Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Cruising Sets Sail for the Future

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Cruising Sets Sail for the Future

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREA BLACK

IT'S no secret the cruising industry is buoyant, and hitting the high seas and rivers is especially popular with Aussies - just look at the figures.

Commissioned by Cruise Lines International Association Australasia and the Australian Cruise Association, a new independent assessment by AEC Group revealed 1236 ship visits in Australian ports led to 3.5 million passenger and crew visit days, which raised $2.3 billion in direct economic output. That's big business, and in such an environment passengers are looking for something newer, shinier, and with more bells and whistles.

The order book for new cruise ships and refurbishments for next year is thick.

Here's what to expect, what's hot and how new technology means cruising will change in 2019.

New river vessels

Viking Cruises will launch a whopping seven new river ships in 2019, including six additional award-winning Viking longships, all with an Aquavit Terrace, solar panels and an organic herb garden.

Meanwhile, on the Mekong, a new ship is set to launch - Evergreen's Mekong Harmony. It will be Evergreen's first Star-Ship on the Mekong River and will feature 42 staterooms and suites, a pool and sun deck. What sets the Harmony apart is that the ship is built to allow access to the centre of Ho Chi Minh City, meaning cruisers won't need to be bused in from outside the city.

APT, together with American company AmaWaterways, will launch the new AmaMagna river ship in 2019, with 97 ocean-style staterooms, a gym large enough to host classes and a heated pool.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection will add two ships to its fleet in 2019, one heading to the Nile and another to Douro.

The new ships will have more suites and dining venues, all with impeccable design.

Expedition ships

There has been much anticipation surrounding the launch of the world's first "discovery yachts", the Scenic Eclipse fleet, and in January the first will make its debut. …

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