Saturday, 1 January 2011

Looking Ahead

By World of Cruising editor Simon Veness

New year, new perspective. That's what cruising gives us every year, and 2011 promises to be no exception.

We had such a wide range of new ships in 2010 - from the chic boutique vessels of Le Ponant and Seabourn to the massive leviathans of Royal Caribbean and NCL - that the follow-up is likely to be more narrow-focused.

There WILL be some big new vessels - the Disney Dream (above) later this month and 130,000-ton Carnival Magic foremost among them - but there will be more accent on the luxury end of the market, with new tonnage from Oceania Cruises (the Marina later in January), Ponant Cruises (sister ship L'Austral), Seabourn (the third Odyssey-class vessel, Seabourn Quest), Celebrity Cruises (their fourth Solstice-class ship, Celebrity Silhouette) and sail-cruise specialist Sea Cloud (the all-new Sea Cloud Hussar).

We will obviously be looking forward to all of them - and bring full reveiews of each in due course - but we will be taking particular note of the new Disney vessel, the Marina, Seabourn Quest and Celebrity Silhouette as we continue our trend for highlighting the very best of the cruise world.

Having also become the leading publication for adventure cruising and expedition-style voyaging, we are sure to have some more fantastic ideas and features that take you to the more far-flung outposts of the world - notably Antarctica, the Arctic north, Tahiti and French Polynesia, Costa Rica and Vietnam, all of which represent beguiling travel opportunities.

I will be intrigued to see what kind of new features Disney's 'Imagineers' have come up with; how Oceania increase the scale but maintain the style with their first new-build; if Seabourn can continue to set the mark for the six-star market; and whether Celebrity can continue the march of their impressive Solstice class.

It all adds up to a mouth-watering prospect for the next 12 months - just make sure you follow it all with us!