Throughout 2021, the UK will see the inaugural sailings for seven newbuild ships. Among these is the first ship from Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyages, P&O’s all-British Iona, and the worlds largest tall ship, Tradewinds Voyages Golden Horizon. The reason for this is largely operational – the UK’s successful vaccination programme and COVID roadmap allows for round-Britain cruises towards the end of May. So which new ships can we expect this summer? Take a look at them below…
Named to pay homage to the architects and shipbuilders involved in its creation, MSC Virtuosa is one of the two largest ships in MSC’s fleet. Virtuosa will feature the Starship Club, a space-themed bar with a robotic bartender, as well as the largest shopping area at sea in the Galleria Virtuosa indoor promenade, complete with LED domed ceiling. Virtuosa will be departing Southampton on her first voyage on May 20th.
Viking Venus will be named by journalist and broadcaster Anne Diamond on May 20th, prior to her inaugural sailing on May 22nd. Venus is the seventh ship in Viking’s ocean cruise fleet. Venus‘ first itinerary will take cruisers around Lands End and up to Liverpool, before returning with stops in the Scilly Isles, Falmouth, and Portland. The first three sailings are fully sold out.
Tradewinds Voyages Golden Horizon
Tradewinds Voyages Golden Horizon will be the largest tall ship in the world upon its debut. Exuding a sense of relaxed luxury, Golden Horizon has been built as a near replica of the 1912-built France II. Golden Horizon will be embarking on her dress rehearsal sailing from Portsmouth on 22nd June, stopping at Weymouth, Falmouth, Fowey, Dartmouth and Poole over a six-night cruise.
Saga Spirit of Adventure
Featuring a balcony for every guest (all 999, at double occupancy), and a quarter-mile wraparound promenade, Spirit of Adventure mixes boutique luxury with generous space. Spirit of Adventure is the sister ship to Saga’s first ever newbuild vessel, Spirit of Discovery, and features updated interior decor and a variety of restaurants. Her first sailing departs from Dover in August.
Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady
The inaugural sailing of Virgin Voyages’ much-awaited Scarlet Lady is a three-night at sea cruise departing from Portsmouth on August 6th. Scarlet Lady is adults-only by design, and features over $600 worth of included amenities, including WiFi, basic beverages, and food in all 20+ of the eateries on board.
P&O Iona brings some cruise firsts, including being the first British ship to be powered by LNG, having the first gin distillery on a cruise ship, and featuring the innovative glass-roofed Skydome. Upon her inaugural sailing on August 7th, Iona will carry up to 5200 guests around the British Isles, departing from Southampton, visiting the Scottish Isles, and returning to Southampton over 8 days.
Venture is Seabourn’s purpose-built foray into the luxury expedition market, and will departing on its inaugural sailing in December 2021 from Greenwich. Among Venture’s features are two custom-built submarines, providing a look underneath the surface of the ocean. Venture‘s first itinerary will take cruisers around the coast of Norway, providing a potential glimpse of the Northern Lights, and up to North Cape, where the midnight sun can be seen.