8 Most Anticipated Luxury Cruise Ships Of 2024
The Ascent will be something to sea this year. CELEBRITY CRUISES
The forecast looks bright for luxury cruising as a new wave of ships prepares to take the seas in 2024. These new vessels accelerate the trend of next-level luxury liners with innovative design, higher staff-to-guest ratios and exceptionally curated itineraries covering dream destinations. Consider Forbes Travel Guide all aboard these eight new cruise ships.
Celebrity’s newest ship embarked on its seven-night maiden voyage to the Eastern Caribbean in December, so we’re including the Ascent in our 2024 list. The vessel boasts all of the signature elements of the Edge class ships — outward-facing design, staterooms with convertible indoor/outdoor spaces and the amenities of The Retreat suite class — and incorporates a beloved feature from the Solstice class ships: a whimsical rooftop garden. Among the ship’s 30 restaurants, don’t miss Le Voyage from Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star chef Daniel Boulud and the plant-based tasting menu at Eden.
Climb aboard the Ascent for voyages to Greece, Turkey and the Italian Riviera this summer.
Ilma, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection made its splashy debut in 2022 with the sleek 624-foot Evrima, which holds up to 300 guests. The brand’s second addition to its growing fleet, the 790-foot Ilma (“water” in Maltese), will go a bit larger, accommodating only 448 guests in 224 impeccably designed suites — the highest space ratio per guest at sea. The vessel was designed to mirror a luxury yacht’s residential feel and provide the caliber of amenities (spa, infinity pool, humidor) and service that defines the brand.
For its inaugural season, the Ilma will set off to iconic yachting destinations such as the Greek Isles, the Amalfi Coast, the French Riviera and Monte Carlo. In 2025, Ilma will take to the North and Baltic seas for nine exclusive voyages around Northern Europe.
Queen Anne, Cunard
The Queen Anne’s 3,000 passengers will feel like royalty with staterooms designed by the Paris-based design firm Sybille de Margerie (which also did the interiors for Mandarin Oriental, Paris and Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa); afternoon teas and black-tie events hosted in the opulent Queens Room venue; and formal services such as white-gloved bellhops greeting you upon boarding.
Cunard’s first female captain, Inger Klein Thorhauge, will sail the Queen Anne in three regions during its inaugural season: the Canary Islands, the Mediterranean and Northern Europe.
Silver Ray, Silversea
The Silver Ray, the second of Silversea’s Nova class ships, will join its older sister, Silver Nova, on the high seas this summer. The 728-passenger ship shares the Nova’s signature horizontal design (363 staterooms line the vessel’s length) and abundant use of glass in cabins and public areas, maximizing the panoramic views and spacious feel.
Silversea celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and continues to be one of the brands helping lead the frontier in the next generation of luxury cruising. All Nova class ships focus on sustainability at sea and at port, where, in an industry first, ships will be free of local emissions.
The Silver Ray’s maiden voyage will sail along Italy’s coastline, with stops in Croatia and Montenegro, before spending the remainder of the season in the Mediterranean.
Explora II, Explora Journeys
Passengers aboard Explora II will find elegant design at every turn. The 461 ocean-front suites share residential comforts such as private terraces, floor-to-ceiling windows that open to the water and butler services to create authentic “homes at sea.” Toast your adventure with a glass of chilled champagne and a meal at one of the nine dining options as Explora II embarks upon 39 all-inclusive journeys to far-flung, bucket-list-worthy destinations in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, India, the Indian Ocean and Africa.
The newest member of the Viking fleet, Vela will join its 10 sister ships this December. The 998 passengers will marvel at the staterooms’ amenities (like heated bathroom floors and Freyja toiletries) and vistas (there’s a full-size veranda) during this inaugural season. The relatively small, nimble ocean cruiser allows passengers to venture onto ports inaccessible to most liners.
The Journey to Antiquities cruise sails for eight days from Rome to Athens, with stops at Pompeii, Crete and Naples along the way. Next summer, Viking Vela will cruise around Iceland’s coast, offering eight days of majestic Nordic beauty.
Sun Princess, Princess Cruises
The 4,300-passenger Sun Princess will take the throne as the largest and most modern option in the Princess Cruises roster. Entertainment lovers in the bunch will applaud the ship’s awe-inspiring features, such as the state-of-the-art, 1,000-person Princess Arena, the Santorini-inspired terraced Dome entertainment venue and the 30-seat, Victorian-style Spellbound Theater, whose design was influenced by Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle.
And if all the onboard spectacle is not enough for you, the sight of the Mediterranean and Caribbean Sea and sunshine cement the wow factor.
Once journeys begin in December, the Treasure will be Disney Cruises’ sixth addition to its fleet. Voyages for the 1,254 guests will center around the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Though many of your favorite Disney characters will be represented in some form on the ship — the colorful Plaza de Coco dinner theater and Zootopia-nodding Jumbeaux’s Sweets look particularly delicious — the magic-carpet-riding Aladdin will serve as the ship’s signature atrium character as Disney Treasure brings the fairy-tale land of Agrabah to life through immersive design that melds Asian and African touches in the lavish Grand Hall.