The Tides Are Turning

After navigating rough waters in 2020, cruise lines are planning an epic comeback, with new ships, itineraries and even a brand-new cruise line

 It has not exactly been smooth sailing for the cruise industry of late. Most cruise lines had to cancel or postpone their sailings for 2020. However, calmer waters lie ahead. The cruise industry is abuzz with news of new ships, renovations and unique sailings in 2021.


In July, newcomer Atlas Ocean Voyages will burst into the small-ship, luxe-adventure cruising arena with their first newly constructed expedition ship, the World Navigator. With only 98 suites and staterooms, all with an ocean view and most featuring a private balcony, she will sail into port cities that most larger ships cannot. Because she is new, out of the box and is not retrofitted, she will launch with the most-modern hygiene and cleanliness measures incorporated into her design. She is also home to the SeaSpa, the first luxury L’Occitane luxury spa at sea. The World Navigator has been designed with worldly travelers in mind who yearn to immerse themselves in active and awe-inspiring experiences at bucket-list destinations.

Atlas’ All Inclusive All the Way commitment provides guests a worry-free experience. Complimentary round-trip air travel, prepaid gratuities, shore excursions at every port and emergency medical-evacuation insurance will always be included for peace of mind. The World Navigator will embark on voyages in the Holy Land, Black and Mediterranean seas, and the Caribbean and South America. Plus, they’ve just announced that private charter jet service is included for every 2021/2022 Antarctica expedition, which shortens the transit time between the United States and the departure points.


Silversea Cruises is adding its first destination-specific ship to its intimate, all-suite fleet. Beginning this July, the Silver Origin, their ultraluxurious expedition ship, will welcome travelers year-round to the Galápagos Islands. These extraordinary cruises are all-inclusive, and every element of the vessel has been designed with the destination in mind. The scenery is always in your purview. Every suite features a private balcony, and several even have ocean-view bathtubs and showers. This is not your typical expedition cruise, as it carries only 100 passengers and features butler service and the highest crew-to-guest ratio in the archipelagoes.

Public spaces have been created to enhance the total guest experience. Base camp, a unique interactive educational space, is where you will prepare for the day’s adventure. From there, a team of Ecuadorian national guides will lead immersive shore experiences for guests. Not only will they help you check off bucket list experiences like swimming with sea turtles and manta rays, but with their expertise when it comes to local destinations, you’ll discover the real natural beauty and wonderment of the Galápagos. After a day of exploring, relax under the stars by the firepit at the elegant Explorer Lounge.


The Star Breeze‘s major renovation is now complete. One of Windstar Cruises’ three Star Plus Class Yachts, she is planning to set sail in the Caribbean this May. In a massive undertaking, Windstar cut the Star Breeze in half and then lengthened her by inserting an 84-foot block in the ship’s center. 

This newly stretched section of the yacht adds 50 new suites to the Star Breeze, bringing guest capacity up from 212 to 312 passengers. The beautifully appointed new suites are thoughtfully designed with the bed now next to the window, creating a more open cabin layout. Not only that, across the board, all suite bathrooms on the ship have been redesigned and upgraded.

The Star Breeze‘s redesign incorporates several new outdoor spaces as well. The centerpiece is a large pool and hot tub on the upper deck, which is surrounded by expansive teak decking, allowing for more lounge space. The renovation also includes an enlarged spa and fitness center. 

Windstar’s culinary focus has evolved and has been reimagined to include two new restaurants. The Star Grill will serve the best barbecue outside on the top deck. Diners will find lots of smoke, lots of fire and a lot of flavor on the menu. Quatro 44 is an eclectic, intimate space seating 36 guests at a time. This tapas-style restaurant will serve small plates packed with elective flavors from Spain.


Recreate the magic of the holidays this summer with your family. Uniworld River Cruises is offering guests the chance for a Christmas do-over with sailings on one of two Christmas in July cruises. You won’t have to miss out on the European Markets that were canceled this holiday season. Filled with local products for your shopping enjoyment, Uniworld plans to replicate those beloved Christmas Markets onboard. 

These holiday do-over cruises will sail along the Danube River on the luxurious S.S. Maria Theresa. Dubbed by Cruise Critic editors as “one of the prettiest ships out there,” she’ll be decked out in holiday décor as she makes stops in Budapest, Hungary; Vienna and Salzburg, Austria; Passau, Germany; and more. The week will be filled with festive activities bringing back the holiday spirit. Reunite with your family while sipping frozen hot chocolate and chilled eggnog. The cruise will be complete with holiday-cocktail mixology classes, gingerbread-house decorating, ornament making and even photos with Santa!


AmaWaterways is offering guests a splurge-worthy opportunity in 2021 to make up for the celebrations of holidays, reunions and anniversaries that were missed over the past year. Starting at $365,000, you can book a private-charter river cruise with AmaWaterways that offers personalized luxury, tailored ports of call, special excursions, hand-selected menus and customized entertainment.


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