The Top Expedition Cruise Stories of 2019

A look at the top expedition cruise market stories of the year.

1. Expedition Cruise Market: 8,500 New Berths

Between 2019 and 2023, 41 new expedition ships will be delivered from 17 cruise operators, introducing over 8,500 berths to the market and easily doubling 2018 capacity.

2. Hurtigruten to Add Four More Ships to Dedicated Expedition Service


Hurtigruten will add more ships to year-round expedition service in 2021 as the Trollfjord and Finnmarken will be positioned in the market, along with the Spitsbergen and Midnatsol, which will be moved to year-round expedition cruising.

3. Greg Mortimer Delivered in China

Greg Mortimer

The Greg Mortimer was named and delivered at the China Merchants Heavy Industry (CMHI) Haimen yard. In the combined naming and delivery ceremony, the vessel received her name after Greg Mortimer, the founder of Aurora Expeditions, who has chartered the ship on a long-term basis from Niels-Erik Lund-led SunStone Ships.

4. Ponant’s Bellaiche: ‘We Want to Raise the Bar in Sustainable Tourism’

New Ponant Ship

Ponant is making moves when it comes to being the most sustainable expedition operator. On a growth track, Ponant will take delivery of six Explorer-class ships over 24 months, culminating with the final two ships in 2020.

5. 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.

6. Mystic Invest to Launch Atlas Ocean Voyages

Mystic's Atlas Ocean Voyages

Mario Ferreira’s Mystic Invest Holdings announced that it is launching Atlas Ocean Voyages in the North American market and established its headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

7. Bremen Sold to Scylla


Add another operator to the booming expedition cruise market as Scylla announced it had acquired the Bremen from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

8. Ponant Buys Paul Gauguin

Le Boreal and Paul Gauguin

Ponant has confirmed it has reached a deal to purchase Paul Gauguin Cruises, which will continue operating under its own brand.

9. One Ocean Expeditions Restructuring; Ship Stuck in Buenos Aires

RCGS Resolute

One Ocean Expeditions entered a restructuring period, citing an extremely challenging business situation due to the sudden withdrawal of two of the company’s three vessels earlier this year by Russian owners.

10. Celebrity Takes Delivery of the Flora

Celebrity Flora

Celebrity Cruises took delivery of its 100-guest Celebrity Flora for the Galapagos, where she is based year-round.

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