The Top Cruise Stories of 2019

1. New Ships

Two dozen new ships entered service in 2019, a record for new ships and berth introductions globally. Among the highlights was the MSC Bellissima, pictured above, which joined the global fleet in March.

2. Cruise lines Step Up Following Hurricane Dorian

Loading Supplies

Cruise operators raced to help the Bahamas following devastation from Hurricane Dorian as fiscal commitments exceeded $5 million between the major cruise corporations.

3. Innovative Repair for Carnival Vista

Carnival Vista on transport vessel

Carnival Cruise Line used a transport vessel as a first of its kind “floating drydock” facility to complete the repairs to Carnival Vista’s two azipods.

4. Royal Caribbean Opens Perfect Day At CocoCay

Perfect Day at CoCoCay

The new attraction represents a $250 million transformation of the line’s private island in The Bahamas, including new waterslides, a hot-air balloon and the Caribbean’s largest wave pool.

5. Cuba Travel Banned

Norwegian Sky

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) unveiled amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) to further implement the President’s foreign policy on Cuba.

6. Greg Mortimer Delivered in China

Greg Mortimer

The first Chinese-built cruise ship was delivered for SunStone Ships and long-term charter client Aurora Expeditions. 

7. Steel Cut for 5,400-Guest MSC Europa; Fuel Cell Confirmed

MSC Europa

MSC Cruises’ first 204,000-ton, 5,400-guest World Class vessel will carry the name MSC Europa, as Chantiers de l’Atlantique cut steel on the newbuild in a ceremony in France. The ship will debut in 2022 and is the first of four in the series to be fueled by LNG. In addition, the MSC and Chantiers de l’Atlantique confirmed innovative fuel cell technology for the newbuild via a new memorandum of understanding.

8. Viking Expeditions Set to Launch with Pair of 378-Guest Ships

Viking Polaris

Viking Cruises rolled out its expedition offering in Viking Expedition Cruises, which currently has select itineraries available only to past guests before general sales open in early 2020.

9. Ponant Buys Paul Gauguin

Le Boreal and Paul Gauguin

Ponant reached a deal to purchase Paul Gauguin Cruises, which will continue operating under its own brand. Paul Gauguin will remain an independent company, headquartered in Washington State and under the leadership of Diane Moore, president, according to sources.

10. Windstar Cuts Ship in Half

Star Breeze Cut

Windstar started the first of three major drydocks, cutting each of its Star-class ships in half to fit a new mid section with 50 new staterooms and more.

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