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$11b in oceangoing newbuilds, 37,000 berths to join global cruise fleet in 2023

From top left, clockwise, Icon of the Seas, Silver Nova, Explora I, Vista
Nineteen oceangoing ships are set to join the global cruise fleet in 2023, adding 37,095 lower berths at a total investment of $11.34b.

This is according to Seatrade's orderbook, which does not include coastal ships or river vessels.

A new world's largest titleholder, five expedition ships, one super-yacht, four LNG-powered vessels and a hybrid prototype are among them.

18 cruise brands

The ships will sail for 18 brands, including newcomers Explora Journeys, the luxury cruise entrant of MSC Group, and Adora Cruises of CSSC Carnival Shipbuilding, the joint venture between China State Shipbuilding Corp. and Carnival Corp. & plc for the Chinese source market.


Adora Cruises' first ship for the Chinese market

Virgin Voyages is getting two ships — Brilliant Lady joins sister Resilient Lady, which was handed over in the final days of 2022 after previously announced for second quarter 2023 delivery following its delay from second quarter 2022. 

New designs

Along with Explora Journeys' launch, Royal Caribbean International, Oceania Cruises and Silversea Cruises will debut new designs — first of the Icon, Allura and Nova classes, respectively — while Adora Cruises has adapted/customized a Carnival Group design.

Making the biggest splash will be Icon of the Seas, new world's largest cruise ship at 250,800 gross tons with maximum passenger capacity of 7,600 and space for 2,350 crew. Royal Caribbean's first LNG-powered ship will have eight neighborhoods, five of them new, including one devoted to young families.


Icon of the Seas' Surfside neighborhood, for young families

Explora I kicks off a six-ship luxury series for Explora Journeys, starting with vessels of approximately Crystal Serenity's size. The first Explora ship has three outdoor pools and a fourth with a retractable glass roof, 64 cabanas, nine restaurants and indoor-outdoor spa and wellness facilities.

Silver Nova, Silversea's first ship built by Meyer Werft, takes an environmental leap by using hydrogen-based fuel cells to eliminate emissions in port, with LNG and battery power at sea. Among eight restaurants is The Marquee, new alfresco spot incorporating The Grill 'hot rocks' concept and Spaccanapoli pizza restaurant.


Vista's Grand Dining Room

Vista begins a new series for Oceania Cruises, of comparable size to its last newbuild, 2012's Riviera, but with four new culinary venues, even more lavish suites and a new category of concierge-level veranda staterooms for solo travelers.

Specifics on Adora Cruises' first ship haven't been disclosed, however in 2016 it was announced it would be based on Fincantieri's Vista platform for the Carnival Group with features customized for Chinese travelers. The 133,500gt ship has capacity for 5,248 passengers. 


Viking Saturn is 10th in a 47,800gt, 930-passenger series.

Ocean Albatros numbers sixth in the Infinity ice-class series with Ulstein's distinctive X-BOW  for SunStone Maritime Group. It will go on year-round charter to Denmark's Albatros Expeditions.

Resilient Lady and Brilliant Lady complete Virgin Voyages' four-ship series begun with 2020's Scarlet Lady.

The fourth Edge-class ship, Celebrity Ascent, is identical to 2022's Celebrity Beyond, which is 20 meters/66 feet longer than the first two, with new/redesigned spaces.

Carnival Jubilee is Carnival Cruise Line's third LNG-powered Excel-class newbuild, following Carnival Celebration (2022) and Mardi Gras (2020).


The LNG-powered MSC Euribia with its environmental-themed hull art

MSC Euribia numbers third in the Meraviglia-Plus series after MSC Grandiosa and MSC Virtuosa. It is MSC Cruises' second LNG-powered ship, following 2022's MSC World Europa.

Seven Seas Grandeur completes Regent Seven Seas Cruises' three-ship Explorer series, including Seven Seas Splendor (2019) and Seven Seas Explorer (2016).

SH Diana, third in a series for Swan Hellenic, is slightly larger than the first two vessels and built to Polar Class 6 (down from 5).

Norwegian Viva is second in Norwegian Cruise Line's six-ship Prima series and the twin of 2022's Norwegian Prima.

Scenic Eclipse II is the near twin of 2019's ice-class expedition ship Scenic Eclipse, while sister brand Emerald Cruises brings out Emerald Sakara, sister of 2022 super-yacht Emerald Azzurra.  

Seabourn Pursuit is the sister of 2022 ice-class expedition ship Seabourn Venture.

Oceanwide Expeditions' Janssonius is the twin of 2019's ice-class Hondius.

Biggest and smallest

The big three of 2023 are Icon of the Seas (250,800 gross tons), MSC Euribia (183,500gt) and Carnival Jubilee (182,800gt).

The year's smallest oceangoing newbuilds are Emerald Sakara (5,300gt) and Janssonius (5,590gt).

The builders

A wide range of builders are involved. Fincantieri's various Italian yards are producing seven of the ships, with a Fincantieri-owned Vard facility in Vietnam producing one more.


Meyer Werft is building two cruise ships, including Carnival Jubilee. Pictured here, Bernard Meyer with Carnival President Christine Duffy at the coin ceremony

The Meyer Group is building three (two at Meyer Werft and one at Finland's Meyer Turku), while two are coming from Chantiers de l'Atlantique.

One ship is due from each of these yards: Croatia's Brodosplit and Uljanik, Finland's Helsinki Shipyard, Italy's T. Mariotti, China Merchants Heavy Industries and Shanghai Waigaoqiao.

For an at-a-glance look at the year’s new ships highlighting some of their novel features, see the 'Class of 2023' feature in the December 2022 (digital) issue of Seatrade Cruise Review, available for download.