Host of New Operators to Enter Cruise Industry in Next 2 Years

At least 14 new companies are poised to enter the cruise industry in the next two years, having announced plans, being in the process of acquiring ships and moving forward with shipbuilding plans. In addition are a number of yet-to-be announced projects, targeting both newbuilds and secondhand vessels.

Looking across the 14 potential market entrants, plans range from billion-dollar new vessels entering the mainstream market to smaller ultra-luxury ships and even retirement homes at sea.

14 New Cruise Businesses:

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

Ritz-Carlton Vessel

Three ships from The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will occupy the high-end of the luxury cruise market segment and may attract other hotel operators to the cruise business. Ritz’s first 298-guest ship sets sail in early 2020, designed entirely by Tillberg Design of Sweden.

Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady in PortMiami

Virgin Voyages will start revenue service with four- and five-night cruises from Miami in early 2020. The startup has announced plans to build four 2,770-guest ships. The Scarlet Lady is the first of those and will be adults only, with all food options included in the ticket price. The company recently announced four- and five-night cruises from Miami.


Scenic's Double Eclipse

After issues with Uljanik shipyard, the Scenic Eclipse edges closer to completion in Croatia. Scenic, an Australian brand, is taking its game from the river business to the ocean with what it is calling the world’s first discovery yacht. With a global deployment, including the polar regions, 228 guests can look forward to 10 dining options, two helicopters, a submarine and other toys. Read the latest update here.

Mystic Cruises

World Explorer

Mystic Cruises will launch its first ship this spring as Mario Ferreira’s empire moves into the ocean cruise segment after having built up a successful river operation. Mystic will charter its first ship to Nicko Cruises, which it also owns, and then Quark Expeditions. Two more 200-guest ships are scheduled to follow.

Zen Cruises

Pacific Jewel

Zen Cruises, owned by Essel Group, will target the Indian source market with its startup this April with the former Pacific Jewel. The brand will be named Jalesh Cruises and take delivery of 1,590-guest, 1990-built ship in Singapore. The first cruise sails from Mumbai in April.



A major market entrant in China will take the form of China Travel Service and COSCO later this year when the Piano Land homeports for her inaugural season out of Xiamen. The ship is the 1995-built Oriana, which is currently sailing for P&O Cruises UK. Learn more.


Havila Ship Rendering

Changes in the structure of the contract to service Norwegian coastal towns have led to a new operator in Havila, which is building four cruise-ferries and intends to start service in early 2021. Relying on its deep expertise in the ferry and offshore industry, Havila will now enter a new segment of the market. Four ships are being built at two separate shipyards and will feature battery power and LNG.

Grupo Vidante

Grupo Vidante's Vessel

A massive Mexican luxury hotel operator has been quietly refurbishing the 1990-built Voyager, acquired after All Leisure’s bankruptcy. The now-luxury ship is now on its way to the Mexican Riviera.



Scylla has acquired the Bremen from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. The Swiss company will take delivery of the expedition vessel in May of 2021 and plans to charter the ship out on a seasonal basis. Scylla is family-owned, with its history dating back to the early 1970s. It currently operates 30 riverboats, chartering them to various tour operators, and also recently launched its own river brand.

Pampa Cruises


Aiming to sail in South America year-round, Pampa Cruises is still said to be hunting for a suitable vessel for the operation and has put together a team of established cruise line executives in South America.

Blue World Voyages

Blue World Voyages Rendering

Blue World Voyages plans to launch a wellness cruise program this summer, offering active lifestyle cruising to 350 guests. There will also be residences aboard as the startup line is looking to acquire a secondhand ship. The first ship in the fleet will be the first to dedicate one entire deck to sports, exercise and wellness, outfitted with golf and soccer simulators, batting cages, a functional training center, yoga, spinning and TRX studios.


Storylines Rendering

Storylines planning a residence cruise ship concept, sailing worldwide with multiple ships. The company’s 2020 startup includes a $40 million three- to four-month refurbishment that will cut capacity of an existing ship by 25 percent. Residences aboard start with a promo rate of $125,000, with the most expensive spaces going for $1.4 million.

Cartoon Network Wave

Cartoon Network Ship Concept

Cartoon Network announced plans for a cruise line in early 2018, operating out of Singapore. There have been no further updates.

Cruise Retirement

Cruise Retirement Concept

This startup promises a retirement lifestyle at sea, with a residence ship concept. The company has detailed plans and promises to launch service in 2020.

Cruise Industry News Email Alerts

Cruise Industry News Email Alerts



Get the latest breaking cruise newsSign up.


51 Ships | 109,838 Berths | $35 Billion | View

New 2024 Drydock REPORT


  • Mkt. Overview
  • Record Year
  • Refit Schedule
  • 120 Pages
  • PDF Download
  • Order Today
New 2024 Annual Report


  • 2033 Industry Outlook 
  • All Operators
  • Easy to Use
  • Pre-Order Offer
  • Order Today