Cruiselines are predicting big things for 2008, with passenger numbers set to rise and some spectacular new ships due to launch.

Here’s a rundown of the ships to look out for in the coming year…


MSC Poesia

Cruiseline: MSC Cruises

Launches: April

Size: 89,600 tons, 293.8 metres long, 2,550 passengers, 987 crew. Space ratio: 35

Facilities: Two main dining rooms, wine-tasting bar, à la carte restaurant, sushi bar, spa and gym

Sails: Seven-night eastern Mediterranean cruises from Venice. Prices from £698 per person including flights and transfers

More: Official MSC Poesia page



P&O Ventura at seaCruiseline: P&O Cruises

Launches: April

Size: 115,000 tons, 290 metres long, 3,100 passengers, 800 crew. Space ratio: 37

Facilities: The White Room restaurant by Marco Pierre White and the Ramblas Tapas restaurant, Rock School for teens, Tate Talks by experts from Tate Modern, Circus School, Noddy, Scalextric at Sea

Sails: Various-length Mediterranean and northern Europe cruises from Southampton. Prices from £709 per person for a seven-night Iberian Adventure

More: Official Ventura page


Independence of the Seas

Cruiseline: Royal Caribbean International

Launches: May

Size: 160,000 tons, 339 metres long, 237 feet high, 3,634 passengers, 1,360 crew. Space ratio: 44

Facilities: Three-tier dining room, speciality restaurants, surf simulator, rock-climbing wall, H2O water zone, ice rink, Royal Promenade shopping, dining and entertainment area

Sails: 14-night Western Mediterranean cruises from Southampton. Prices from £1,141 per person cruise-only

More:Official Independence of the Seas page



Cruiseline: Holland America Line

Launches: June

Size: 86,000 tons, 284 metres long, 2,044 passengers, 800 crew. Space ratio: 42

Facilities: Expanded Greenhouse Spa and Salon, speciality restaurant, DVD players in all staterooms, Culinary Arts Centre, Internet centre

Sales: 10-night Baltic and Norwegian fjords cruises from Copenhagen. Prices from £1,779 per person with flights and transfers

More: Official Eurodam page


Carnival Splendor

Cruiseline: Carnival Cruise Line

Launches: July

Size: 112,000 tons, 290 metres long, 3,006 passengers, 1,150 crew. Space ratio: 37

Facilities: Spa with winter garden and tea house, sports deck, sushi bar, kids’ water park

Sails: 12-night Baltic cruises from Dover. Prices from £1,069 per person cruise-only

More: Official Carnival Splendor page


Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess - Princess CruisesCruiseline: Princess Cruises

Launches: November

Size: 113,000 tons, 290 metres long, 3,110 passengers, 1,200 crew. Space ratio: 36.3

Facilities: Sabatini’s trattoria and Crown Grill, flexible dining, The Sanctuary adults’ zone, atrium with street performers, Movies under the Stars poolside screen

Sails: Nine-night Western Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale. Prices from £882 per person including flights and transfers

More:Official Ruby Princess page


MSC Fantasia

Cruiseline: MSC Cruises

Launches: November

Size: 133,000 tons, 333 metres long, 3,971 passengers, 1,313 crew. Space ratio: 33.4

Facilities: Private Club with concierge and swimming pool, spa, Tex Mex restaurant

Sails: Seven-night Western Mediterranean cruises from Genoa with overnight stay in Palma. Prices are not yet available


Celebrity Solstice

Cruiseline: Celebrity Cruises

Launches: December

Size: 122,000 tons, 315 metres long, 2,852 passengers, 1,250 crew. Space ratio: 42.7

Facilities: 130 AquaClass cabins with unlimited access to spa facilities and complimentary dining

Sails: Seven-night eastern Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale. Prices start at £1,184 per person including flights and transfers

More: Official Celebrity Solstice page


Travel Weekly Cruise Month

Find more cruise content on the Cruise Month page