2023 is the cruise industry’s biggest planned delivery year since 2019, with 29 planned vessel completions. Following the pent-up demand to travel, cruise lines are responding to passengers’ eagerness to explore with many expedition vessels and once in a lifetime itineraries debuting this year.

Some of 2023’s biggest key cruise ship design trends center around connection to destinations, with observation areas, viewing decks, and marinas featuring heavily in designs. These will bring passengers closer to the water than ever before. There is also a rise in destination inspired designs that provide full immersion with other cultures. Another key cruise ship design trend we are seeing emerge in 2023 is open, horizontal designs that optimize limited space on board and create a seamless flow. Read on for the innovative ocean ships, expedition vessels and mega yachts debuting this year, and their revolutionary designs.

Note: all dates are correct at the time of publication and could be subject to change.

Scenic Eclipse II – Scenic


Launching on April 12, Scenic Eclipse II will be Scenic Cruises’ second superyacht. Exploration and immersion are at the heart of the vessel’s designs, with Scenic Eclipse II offering an expansive top deck for soaking in the views. This boasts a new bar area with both indoor and outdoor seating. Passengers can also explore the ocean from the vessel’s marina, using provided water equipment and kayaks.

SH Diana – Swan Hellenic


Designed for worldwide cruising, SH Diana will explore the most inspiring and inaccessible places on Earth starting April 15. Swan Hellenic’s third expedition vessel, she will be debuting two new interior spaces. These include a dedicated multifunctional room and a private dining room for special occasions. SH Diana also provides extensive open views, with plenty of outside deck areas, multiple observation points, and bright, open, and relaxing public spaces offering unobstructed views.

American Serenade – American Cruise Lines


Debuting on April 23, American Serenade will carry passengers along the legendary Mississippi River. She will boast an updated modern interior design, integrating an elegant and refined aesthetic with American Cruise Line’s tradition for spacious comfort. On board, her designs draw inspiration from geography across America, with natural textual elements, serene color palettes, and panoramic designs. With 150 percent more glass than most river cruise vessels, American Serenade has also been purpose-built to ensure passengers can enjoy the passing river views.

Viking Saturn – Viking Cruises


Viking Saturn will depart on its maiden voyage on May 2, with a maiden season in the Mediterranean and around Northern Europe. Inspired by its itineraries, the vessel incorporates a modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches and intimate spaces. Her design is also heavily inspired by Nordic traditions, mythology and the exploratory spirit of the original Vikings. The onboard spa further links the vessel to its Scandinavian roots, with a traditional sauna and Snow Grotto.

Ambition – Ambassador Cruise Line


On May 12, Ambassador Cruise Line will launch its second vessel with Ambition. Previously sailing as AidaMira, Ambition has been redesigned into a 1,200 passenger ship catering to the 50+ British market. On board, Ambition will provide a tiered main theatre, casino, card room, library, craft studio, wellness center, gymnasium, two swimming pools, a range of shops, and two main restaurants.

Resilient Lady – Virgin Voyages


On May 14, Virgin Voyages’ third vessel, Resilient Lady, will set sail on her maiden voyage. Resilient Lady will feature lots of cutting edge technology, with extensive use of domotics in her cabins. These will allow passengers to manage a wide range of cabin functions, from temperature and lighting to music and television through a smartphone app. This allows guests to curate a personalized experience. Resilient Lady’s staterooms will also have sensors that detect whether or not the cabin is occupied, allowing the blinds to shut automatically and the air conditioning and lighting to adjust to optimal power saving settings.

Oceania Vista – Oceania Cruises


When she departs on May 13, Oceania Vista will be the first of two new 1,200-passenger Allura-class vessels, with the second due for delivery in 2025. Oceania Vista will debut stunning interiors and harmonious spaces that have been designed to reflect the glamorous Belle Epoque era of 20th century Paris. A standout feature will be the Grand Dining Room with ceiling that is almost two decks high. Oceania Vista will also debut a glamorous lobby with a sweeping staircase and dramatic crystal pillar, and a Grand Lounge decorated in a gold-infused color palette.

Ocean Albatros – Albatros Expeditions


When Albatros Expeditions’ latest vessel, Ocean Albatros, debuts, she will sail up to 190 passengers across the globe. To allow guests to enjoy her far off destinations, all Ocean Albatros’ 95 staterooms and suites will provide full sea views. Throughout the vessel, passengers can continue to enjoy unobstructed sea views in the panoramic sauna, specialty restaurant with panoramic views, and open deck dining.

MSC Euribia – MSC Cruises


The next ship launching for MSC Cruises, MSC Euribia, will be the final ship in Meraviglia Plus Class. Unlike the other ships in her fleet, MSC Euribia will boast colorful artwork across its hull. This piece, titled #savethesea, was designed by Alex Flämig, winner of a worldwide art competition run by MSC Cruises. On board, she will feature plenty of impressive spaces and activities on board, including MSC Cruises’ signature indoor promenade, Gallery Euribia. This promenade will feature shops, restaurants, bars and the largest LED dome at sea housed under a screen projecting changing images and light shows.

Explora I – Explora Journeys


Setting sail on July 17, Explora I will be the first of five sister ships, with one set to arrive each year until 2028. Designed by the world’s foremost superyacht and luxury hospitality designers, Explora I seamlessly blends Swiss precision with modern European craftsmanship. From the spacious open decks and beautiful ocean-front accommodations to the best-in-class wellness facilities, every element of Explora I exudes class and sophistication. With water at the heart of the Explora Journeys experience, Explora I also features one of the largest collections of swimming pools at sea, boasting two indoor and three outdoor pools.

Emerald Sakara – Emerald Cruises


Reaching an impressive 110 meters in length, Emerald Sakara will carry 100 passengers across the Mediterranean when she debuts in August. Bringing passengers closer to the ocean, Emerald Sakara will feature a marina platform offering water-based activities. The vessel will also debut an Observation Deck – a multi-purpose area used for early morning yoga classes and Movies Under the Stars at night. This, along with the al fresco Sky Bar and infinity pool allows passengers to enjoy Mediterranean sun.

Silver Nova – Silversea Cruises


When she sets sail on August 14, Silver Nova will be Silversea’s largest vessel to date. On board, she will boast light, open spaces in a horizontal layout that heightens the ship’s sense of spaciousness and provides a natural flow between her impressive venues. Silver Nova will debut Silversea’s largest venue selection yet. These include the most expansive array of bars, lounges, and restaurants of any ultra-luxury cruise ship.

Norwegian Viva – Norwegian Cruise Line


Norwegian Viva will be Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) second Prima-class ship when she sets sail this year. Dubbed the most spacious new cruise ship at sea, Norwegian Viva will allow passengers to get closer to the ocean than ever before. One of the ships’ most impressive features for this will be the Infinity Beach – a pool that blends into the ocean below, creating the illusion that guests are enjoying the wide-open ocean waters. On board, her designs prioritize openness, with the vessel debuting NCL’s most spacious accommodations yet, and a dining room boasting 270-degree views.

Seabourn Pursuit – Seabourn


Seabourn Pursuit will live up to her name, taking 1,200 passengers to the most unexplored parts of the Earth in pursuit of adventure when she debuts on October 10. With interiors designed by Adam D Tihany, she will bring the trademark Seabourn style and sophistication to the world of expedition cruising. The sister ship to Seabourn Venture, Seabourn Pursuit will feature many similar interiors. These include 132 all-veranda ocean-facing suites in nine categories, including suites spanning two decks which debuted on Seabourn Venture.

Seven Seas Grandeur – Regent Seven Seas


Scheduled to set sail in November 2023, Seven Seas Grandeur will be the sixth addition to the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet. The third vessel of Regent’s Explorer Class, she will debut several enhancements and new features. These include a wholly reimagined Compass Rose restaurant, designed by Studio DADO. The line’s signature restaurant will be resplendent with cascading glass sculptures and ornate tree-style pillars, making Compass Rose a fairytale crystal forest that promises to deliver an array of unforgettable dining experiences.

Celebrity Ascent – Celebrity Cruise Line


When she debuts, Celebrity Ascent will be the fourth and final ship in Celebrity Cruise Line’s Edge Series. The “twin sister” ship to Celebrity Beyond, she will include many iconic Celebrity Cruise Line features such as the iconic Magic Carpet and Rooftop Garden space. Celebrity Ascent was designed by a team of modern lifestyle icons including multi-award-winning British designer Kelly Hoppen CBE; celebrated American designer Nate Berkus; lauded Paris-based design firm Jouin Manku; innovative British architect Tom Wright; and Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud.

Carnival Jubilee – Carnival Cruise Line


Launching in December, Carnival Jubilee will be the third Excel class vessel, sister ship to Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration. The ship has been named as a tribute to Carnival Cruise Line’s original Jubilee. Like her sister ships, Carnival Jubilee will be split into six themed areas on board, and feature BOLT, the first rollercoaster at sea, as well as a three-deck atrium overlooking the ocean that converts to an entertainment venue at night.

Brilliant Lady – Virgin Voyages

Late 2023

Virgin Voyages’ second launch of the year, Brilliant Lady, will transport 2,700 sailors to some of the world’s most sought after ports of call when she debuts. To allow passengers to soak in the views, most of her cabins will offer ocean views, and 86% provide balconies. Brilliant Lady will offer the same features as her sister ships, including the no buffet dining options, cabin automation technology, Squid Ink tattoo parlor and extensive entertainment venues.

Janssonius – Oceanwide Expeditions


Debuting this year, Oceanwide Expeditions’ Janssonius will feature an elegant design containing stylish mid-century modern décor. Named after the historic Dutch cartographer Johannes Janssonius, exploration is at the heart of this vessel’s design. As an expedition ship transporting passengers to the far reaches of the Earth, Janssonius’ spacious layout will include ample outdoor viewing areas that allow passengers to enjoy spectacular views. She will also boast a deck consisting of a large observation lounge and a separate lecture room. These will be reserved for a wide variety of interactive workshops, exhibitions, and performances.

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