Jane Archer takes a look at all the headline launches and events across the cruise sector in 2014

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Get your 2014 diaries at the ready because it’s time for our annual look at what’s tipped to be making cruise news this year.

As always, it’s a packed calendar, with new ships, river cruise boats and fresh itineraries that promise to excite the saltiest of sea dogs.

One of the highlights of the year has already happened. As you read this, Norwegian Getaway will be getting ready for an inaugural cruise across the Atlantic after a two-night stay in Southampton – but there are plenty more marquee events to look forward to, including more maiden visits at Southampton, birthdays, anniversaries, and new rivers opening up. There are also nearly 30 river cruise boats launching, including 14 from Viking River Cruises, two from Tauck and Riviera Travel’s new William Shakespeare, which starts sailing on the Rhine on June 5.

Clia UK & Ireland has its regular Selling Cruise convention in May, and is organising a new UK-based river cruise event for spring, with dates yet to be finalised.

The following prices are per person with flights for the date specified unless otherwise noted.

FEBRUARY




What’s new? Norwegian Getaway will be christened by the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders on February 7 before setting sail on its maiden Eastern Caribbean cruise from its home port in Miami on February 8.

How much? From £1,284 for seven nights. ncl.co.uk

MARCH




What’s new? Rowing gold medallist Katherine Grainger will christen Avalon Waterways’ new all-suite Avalon Poetry II in Dordrecht, Holland, on March 22, in a dual naming ceremony with sister ship Avalon Impression.

How much? From £2,706 for a seven-night Legendary Danube cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest departing June 26 with three days in Prague, including transfers, shore excursions, drinks with dinner and gratuities. avaloncruises.co.uk

What’s new? AmaWaterways’ new AmaReina sets off on its maiden cruise on March 16 – a 15-day voyage from Amsterdam to Budapest. Part-way through, on April 4, it will be christened in Vilshofen in Germany.

How much? From £1,787 cruise-only for a seven-night Enchanting Rhine cruise from Basel to Amsterdam departing November 16, including shore excursions and drinks with lunch and dinner. amawaterways.co.uk

What’s new? Viking River Cruises’ new Viking Hemming and Torgil enter service on the Douro on March 21. The following day Viking Forseti sets off on its maiden voyage on the company’s new Heart of Bordeaux cruises.

How much? From £2,095 for seven nights on Viking Forseti, including transfers, shore excursions and wine with lunch and dinner. vikingrivercruises.co.uk

APRIL




What’s new? Uniworld River Cruises launches a Bordeaux, Vineyards and Chateaux cruise on the Gironde, Garonne and Dordogne rivers on April 6. The seven-night round-trip voyages on River Royale leave from Bordeaux

How much? From £2,619 including UK and overseas transfers, shore excursions, drinks and gratuities. titantravel.co.uk

What’s new? AmaWaterways’ new AmaSonata sets sail on a seven-night Tulip Time cruise through Holland and Belgium on April 23. It’s the ship’s maiden voyage, but the christening won’t be until July 22, in Vilshofen, Germany.

How much? From £1,974 cruise-only round-trip from Amsterdam on April 23 including shore excursions and drinks with meals. amawaterways.co.uk

MAY




What’s new? Cunard’s three Queens will be in Southampton on May 9 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Queen Mary 2. The birthday girl departs that night on an anniversary cruise to New York.

How much? From £1,229 including one-way flight. cunard.co.uk

What’s new? Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ new river cruise programme starts on May 19 with a one-week voyage from Nuremberg to Amsterdam. Seven cruises are offered in May and June on the 164-passenger Vienna I.

How much? From £1,199 including transfers, excursions and drinks with lunch and dinner. cruiseandmaritime.com

What’s new? Regal Princess sets off on a one-week maiden cruise from Venice to Piraeus (for Athens) on May 20. Ship details, page 56.

How much? From £1,382 cruise-only. princess.com

What’s new? The Clia UK & Ireland Selling Cruise Convention is in Southampton on May 22 and 23. Day one is devoted to business sessions and a trade show, day two to ship visits. Additional optional ship visits are available on May 24.

How much? £50, increasing to £65 from the beginning of March. cruiseexperts.org

JUNE




What’s new? Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Journey sets off on an 11-night Memories of Second World War cruise from Lisbon to Hamburg on June 3. The ship will visit Cherbourg on June 6, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings, for excursions to the landing beaches.

How much? From £2,869 cruise-only. azamaraclubcruises.co.uk

What’s new? Oceania Cruises’ Insignia will be rechristened in Istanbul on June 11, at the start of a 10-day cruise from the Turkish city to Piraeus. The ship has been sailing as Columbus 2 for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises for two years.

How much? From £1,529 including gratuities, unlimited internet and £400 credit per cabin. oceaniacruises.com

JULY




What’s new? Louis Cruises is offering three, four and seven-night island-hopping cruises around Greece on Louis Cristal.

How much? From £269 cruise-only for three nights in July and August. louiscruises.com

Diary

AUGUST




What’s new? Swan Hellenic is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a 15-day cruise around the Greek Isles departing August 13.

How much? From £3,250 including transfers, shore excursions and gratuities. swanhellenic.com

What’s new? SeaDream Yacht Club will be sailing its first round-trip cruise from the UK. The 14-night Baltic Capitals cruise departs Dover on August 16.

How much? From £5,468 cruise-only including drinks and gratuities. seadream.co.uk

SEPTEMBER




What’s new? Paul Gauguin Cruises president Diane Moore and chairman Richard Bailey are co-hosting a 10-night Society Islands and Tuamotus Reunion cruise on Paul Gauguin departing September 10.

How much? From £5,153 including drinks and gratuities. pgcruises.com

What’s new? Compagnie du Ponant’s L’Austral is visiting Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula on a 14-night cruise from Anadyr to Petropavlovsk on September 15. Highlights include a helicopter ride over the Valley of Geysers.

How much? From €10,689 including drinks. ponant.com

OCTOBER




What’s new? Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas is in Southampton on October 15. The giant sails at midnight on a 12-night transatlantic cruise to Fort Lauderdale.

How much? From £1,760 cruise-only. cruisingpower.co.uk

NOVEMBER




What’s new? Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas departs Southampton for a maiden cruise to New Jersey on November 2. Ship details, page 56.

How much? From £1,540 cruise-only. cruisingpower.co.uk

What’s new? Costa Cruises’ Costa Diadema sets off on a five-night maiden voyage from Venice to Savona on November 5. Ship details, page 56.

How much? From £329 cruise-only. costacruises.co.uk

What’s new? Thomson Cruises’ Thomson Celebration departs Malaga on November 15 for a 15-night transatlantic voyage to Barbados and a new winter season of Caribbean cruises.

How much? From £1,369 including transfers and gratuities. thomson.co.uk/cruises

DECEMBER




What’s new? Sanctuary Retreats starts sailing the Ayeyarwady in Burma on December 3, on the 48-passenger Sanctuary Ananda.

How much? From £1,368 cruise-only for three nights including sightseeing and selected drinks. sanctuaryretreats.com