Best New Ships Of 2019: 3 Ships That Are Game-Changers
Each year the international team of editors at Cruise Critic recognize the best cruise lines of the year across dozens of categories with its Editors’ Picks Awards.
One category that is especially intriguing to passionate cruisers is the shortlist of “Best New Ships.”
New Ships: Two kinds of cruisers?
Cruising aficionados can probably be divided into two camps: Those who love to sail on brand new ships and those who prefer to wait until a ship has gotten its proverbial sea legs.
What is the allure of brand new ships? It depends whom you ask.
Ask me: New ships are bright and shiny; they show no signs of wear and tear; they incorporate the latest technology; their refinements build upon the best of their predecessors; they tend to be more sustainable as the industry moves in that direction, and they usually offer exciting new eateries, activities and attractions. It’s fun to tell your friends and family about the experience of sailing on a new ship.
Writing on The Points Guy a few weeks ago, cruise writer Gene Sloan made a case for those who prefer to wait and watch. In an article entitled, Why You Might Not Want to Go On a New Ship, he cites certain risks of new ships, which include: the ship may not be ready in time; the ship may have a punch list of things that need to be corrected; crew that might not be fully experienced, and the ship that may not yet be totally ship-shape and have some parts still incomplete.
But Sloan admits, “Sailing on a maiden voyage, or even an early sailing of a new ship, is a chance to be at the front lines as cruising history is being made.’
Are you up for making history? Check out these three ships:
Editors’ Picks for the 3 Best New Ships of 2019
Norwegian Encore (Best New Ship: Ocean)
Launched November 2019
Where it cruises: Eastern Caribbean and Bermuda Cruises
Cruise Critic Editor Comments: “The last ship in Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Plus Class, Norwegian Encore has perfected the blueprint by taking everything cruisers love and amping it up. With 29 dining venues; The Haven’s exclusive accommodations; ocean-facing spaces like the Observation Lounge and the Waterfront; and a slew of nonstop entertainment options, such as virtual-reality rides, go-kart racing, laser tag and Broadway musicals, passengers on this ship will never be bored.”
Scenic Eclipse (Best New Ship: Luxury)
Launched: August 2019
Where it cruises: Antarctica, Transatlantic, Portugal/Spain, Greek Isles and Arctic Island Cruises
Cruise Critic Editor Comments: “Cruisers might book Scenic Eclipse because it offers two state-of-the-art helicopters and a six-person sub, but they’ll come back because of the 200-passenger ship’s chic, modern design, generously sized suites and incredible dining offerings. Scenic pulled out all the stops with its first ocean ship, which seamlessly combines luxury and soft-adventure travel to exotic destinations, including the Arctic and Antarctica.”
AmaMagna (Best New Ship: River)
Launched: May 2019
Where it sails: Danube River Cruises
Cruise Critic Editor Comments: “The most-anticipated river ship of 2019 is also the best of the year. Unique because it’s double the width of most river cruise ships, AmaMagna is a game changer. The modern ship offers large staterooms, a full-sized pool and an array of restaurants. AmaMagna is a dream for fitness and wellness enthusiasts, with a large gym and dedicated spa space — unheard of on river ships.”
Some final words on new ships
Need a bit more encouragement?
“Sailing on a new ship offers travelers the chance to test drive the latest and greatest that a cruise line – and often the cruise industry – has to offer,” says Colleen McDaniel, Editor-in-Chief of Cruise Critic. “With each new ship, cruise lines roll out their freshest technology, programs and amenities, and travelers get a thrill in being the first to try them out. Over the years, we’ve seen brand-new concepts like specialty restaurants, extensive waterparks and Broadway shows roll out first on the latest ships, then spread to other ships and lines across the industry.”