New cruise ships for 2023: What is launching and when?

What new ships will enter the cruise market in 2023 and where can you find them? Jane Archer finds out

What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago, cruise lines were still struggling with Covid rules and regulations; now they’re counting down to the 2023 launch of almost 25 ocean ships, river ships and yachts.

The mix includes everything from floating resorts with record-breaking waterparks to vessels built for exploring the polar regions and ships boasting the latest green credentials. Here’s the lowdown on all the new ships – and where to find them.


Mekong Serenity, APT

This river ship holds 88 passengers, has a top-deck pool and alfresco cafe, plus a complimentary speciality restaurant serving a five-course Vietnamese menu.

Book it: A 15-day Vietnam and Cambodia Highlights holiday, pairing seven nights sailing the Mekong with hotel stays in Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap, starts at £4,595 including flights.

Swan hellenic


Diana, Swan Hellenic

Named after the Roman goddess of the wilderness, the 192-passenger Diana is designed for exploring the polar regions. It has a mix of cabins and suites, an outdoor heated pool, three restaurants and tenders to take passengers ashore.

Book it: A nine-day cruise around the island of Spitsbergen costs from £7,656, departing June 7, 2023.


Scenic Eclipse II, Scenic

Scenic pioneered the ‘discovery yacht’ equipped with submarines and helicopters for the ultimate in exploring, and it’s done it again with the 228-passenger Scenic Eclipse II.

Book it: A 12-day cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona, departing April 12, 2023, costs from £6,655, including flights.

American Serenade, American Cruise Lines

This is the sixth in a series of European-style river boats from ACL, holding 175 passengers.

Book it: A seven-night Mississippi cruise round-trip from New Orleans, departing April 13, 2023, costs from $5,115.

Viva Two, Viva Cruises

The river ship, which accommodates 190 passengers in a mix of cabins and suites, has three restaurants, with prices covering all dining options, drinks, tips and Wi-Fi.

Book it: The seven-night maiden voyage from Frankfurt to Passau, departing April 1, 2023, starts at £1,450.

Viking Saturn, Viking

The vessel will feature the same restaurants, cooking school and all-balcony accommodation as its eight sister ships.

Book it: A 15-night Iconic Iceland, Greenland and Canada cruise from Reykjavik to New York, departing May 2023, starts at £5,340, including fights.



Vista, Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises’ first new ship for a decade has more restaurants than its predecessors, plus poolside cabanas, a holistic centre and Owners’ Suites that stretch the width of the ship. It has capacity for 1,200 passengers.

Book it: A 12-day Caribbean cruise round-trip from Miami, departing November 19, 2023, costs from £3,529.

Resilient Lady, Virgin Voyages

Virgin’s third adult-only ‘Lady’ ship features Rock Star suites, up to 20 places to eat, a tattoo parlour, and tapas and champagne bars. It can accommodate 2,770 passengers.

Book it: A seven-night Greek Island Glow cruise round-trip from Athens, departing May 14, 2023, starts at £1,111.

Explora I, Explora Journeys

The first of six vessels being built for MSC Group’s new luxury brand, Explora I has six restaurants, 12 bars, private cabanas, ocean terrace suites with daybeds, and a chart-topping 3,014sq ft Owners Residence. The ship will have capacity for 922 passengers and will debut in the Mediterranean.

Book it: A seven-night cruise from Copenhagen to Reykjavik, departing August 1, 2023, costs from £3,200.

Amadeus Riva, Amadeus River Cruises

A Café Vienna, Amadeus Club lounge and suites with walk-out balconies feature on Amadeus’ new 160-passenger Riva. It will sail the Rhine and Danube, as well as waterways in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Book it: A seven-night cruise from Amsterdam to Nuremberg, departing May 23, 2023, starts at £1,710.



MSC Euribia, MSC Cruises

Ten restaurants, 21 bars, five swimming pools and an exclusive Yacht Club await on MSC Euribia, which holds up to 6,327 passengers and is named after the Greek goddess of ‘mastery of the seas’, Eurybia. It will be the second MSC ship powered by liquefied natural gas.

Book it: A seven-night Norwegian fjords cruise round-trip from Kiel, departing June 10, 2023, starts at £889.


Silver Nova, Silversea Cruises

Silversea’s new liquefied natural gas-powered ship will be the first luxury vessel to make emission-free port calls. In a change to the line’s usual design, suites run from front to back on four decks (they usually occupy one half of the ship), with the Otium Suite offering 270-degree views. The ship, which has capacity for 728 passengers, also features an infinity whirlpool and alfresco food court.

Book it: A nine-day cruise from Lisbon to Rome, departing July 25, 2023, starts at £5,300, including flights.

American Eagle and American Glory, American Cruise Lines

These new ‘go anywhere’ coastal catamarans have been designed by ACL to sail on almost any river or waterway in the US. The 109-passenger vessels feature swim/activity platforms at the stern, as well as kayaks and tenders for trips ashore. Eagle launches in July 2023, Glory in October 2023.

Book it: A seven-night Cape Codder cruise round-trip from Boston on American Eagle, departing August 14, 2023, costs from $7,315.


Norwegian Viva, NCL

NCL’s 3,219-passenger ship will bring plenty of va-va-voom in the form of a three-level go-kart track; the largest free-fall dry slide at sea; a food hall with 11 eateries; and The Haven, a gated residence for suite passengers.

Book it: An eight-night Italy, Greece and Croatia cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Trieste, departing October 10, 2023, starts at £1,979.

Emerald Sakara, Emerald Cruises

Emerald Cruises’ second 100-berth yacht will explore Greece, Croatia and the Caribbean. The vessel, which has mostly balcony cabins, will offer an infinity pool and marina with paddle-boards and snorkelling equipment.

Book it: An 11-day Charming Mediterranean cruise from Rome to Lisbon, departing October 28, 2023, starts at £4,795, including flights.

Viking Aton, Viking

Aton will be the third Viking ship operating itineraries on the Nile. The vessel holds 82 passengers and will feature the company’s trademark Aquavit Lounge for alfresco dining, as well as Explorer suites that face the ship’s stern.

Book it: An 11-night Pharaohs & Pyramids cruise-and-stay holiday, pairing a seven-night Nile cruise from Luxor with four nights in a hotel in Cairo, starts from £6,275, including flights, based on a departure on August 27, 2023.

Virgin Voyages rockstar


Carnival Jubilee, Carnival Cruise Line

Get ready for some ‘yee-ha’ as the 5,374-passenger Carnival Jubilee sets sail from the Texan port of Galveston with Bolt, a rollercoaster that hurtles around the top of the ship at speeds of up to 35mph. There are three waterslides, a ropes course and so many places to eat that passengers will have to spend two weeks on board to try them all out.

Book it: A seven-day Western Caribbean cruise round-trip from Galveston starts at £575, departing February 10, 2024.

Seabourn Pursuit, Seabourn

Seabourn’s second purpose-built expedition ship features two submarines, kayaks and Zodiacs, allowing guests to get out and explore. The 264 passengers can also sip champagne in lounges that are the work of legendary designer Adam Tihany.

Book it: A 14-day Guyana and Amazon cruise from Barbados to Manaus in Brazil, departing October 10, 2023, starts at £8,699.


Seven Seas Grandeur, Regent Seven Seas Cruises

A sister ship to Regent’s self-styled ‘most luxurious ship in the world, the 750-passenger Grandeur has redesigned the Chartreuse and Compass Rose restaurants, and added a sun room in the Regent Suite.

Book it: A seven-night Caribbean cruise round-trip from Miami, departing December 14, 2023, costs from £4,279, including flights.


Celebrity Ascent, Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity’s fourth Edge-class ship caters for 3,260 passengers and features ‘infinity balcony’ cabins, two-storey villas, the multi-purpose Magic Carpet movable deck, designer decor, and an exclusive area for suite passengers called The Retreat.

Book it: The seven-night maiden cruise round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, departing December 3, 2023, starts at £1,221.

Brilliant Lady, Virgin Voyages 

The line’s fourth vessel will be identical in design to Resilient Lady.

Book it: Cruises go on sale early next year.

Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International

It’s all about families on Icon, which will be the biggest ship in the world, with capacity for up to 7,600 passengers. It boasts the biggest water park at sea and a suspended infinity pool.

Book it: A seven-night Western Caribbean & Perfect Day cruise round-trip from Florida, departing April 13, 2024, costs from £1,072.


All change

  • Costa Cruises’ Costa Venezia is moving to the US to sail under the new Costa by Carnival brand, which launches next spring and promises a fusion of Carnival’s food, service and entertainment with Italian design. The ship’s name and itineraries have yet to be revealed.
  • APT Travelmarvel is launching its river ship Apsara on the Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia in January. The vessel previously sailed as AmaLotus for parent company APT.
  • Ambassador Cruise Line’s second ship, Ambition, will enter service in May 2023. Previously sailing as AIDAMira for the German line AIDA Cruises, the ship will carry 1,200 passengers and offer itineraries from seven UK ports, including Tilbury, Dundee and Falmouth.
  • Crystal Cruises’ new owner, A&K Travel Group, plans to relaunch Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity late next summer. The ships are undergoing major revamps that will increase the size of the suites, add solo cabins and reduce their passenger capacity to about 800.

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