Ship's a Joy: On the Water Front

  • Lori Bryan

A number of high-end cruise lines are charting new courses, offering updated amenities and services, and, in some cases, launching ships. Following is a brief rundown to help you navigate the options.

CRYSTAL CRUISES
A recently completed $25 million renovation has transformed much of Crystal Cruises’ 922-passenger Symphony, including the vessel’s 982-square-foot Crystal Penthouses. In addition to more living space, the suites now feature ocean-view bathrooms with Philippe Starck–designed soaking tubs. Crystal Cruises, which also operates the 1,070-passenger Serenity, will offer a new 110-day world cruise in 2011. 888.722.0021, www.crystalcruises.com

CUNARD
When she embarks on her maiden voyage later this year, the 2,092-guest Queen Elizabeth will bring to three the number of luxury liners run by Cunard, which began carrying passengers across the Atlantic Ocean 170 years ago. The new ship will have more capacity than Cunard’s Queen Victoria but less than the cruise line’s Queen Mary 2. Nearly three-quarters of the staterooms will have balconies, and the finest accommodations will come with butler service. 800.728.6273, www.cunard.com

OCEANIA CRUISES
Oceania Cruises plans to debut its fourth midsize cruise liner in January 2011. Marina will be larger and faster than her sister ships Insignia, Regatta, and Nautica, and will accommodate 1,258 guests in 629 staterooms and suites. The new vessel will also feature a food-and-wine-pairings establishment geared toward gourmands. 800.531.5658, www.oceaniacruises.com

ORION EXPEDITION CRUISES
Australia’s Orion Expedition Cruises has secured a long-term lease for the 50-suite Clelia II, which the company plans to renovate, rename Orion II, and launch in May 2011. Orion II will be equipped with state-of-the-art navigation technology and heavy-duty Zodiac boats, and will carry a maximum of 100 guests (six fewer than its sister ship Orion) to hard-to-reach destinations in Vietnam, Indonesia, and elsewhere in Asia. 877.674.6687, www.orionexpeditions.com

REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES
Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Voyager, and Seven Seas Navigator—Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ three all-suite vessels—have added new dining and spa offerings. The ships now include Prime 7 steak houses and Canyon Ranch SpaClubs, the latter of which are run by the Tucson, Ariz.–based wellness resort’s at-sea division. 877.505.5370, www.rssc.com

SEADREAM YACHT CLUB
SeaDream Yacht Club has added a number of new itineraries for 2011. The small-scale cruise company’s 112-passenger megayacht SeaDream I will cruise along the Norwegian fjords, amid the Stockholm archipelago, and elsewhere in Scandinavia, northern Europe, and the Baltics. 305.631.6100, www.seadreamyachtclub.com

SILVERSEA CRUISES
In January, Silversea Cruises was due to christen Silver Spirit. The new flagship vessel of the 16-year-old line will house 540 guests in ocean-view suites, amid a 1930s Art Deco–style atmosphere. As part of its 91-day Grand Inaugural voyage, Silver Spirit will dock in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival. 800.722.9955, www.silversea.com

WINDSTAR CRUISES
By midyear, Windstar Cruises expects to have completed a handful of improvements to its motored sailing yachts Wind Surf, Wind Spirit, and Wind Star. The enhancements will include spa cuisine in the restaurants, sommelier-guided wine tastings at sea, and new spa treatments by the pool. 800.258.7245, www.windstarcruises.com

THE YACHTS OF SEABOURN
When Seabourn Sojourn departs from Greenwich, England, in June on its inaugural sail, it will house—like its ultraluxury siblings Seabourn Odyssey and an unnamed 2011 launch—no more than 450 guests in 225 suites. The 14-day maiden voyage, which includes stops in Iceland’s capital and on Denmark’s Faroe Islands, is priced from about $9,000. 800.929.9391, www.seabourn.com

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