New cruise ships coming in 2024

Next year the cruise industry welcomes some impressive new vessels – both supersized and small, reports Jane Archer

A bumper year of new ship launches may be drawing to a close, but fear not, because the cruise industry is getting ready to welcome another 20 ocean and river ships in 2024. There are plenty of ships changing hands, vessels being refurbished and renamed, plus so many enticing new destinations for agents to learn about.

We’ve listed all the new ships to get excited about, bar one: Virgin Voyages’ Brilliant Lady is due to start island‑hopping around the Caribbean from San Juan in Puerto Rico, but the launch date was unconfirmed at the time of print. Prices below exclude flights (unless otherwise noted).

January 2024

Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International

A floating city like its sister ships, Icon has restaurants galore, a water park with six record‑breaking slides, seven pools, kids’ and teen clubs, plus an all‑new AquaDome – a bulb‑ shaped glass area on top of the ship where passengers can sip cocktails while watching the sun set, eat to their heart’s content and even watch daredevil dive shows. Soon to be the world’s largest cruise ship, it holds up to 7,600 passengers, and is the first Royal Caribbean ship to operate on LNG.

Book it: From £1,930 for a seven‑night Western Caribbean and Perfect Day cruise from Miami departing February 3.


Sun Princess, Princess Cruises

The largest ship ever built for Princess, Sun Princess can carry 4,300 passengers and heralds a range of new features including cabana cabins with private deck space, an action‑packed family zone with a gentle roller‑gliding ride (the first on board a ship), a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant, The Catch fish restaurant and an Irish bar. A new Signature Collection of suites comes with exclusive access to a Signature Restaurant.

Book it: From £1,599 for the 10‑night inaugural, a Grand Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona to Civitavecchia (Rome) departing February 8, including drinks, tips, Wi‑Fi and two casual dining meals per passenger per cruise.

Silver ray


AmaLilia, AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways’ second Nile river ship holds 82 passengers in 41 cabins and suites with either split outside/indoor balconies or French balconies – and all with magnificent bathtubs. There’s a Chef’s Table restaurant and top-deck swimming pool, plus a stellar salon.

Book it: From £4,548 for an 11-night Secrets of Egypt & the Nile cruise departing May 27 including four nights in Cairo with breakfast, seven nights’ cruising round trip from Luxor, and wine or beer with lunch and dinner, a pre-dinner cocktail and excursions.

Avalon Alegria, Avalon Waterways

Avalon makes its Douro debut with Avalon Alegria, a 102-passenger river ship. Suites have floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall glass doors facing the river, and beds looking out to the water.

Book it: From £3,537 for an eight-night Vineyards and Villages Along the Douro cruise round trip from Porto departing July 3, including drinks with lunch and dinner, selected excursions and Wi-Fi.


Amadeus Nova, Amadeus River Cruises

Amadeus’s new river ship has a hybrid diesel-electric drive with batteries for extra power. A heat-recovery system and solar panels boost efficiency. The vessel holds 158 passengers and has a small pool on the sun deck.

Book it: From £1,370 for a seven-night Danube Rhapsody cruise round trip from Passau, departing April 2, including wine or beer with lunch and dinner plus Wi-Fi.

Queen Anne cunard


Queen Anne, Cunard

The timelessly beautiful Queen Anne holds 3,000 passengers, has more Britannia Club cabins than other ships in the Cunard fleet, a top-deck glass dome with a retractable roof, a glitzy show bar and restaurants dedicated to each cabin category.

Book it: From £2,549 for a 14-night British Isles cruise round trip from Southampton departing May 24.


Silver Ray, Silversea Cruises

A revolutionary asymmetrical design has enabled Silversea to give Silver Ray’s pool deck a chic rooftop hotel look, open up the views from inside the ship and offer new aft-facing cabins. The vessel holds 728 passengers, has eight restaurants and runs on a hybrid battery power and dual LNG and marine oil fuel system.

Book it: From £8,800 for an 11-day Med cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Fusina (Venice) departing June 27, including UK and overseas transfers, flights, excursions, drinks, some speciality dining, tips and Wi-Fi.

American Liberty, American Cruise Lines

The third of ACL’s planned 12 Coastal Cats, American Liberty is small enough to navigate into rivers, lakes and bays out of bounds to most other vessels. It holds 100 passengers and has all-balcony accommodation, including two top-of-the-ship grand suites and three single cabins.

Book it: From £8,595 for the maiden cruise, an eight-night Chesapeake Bay voyage round trip from Baltimore departing June 16, including flights, transfers, a pre-cruise hotel night, seven nights on board, drinks, tips and Wi-Fi.

Utopia of the seas


Utopia of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International

Another Oasis-class behemoth, this time with new features including an immersive dining experience that promises a culinary tour through the golden age of rail travel. In total, there are 21 restaurants and an almost-overwhelming selection of 23 bars for passengers to discover (including a Caribbean tiki bar), so there’s always something new to try.

Book it: From £793 for a three-night Bahamas and Perfect Day cruise round trip from Port Canaveral departing July 26.

Porto Mirante, Riviera Travel

For the first time, Riviera is launching its own vessel on the Douro. Porto Mirante holds 118 passengers, has a sun deck with a splash pool, a bar and lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows plus a gym.

Book it: From £2,749 for an eight-day Highlights of the Douro Valley and Salamanca cruise round trip from Porto departing September 26, including flights, transfers, wine or beer with lunch, unlimited drinks from 6pm to midnight, tips and Wi-Fi.

Porto Mirante


Estrela, APT Travelmarvel

The largest swimming pool on the Douro awaits as APT Travelmarvel makes its debut on the Portuguese river next year. Estrela holds 120 passengers and has cabins with French balconies; indoor and alfresco dining; and an artificial putting green on the top deck.

Book it: From £2,595 for a seven-night Douro Discovery cruise round trip from Porto departing October 24, including flights, drinks with lunch and dinner, selected excursions, tips and Wi-Fi.

Viking Hathor, Viking

A sister to Viking’s existing Nile duo – claimed to be the “most upscale ships in Egypt” – the elegant Hathor holds 82 passengers and features the line’s trademark Scandi design, and indoor/ outdoor Aquavit Terrace.

Book it: From £7,695 for a 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids holiday departing April 5, 2025, including flights, transfers, a four-night hotel stay in Cairo, seven nights’ Nile cruise, and wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, excursions, tips and Wi-Fi on the cruise.

Explora II, Explora Journeys

Explora Journeys, the upmarket arm of the MSC Group, is back with its second ship, Explora II, which like its predecessor offers all-suite accommodation, restaurants serving everything from French and Asian favourites to classy steaks, and an in-depth enrichment programme including piano concerts and curated shopping experiences.

Book it: From £5,200 for the maiden cruise, an eight-night Elegant Enclaves journey from Barcelona to Rome, departing August 11, including drinks, speciality dining and tips.

Explora II


Viva Enjoy, Viva Cruises

Three, four and seven-night cruises on the Danube await on Viva Cruises’ third new-build ship. The vessel holds 190 passengers, has three restaurants, and a mix of cabins and suites – most with stylish French balconies, welcome champagne and complimentary reusable water bottles.

Book it: From £2,495 for the maiden voyage, a 12-night Frankfurt to Vienna cruise departing September 22, including drinks, tips and Wi-Fi.

Ilma, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

This all-balcony luxury newcomer holds 448 passengers and has five restaurants, six bars and an aft marina that offers paddleboards, kayaks and other water toys that can be borrowed free of charge.

Book it: From £6,429 for a seven-night cruise round trip from Civitavecchia (Rome) departing October 8, including drinks, tips and Wi-Fi. 


American Legend, American Cruise Lines

This is number four in ACL’s series of Coastal Cats, which can navigate almost any US waterway. With six public areas – elegantly dressed in monochromatic shades – clients will have plenty of opportunity to meet their fellow cruisers. Rooms range from compact single cabins to the Grand Suite, which comes with a separate bedroom and living space.

Book it: From £8,395 for a seven-night Florida Gulf Coast & Keys cruise departing November 24 including flights, transfers, a one-night pre-cruise hotel, drinks and tips.


AmaMagdalena, AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways is not only launching a new ship but also introducing a new waterway to the river cruise roster – the Magdalena River in Colombia. The AmaMagdalena holds 60 passengers, has cabins with indoor/outdoor balconies, a sun-deck pool with a whirlpool, as well as massage and fitness rooms.

Book it: From £2,872 for a seven-night Magic of Colombia cruise sailing from Barranquilla to Cartagena departing December 14, including drinks with lunch and dinner, and selected excursions.

Disney Treasure


Disney Treasure, Disney Cruise Line

Mickey and Minnie are back, this time on a ship with decor inspired by the Aladdin films, a new theatrical restaurant called Plaza de Coco for families, a candy-coloured sweet shop and the Periscope Pub just for adults. The ship holds 2,512 passengers and runs on LNG.

Book it: From £2,675 for a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise round trip from Port Canaveral departing December 28.

Viking Vela, Viking

Vela is slightly bigger than Viking’s other ships (998 passengers as opposed to 930) and has the same features, including all-balcony cabins and suites with woven Norwegian blankets, a Nordic spa with a snow room, and Italian and Chef’s Table restaurants.

Book it: From £4,490 for a 13-day In Search of the Northern Lights cruise from Bergen to Tilbury departing January 10, 2025, including flights, transfers, wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, selected excursions, tips and Wi-Fi.

New cruise ships in numbers

295 Length in feet of Utopia of the Seas’ dry slide – the longest at sea

365 Length in metres of Royal’s Icon of the Seas

270 Panoramic view in degrees from Silver Nova’s top-end suite

4,300 Number of artworks and sculptures on Cunard’s Queen Anne

ACL Coastal

New river ships in 2024

  • Over-50s specialist Saga is bolstering its ‘Spirit of…’ fleet of river ships with the addition of Spirit of the Douro in March. The vessel, currently sailing as Douro Serenity for Nicko Cruises, holds 126 passengers and will offer seven-night Douro Explorer cruises round-trip from Porto. From £1,847 departing March 28, including flights, transfers, drinks, tips and Wi-Fi.
  • Tui River Cruises makes its Nile debut in 2024 with the launch of Tui Al Horeya (Arabic for ‘freedom’) – a 145-passenger vessel exclusively for adults. It starts sailing in November after being fully refurbished. From £1,579 for a seven-night Legends of the Nile cruise round trip from Luxor departing January 16, 2025, including flights, transfers, drinks, two excursions, tips and Wi-Fi.
  • A-Rosa is boosting capacity on the Rhine and Moselle starting from April 2024 with the addition of A-Rosa Alea and A-Rosa Clea, two 138-passenger vessels that previously sailed for Avalon Waterways. A variety of seven-night cruises are available, with prices from £1,049 for a Southern Rhine Experience departing April 5, including flights, drinks and Wi-Fi.
  • A few Crystal river cruise ships, acquired this year by Riverside Luxury Cruises, have been chartered by Uniworld River Cruises. Riverside Bach becomes Victoria and launches in March on the Rhine, while Riverside Mahler will be renamed Elisabeth and sail in 2025. From £3,959 for eight nights departing November 3 including drinks, tips, excursions and Wi-Fi.
  • Riverside Luxury Cruises is also getting Riverside Debussy, formerly Crystal Debussy, back in the water from March 2024. It will be sailing three to 21-night cruises on the Rhine. From £1,244 for a three-night cruise departing March 28 including drinks, tips, excursions and Wi-Fi.
  • Carnival Firenze, the second ship to sail under Carnival Cruise Line’s new Carnival Fun Italian Style series, launches in its new colours in May. Previously the Costa Firenza, the vessel holds 4,126 passengers. From £441 for a five-day Mexican Riviera cruise, round trip from Long Beach, including meals and soft drinks, departing May 2.


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