruise Global, the leading annual global business-to-business event for the cruise industry, is scheduled for 14-17 March 2016 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center. As the entire cruise community converges at the conference, hot topics will include 2016 ship new builds with 30,830 berths and a total investment of nearly $7.5 billion. Discussion of expansion plans to Cuba and the growing China market will also dominate this year's conversations.
"There has never been a more highly anticipated year in the cruise industry than 2016 with 11 ocean-going new builds debuting to serve a truly global cruise market," shares Mary Bond, editor and publisher for Seatrade Cruise Review. "Each cruise line is collaborating with design and shipyard partners to develop vessels that satisfy diverse demand in its own unique way."
Below are the 11 new builds debuting in 2016 according to Seatrade Cruise Review, the leading publication for insight in the cruise market:
- AIDAprima + sister ship – AIDA Cruises' first Japanese-built ships have dual-fuel engines for direct supply of LNG to fuel hotel energy needs in port. All-weather spaces like the AIDA Beach Club and Four Elements, with its water slides and lazy river, provide a tropical environment in any climate.
- Carnival Vista – Among loads of alfresco attractions, the novel SkyRide is a cycling adventure suspended from an 800 ft. track above the ship's top deck. Riders climb into hanging, recumbent bikes to pedal their way around.
- Genting Dream – The flagship of Genting Hong Kong's new premium brand, Dream Cruises, has two decks of exclusive "Dream Suites" that measure up to 183 sq. mtr. each and have European butler service. There are 35 restaurants and bars with a culinary emphasis on Asia. All regional cuisines of China will be represented.
- Harmony of the Seas – The world's largest cruise ship, it is the first in Royal Caribbean's Oasis series built in France. Harmony of the Seas melds Oasis- and Quantum-class features. What is really making a splash are new water attractions. The Cyclone, Monsoon and Typhoon slides launch from high above Central Park, while The Ultimate Abyss, a 10-story slide, whisks riders from high above the AquaTheater to the Boardwalk.
- Koningsdam – First in the Pinnacle class, it becomes Holland America Line's biggest ship with a bevy of new features – among them, World Stage. This entertainment venue will present performances in traditional theatre style or in the round, incorporating a two-story, 270-degree high definition LED screen.
- Mein Schiff 5 – Mein Schiff 5 is a close sister to Mein Schiff 3 and 4 but adds a couple dining venues, Schmankeri for Austrian specialties and cafe bar near the reception area. With a fleet of six in the medium term, TUI Cruises' German market share goes up 25% according to CEO Wybcke Meier. Plus, Mein Schiff 7 and 8 will follow.
- Ovation of the Seas – Via a 52-night "global odyssey" from Southampton to Tianjin, Royal Caribbean's third Quantum-class ship will go straight to service in China. After its inaugural season, Ovation of the Seas repositions to Sydney for the southern summer, giving Aussies their first taste of home-based Quantum cruising.
- Seabourn Encore – This Fincantieri newbuild expands on Seabourn's Odyssey-class trio, built by T. Mariotti, and its interiors are by the noted hotel/restaurant designer Adam D. Tihany, whose distinctive style is reflected throughout.
- Seven Seas Explorer – The $10,000 a night Regent Suite, on what Regent Seven Seas Cruises touts as the most luxurious ship ever built, is booked and wait-listed until far in the future. The 3,875 sq. ft. suite comes with an in-room spa retreat. Unlimited Canyon Ranch SpaClub treatments are included.
- Viking Sea – A twin of 2015's acclaimed Viking Star, Viking Ocean Cruises' Viking Sea recreates the contemporary Nordic decor, residential style and all-veranda accommodations. The double-deck Explorers Lounge has a bar, library and a Scandinavian deli named for the granny of godmother Karine Hagen.