As 2016 comes to an end, I wanted to share some of my cruise highlights from the past year.
2016 has been memorable for several reasons. I’ve been lucky enough to go on twelve cruises in 2016, along with my very first river cruise. But the cruise industry as a whole has been busy, with around 10 new ships launching, and even more ships being announced.
Kicking off the new year, I embarked Fred. Olsen’s Black Watch for a three-night cruise from Liverpool to Southampton. I had been back home to Yorkshire for the festive period, so it was a stylish way of travelling back down to Southampton. (In fact I’m doing a similar thing this January on Black Watch, but from London Tilbury.)
Top stories from January:
- Norwegian Jade And Norwegian Getaway To Cruise From Northern Europe In 2017
- Scenic River Cruises To Start New Ocean Cruises
- 7 Passengers Arrested After Cocaine Bust Aboard Royal Caribbean Ship
In February, I celebrated my birthday aboard MSC Preziosa during a seven-night Mediterranean cruise from Genoa.
Top stories from February:
- Former P&O Cruise Ship Sinks In Thailand
- Majestic Princess To Debut New Livery
- New Liverpool Cruise Terminal Building Plans To Be Drawn Up
In March, I boarded Cruise & Maritime Voyages Astoria for a six-night Scottish & Emerald Isles cruise from Bristol Avonmouth. It was also her first cruise sailing with her new name, as I previously sailed on the ship when she was named Azores in 2015.
Top stories from March:
- Cruise & Maritime Voyages To Sail From New Regional Ports In 2017
- Exciting New Venues Announced For Norwegian Joy
- Pacific Pearl To Join Cruise & Maritime Voyages Fleet
It was a busy month in April, after being invited aboard the newly-launched Ovation of the Seas for the night, followed by a three-night jaunt to Guernsey on Emerald Princess, and also a visit aboard the brand new AIDAprima in Southampton.
Top stories from April:
- Hurtigruten To Build New Ships
- Splendour of the Seas Completes Final Voyage With Royal Caribbean
- Cockroaches And Hazardous Food Found On Two P&O Cruise Ships
May was just as busy. I sailed on Cruise & Maritime Voyages Marco Polo, from Tilbury, for a one-night cruise to Hull, which was the ship’s first call to the port. On May 21, I toured Fred. Olsen’s Braemar in Southampton, which means I have now been on all four ships in the fleet. Of course the biggest thing to happen in May, and the entire cruise year, was the debut of the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas. I enjoyed my sailing on her inaugural cruise – a four-night cruise to Rotterdam.
Top stories from May:
- Marco Polo Hits Sand Bank In St Petersburg
- World’s Largest Cruise Ship Arrives In Southampton
- First US Cruise Passengers In Over 50 Years Arrive In Cuba
In June, I boarded the latest fun ship at sea, Carnival Vista, for an eight-night Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona. I also boarded my first ever luxury cruise ship, Viking Sea, for a tour during her maiden call to Harwich, where they were also filming an upcoming TV episode of Mighty Cruise Ships.
Top stories from June:
- Ex-MSC Melody Almost Capsizes Due To Heavy Rains
- Astoria Set To Leave The CMV Fleet In 2017
- Queen Mary 2 Refurb: Cunard Flagship Returns To Service After £90 Million Makeover
In July, I embarked on my third cruise of the year with Cruise & Maritime Voyages. This time it was a 9-night British Isles cruise aboard Magellan, similar to the one I did on Discovery back in 2014.
Top stories from July:
- Brand New MSC Seaview To Spend Inaugural Summer In Europe
- Pacific Explorer Set To Feature Water Slides And Splash Park
- Crew Member Dies After Rescue Boat Accident On Norwegian Breakaway
In August, I visited Transocean Tours’ Astor, during one of her rare calls to the UK. The ship also operates for Cruise & Maritime Voyages and spends the winter season operating out of Australia. Towards the end of August, I embarked P&O Cruises’ Britannia for a seven-night cruise to the spectacular Norwegian Fjords. I hadn’t been to the Fjords since 2012 aboard Oceana, so it was fantastic to return on such a large ship as Britannia.
Top stories from August:
- Demi Lovato To Perform Exclusive Concert For Celebrity Cruises Guests
- Mother Of Olympian Has Luggage Blown Up By Cruise Ship Security
- Hapag-Lloyd To Build Two New Expedition Ships
I didn’t take a cruise in September, but I was lucky enough to be invited aboard Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas for a foodie-themed day aboard, where I got to explore the ship, go behind the scenes in the gigantic main galley, as well as enjoy a cooking demonstration and a meal by Izumi’s head chef, Travis Kamiyama.
Top stories from September:
- Three 180,000-ton LNG Ships To Be Built For Carnival And P&O Cruises
- Enough Is Enough: Venetians Surround Cruise Ships In Mass Protest
- One Dead And Four Injured After Lifeboat Falls From World’s Largest Cruise Ship
In October, I toured P&O Cruises Aurora, and later on in the month I enjoyed a three-night cruise on P&O’s Ventura.
Top stories from October:
- Norwegian Bliss Will Operate Alaskan Cruises In 2018
- Black Watch To Be Refurbished Along With New Venues
- Virgin To Build Three Ships As Company Promises To Change Cruising Forever
In November, I said hola to Pullmantur’s Sovereign as I sailed on the ship for 2-nights from Palma de Mallorca to Lisbon – her first time visiting the Portuguese capital.
Top stories from November:
- Fathom To Stop Cruise Operations In 2017
- Princess Cruises Announces Largest Ever Season From UK
- World’s Three Largest Cruise Ships Meet At Sea For The First Time
On December 16, I toured CMV’s Magellan in Tilbury, with competition winners, for a festive event in partnership with ROL Cruise. Two days later I travelled to Rotterdam to embark on my very first river cruise. It was a two-night taster cruise hosted by SuperBreak aboard The River Cruise Line‘s msSerenity.
Top stories from December:
- Pollution Scandal Results In Hefty $40 Million Fine For Princess Cruises
- Carnival Splendor To Transfer To P&O Australia As Company Scraps Plans For New Build
- Several Cruise Lines Get Approval To Sail To Cuba From 2017
And that concludes my 2016 cruise year. It’s been busy, but awesome! Cruise Capital has seen incredible growth over the past year and I’d like to thank all of you for following along, reading our articles and reviews, as well as interacting with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Here’s to a cruise-filled 2017!