In 2023 there are quite a number of brand new cruise ships launching that are guaranteed to tempt you into booking. Highly-anticipated ships from luxury lines to mega-ships are taking their maiden voyages. In this post, I share the new cruise ships in 2023 that are worth a closer look.
1. First New Cruise Ship in 2023 – Viking Saturn
Viking Cruises is launching it’s 11th new cruise ship in April 2023, called Viking Saturn. Viking cruise ships are almost identical in design and size with a capacity of 930 passengers. There are a few subtle differences that regular Viking cruisers may be able to spot but Viking Saturn retains the same design as the other ships.
Take a look at the other Viking Cruises ships from oldest to youngest.
This new cruise ship will offer cruise itineraries to Iceland, Norway, Greenland and Canada. It’s anticipated that the New York to Reykjavik itinerary will be particularly popular.
Viking Saturn is being built at Fincantieri’s Ancona shipyard and therefore the first few itineraries will take in the Mediterranean before moving to Northern Europe. The inaugural 7-night cruise will set sail on 2 May 2023 from Civitavecchia to Barcelona. You can take a look at the full itinerary here.
Viking Saturn at a Glance
- Name: Viking Saturn
- No. of passengers: 930
- Inaugural cruise: 2 May 2023 (Civitavecchia to Barcelona)
- Maiden season: Iceland, Norway, New York, Greenland and Canada
- Best for: adults who enjoy dining, good service and enrichment talks
Viking Cruises definitely does things differently onboard its cruise ships and so it’s worth reading my guide to things you won’t find on a Viking cruise.
2. New Cruise Ship in 2023 for Virgin Voyages
Resilient Lady is entering service in May 2023 to become the third ship in the fleet for Virgin Voyages.
This adult-only cruise line has definitely shaken things up and divided opinions amongst cruise fans. One thing that has really made an impact on Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady so far is the high quality dining available throughout the ship at no additional cost. Take a look at my dining guide for Scarlet Lady to give you an idea of the restaurants that will be available on this new cruise ship.
Resilient Lady’s inaugural voyage will be a 7-night Adriatic Sea & Greek Gems cruise on 21 May 2023 from it’s homeport of Piraeus (Athens).
It looks like Virgin Voyages hasn’t released all of Resilient Lady’s itineraries for 2023 yet but it’s anticipated to spend it’s winter seasons in the Caribbean and Australia.
Resilient Lady at a Glance
- Name: Resilient Lady
- No. of passengers: 2,860
- Inaugural cruise: 21 May 2023 (Piraeus round-trip)
- Maiden season: Mediterranean
- Best for: adults who enjoy dining, partying and fitness
3. Marella Voyager
Marella Voyager will join the Marella Cruises fleet in June 2023 as the sister-ship to Marella Explorer and Marella Explorer 2. This is not a brand new cruise ship. The ship began as Celebrity Mercury, before transferring to TUI Cruises as Mein Schiff 2. It became Mein Schiff Herz in 2019.
Despite it being an older ship (1997) Marella promises that it’s onboard facilities will be completely new.
This family-friendly cruise ship will feature 10 restaurants, including Mexican-themed Abuela’s, new bars, cinema and a new nightclub. The Kitchens is a brand-new food hall made up of eight different eateries that looks particularly interesting. It appears to be following the recent trend of street food style areas that also feature on Carnival Celebration and Norwegian Prima.
The first sailing on Marella Voyager is on 3 June 2023 from Palma de Majorca (round-trip). Take a look at the full itinerary here.
Marella Voyager at a Glance
- Name: Marella Voyager
- No. of passengers: 1,912
- Inaugural cruise: 3 June 2023 from Palma de Majorca
- Maiden season: Mediterranean
- Best for: British families looking for all-inclusive cruising
Marella Cruises offers all-inclusive cruises (drinks and tips) mostly for British cruisers. The cruise fare includes flights.
4. New Cruise Ships in 2023: MSC Euribia
MSC Euribia debuts in June 2023 and is named after the ancient goddess Eurybia who harnessed the winds, weather and constellations to master the seas. This is in keeping with MSC Cruises’ commitment to building more environmentally-friendly cruise ships.
It will be the first time that an MSC cruise ship has a decorated hull with the hashtag #savethesea to mark its commitment to greener cruising. This ship will be the the most environmentally advanced ship in the MSC Cruises’ fleet.
MSC Euribia will offer 7-night itineraries sailing to the Norwegian Fjords with weekly departures from Kiel, Germany with calls including Copenhagen, Hellesylt, Alesund and Flaam. Take a look at the inaugural season itineraries for MSC Euribia.
MSC Euribia at a Glance
- Name: MSC Euribia
- No. of passengers: up to 6,334
- Inaugural cruise: 10 June 2023 (from Kiel, Germany)
- Maiden season: Northern Europe
- Best for: Families and couples who enjoy cruising with a range of nationalities at an affordable price
This is one of the most exciting new ships in 2023 and is sure to be popular with European cruisers.
5. Brand New Cruise Line for 2023 – Explora Journeys
2023 will see the launch of a brand new luxury cruise line, Explora Journeys. Owned by the MSC Group, Explora Journeys will offer five-star, all-inclusive cruising on its first suite-only ship, EXPLORA I.
The brand will make its debut with a 15-night inaugural journey to Northern Europe with calls to 12 ports in four countries under the title, ‘A Maiden Journey into Epic Fjords and the Arctic Circle’. The inaugural cruise will set sail from Southampton on 17 July 2023.
EXPLORA I from Southampton will call at: Zeebrugge, Geiranger, Trondheim, Molde, Leknes, Brønnøysund, Flåm, Bergen and Stavanger before sailing to Skagen and Copenhagen.
Not only is this one of the new cruise ships in 2023, it’s a whole new cruise line!
EXPLORA I at a Glance
- Name: EXPLORA I
- No. of passengers: unknown
- Inaugural cruise: 17 July 2023 from Southampton
- Maiden season: Northern Europe
- Best for: couples who enjoy luxury and visiting destinations on and off the beaten path
To find out more, visit Explora Journeys.
6. Silversea’s Silver Nova
Silversea’s newest cruise ship, Silver Nova, will debut in July 2023. This small ship is powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNF), which will make it the cruise line’s most environmentally-friendly ship to date.
As one of the new cruise ships in 2023, it’s sure to turn heads. Especially with its new 270-degree balcony suites positioned at the aft.
This new luxury cruise ship has a revolutionary asymmetrical design, vast open areas and more space than any other Silversea ship. This design ensures that every outdoor area aboard Silver Nova brings sweeping, unobstructed views.
Silver Nova’s first two sailings have already sold out but there is still availability for summer sailings in the Mediterranean. You can take a look at the 2023 Silver Nova itineraries here.
Silver Nova at a Glance
- Name: Silver Nova
- No. of passengers: 728
- Inaugural cruise: 15 July 2023 (Southampton to Lisbon)
- Maiden season: Mediterranean, Caribbean and South America
- Best for: couples who enjoy ultra-luxury and destination immersion
7. Emerald Sakara – New Yacht for Emerald Cruises
If you’re a fan of Below Deck and wish you could experience a trip on a luxury yacht yourself, Emerald Sakara is your chance in 2023.
This is the second yacht for the Emerald Cruises, which originally began operating with river cruise ships. Emerald Sakara is the sister ship to Emerald Azzura that debuted in 2022 and will be based in the Mediterranean during the summer and Caribbean in the winter.
With capacity for a maximum of 100 passengers, this is certainly an exclusive holiday that is likely to get booked up well in advance with 2024 cruises already on sale.
The inaugural cruise on Emerald Sakara is the Ionian Sea Adventure from Piraeus to Civitavecchia on 5 August 2023.
Emerald Sakara spans six decks and includes a wellness centre, two restaurants and a pool. To discover more about Emerald Sakara visit Emerald Cruises.
Emerlad Sakara at a Glance
- Name: Emerald Sakara
- No. of passengers: 100
- Inaugural cruise: 5 August 2023 (Piraeus to Civitavecchia)
- Maiden season: Mediterranean and Caribbean
- Best for: solo travellers or couples who enjoy visiting small ports and more intimate cruise experiences
8. The New Norwegian Viva
Following the success of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Prima in 2022, Norwegian Viva comes hot on its heels. This new cruise ship for 2023 is a sister to Norwegian Prima but promises to offer the most spacious accommodation in the fleet.
If you haven’t cruised on Norwegian Prima, this is an opportunity to experience the new Prima class on a brand new ship in 2023.
For thrill-seekers, there’s some familiar features such as the go kart track and Game Gallery also found on Norwegian Prima. The Drop is a 10-storey free-fall dry slide that hangs from the side of the cruise ship!
Norwegian Viva at a Glance
- Name: Norwegian Viva
- No of passengers: 3,099
- Inaugural cruise: 10 August 2023 (Trieste to Lisbon)
- Maiden season: Europe and the Caribbean
- Best for: Families or the young at heart looking for fun and action onboard their cruise ship
The inaugural 9-day cruise on Norwegian Viva sets sail from Trieste, Italy on 10 August 2023. Take a look at the inaugural cruise on Norwegian Viva.
9. New Celebrity Ascent
Celebrity Ascent is the fourth and final cruise ship in the Edge Class and will set sail on it’s inaugural cruise from Fort Lauderdale in December 2023. This makes it the first cruise ship on the list not to debut in Europe, despite being built in France.
Celebrity Ascent will feature many familiar features from the other Edge Class ships such as the Rooftop Garden and Martini Bar. The iconic Magic Carpet that sits on the side of the cruise ship will be the biggest in the fleet.
To help you familiarise yourself with the Edge-Class ship design, I’d recommend you watch my ship tour of Celebrity Edge.
Ascent promises to offer more space and more outward-facing views than any of the previous ships. Celebrity Cruises is known for its excellent dining options and Celebrity Ascent won’t disappoint with its 32 food and drink venues.
Celebrity Ascent at a Glance
- Name: Celebrity Ascent
- No of passengers: 3,260
- Inaugural cruise: 3 December 2023 (Eastern Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale)
- Maiden season: Caribbean and Mediterranean
- Best for: Couples who enjoy good food and a little luxury
10. New Cruise Ships in 2023: Carnival Jubilee
The last of the new cruise ships in 2023 is Carnival Jubilee. Originally due in October, the inaugural cruise has shifted and will now sail from its homeport of Galveston in December.
Carnival Jubilee is the third ship in the Excel class and like its sisters Mardi Gras and Celebration, it will feature The Bolt rollercoaster.
Carnival Jubilee has numerous dining venues and a surprising number of complimentary restaurants as on Carnival Celebration. The fun ship will be organised into six ‘zones’ that are yet to be named but will include many favourites such as the Punchliners Comedy Club and the Red Frog Tiki Bar.
This is the cruise ship to choose in 2023 if you are looking for non-stop parties, fun and action.
Carnival Jubilee at a Glance
- Name: Carnival Jubilee
- No of passengers: 5,282
- Inaugural cruise: 23 December 2023 (from Galveston)
- Maiden season: Caribbean
- Best for: Passengers looking for fun around every corner, the ship is definitely the destination
I’d recommend watching my tour of the zones on Carnival Celebration to give you an idea of what to expect on Carnival Jubilee.
10 New Cruise Ships in 2023 – Final Thoughts
The cruise industry doesn’t seem to be slowing down in any way with the launch of new ships throughout 2023. There is a great deal of diversity in cruise products from luxury, exclusive offerings from Emerald Cruises, SilverSea and Explora Journeys to mainstream cruise lines such as Carnival and MSC Cruises.
One thing that does seem to be a cruise trend for 2023 is more space. Following the pandemic, the value of more space and more opportunities to connect with the sea has increased. Most cruise lines are launching ships that offer more space to passengers than ever before. This can only be a good thing, to improve passenger experience.
Many of the cruise ships debuting in 2023 are sister ships to tried and tested successes already in the fleets but it will be interesting to track the progress of the new cruise line for the year, Explora Journeys.
One thing is for certain, 2023 is going to be good year for cruising and the expectations for 2024 are even higher.