Cruise Tracker: Australia Welcomes Its Biggest Ship Ever & More

by  Donna Tunney | Apr 21, 2015

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.

Remember our mention last week of Anthem of the Seas, sister ship to Quantum of the Seas? Yet another is joining the Royal Caribbean International megaship clan. The 4,180-guest passenger Ovation of the Seas will head to Australia in winter 2016 -- becoming the biggest ship ever to homeport in the Land Down Under. Itinerary and fare details haven't been released, but we're tickled by the fact that the North Star aerial observatory will reach higher than the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Looking for a long weekend getaway? Carnival Cruise Lines is boosting its sailings from Florida's Port Canaveral with a new batch of three- and four-day Bahamas cruises . These itineraries   are on tap for early 2016 aboard the 2,758-passenger Carnival Victory , and the short length is perfect for vacationers with limited time and first-time cruisers looking to test their sea legs alike. Also coming to Port Canaveral in late 2016 is one of Carnival's newer ships, the four-year-old Carnival Magic  featuring the WaterWorks aqua park and SportsSquare recreation area.
Prices TBD.

River cruises in Europe tend to attract retired or middle-aged couples, but Adventures by Disney is hoping to change all that. The tour operator (a separate entity from Disney Cruise Line) has partnered with luxury line AmaWaterways to bring all-ages facilities and excursions to the Danube in 2016. In case you missed it, check out our full report.
Fares will start at $4,179 per person. 

Can't stop, won't stop -- that's what we think the motto now is for river cruising. CroisiEurope has christened three new ships, bringing the line's fleet to 41. The 104-guest Camargue and the 96-guest Loire Princess will cruise France's Rhone and Loire rivers, respectively, while the 132-passenger Gil Eanes will explore the Douro in Portugal. Continuing full speed ahead, the cruise line will also launch four more ships in the next two years.
A seven-night cruise in June aboard Loire Princess starts at $2,407 per person.

Another luxury ship is bound for Miami. Regent Seven Seas Cruises' all-suite Seven Seas Explorer will make its North American debut on December 2, 2016. As part of its inaugural Caribbean season, the 750-guest luxury liner will sail two round-trip voyages from PortMiami before heading west on a Panama Canal cruise. Fares aren't available yet for those cruises, but the Mediterranean cruises launching next July should give you an idea:
A 10-night Venice to Rome cruise in August 2016 starts at $9,499 per person.

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