A new year brings with it many a new cruise itinerary. To help plan your next cruise, we've rounded up the best new itineraries and destinations from the major cruise lines for sailings throughout 2016, 2017 and beyond. Read on for our handy guide to the most exciting new routes and brand new ports, broken out by cruise line.
Both Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest will undergo extensive bow-to-stern renovations in 2016. Journey will enter dry dock in January in the Bahamas, and Quest will be updated during an April 2016 dry dock in Singapore. Each ship will receive new spa suites, and cabins will be upgraded to include new fabrics, furnishings, lighting and revamped bathrooms. The public spaces and dining venues will also be overhauled.
At the start of 2016, Azamara Journey will offer voyages in Central America with Panama Canal and Costa Rica-intensive trips embarking out of Miami and Los Angeles. The ship will then be based in Europe from April to September, sailing various itineraries in the Mediterranean, Greek Isles and Black Sea. In October, the ship will transit to the Arabian Gulf for several voyages before heading to Southeast Asia. December finds the ship in Singapore. The ship will sail throughout Asia and Australasia in the first half of 2017 before heading back to Europe in May. Azamara Journey will embark on a 102-day global voyage from Sydney's Opera House to London's Tower Bridge in 2018.
Azamara Quest will kick off 2016 in Asia with a selection of Australia and New Zealand voyages. April's Spice Route itinerary sees the ship sail from Singapore to Dubai, from which it will head to Europe until August. The ship will reposition to Miami in October to offer Caribbean voyages. Looking ahead to 2017, Azamara is adding four ports: Kaikoura, New Zealand; Mahe, Seychelles; Yucatan, Mexico; and George Town, Grand Cayman. In winter and spring 2017, Quest will sail the West Indies, Panama Canal and Central America. Then, in the summer, the ship will move to the Mediterranean and Black Sea through fall 2017.
The line's largest ship, Carnival Vista will debut in May 2016, marking the line's return to Europe for the first time in three years with a series of 18 Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona and Athens until October 2016. The ship will then reposition to Miami to offer year-round Caribbean cruises.
Carnival will return to Alabama's Mobile terminal from November 2016, where Carnival Fantasy will operate year-long four- and five-day cruises to Mexico following its multimillion-dollar dry dock refurbishment.
Carnival Pride will sail out of Baltimore and visit Eastern and Southern Caribbean destinations. The ship will also offer a specialty Panama Canal cruise as part of the line's Journeys program.
Carnival Triumph moves from Galveston to New Orleans in April 2016 and will offer four- and five-day Mexico cruises. It joins Carnival Dream, which already operates year-round weeklong cruises to Western and Eastern Caribbean destinations from the port.
Celebrity Cruises is adding overnight stays on more than 40 Caribbean sailings in 2016, allowing passengers to stay longer in popular ports, such as Cartagena, St. Maarten, Aruba, Cozumel, Curacao and Barbados.
Two ships from Celebrity Cruises' Millennium Class -- Celebrity Infinity and Celebrity Summit -- have or will undergo multimillion-dollar refurbishments, adding a lawn and a movie screen. Celebrity Summit will enter dry dock from February 27 to March 12 and will offer Caribbean cruises for much of 2016 and 2017, as well as a number of Canada and New England sailings. Celebrity Infinity will be based in South America in early 2016 before heading to the U.S. West Coast in May. Alaska sailings will start in September, and the ship will sail to the Caribbean in October.
Also in the Millennium Class, Celebrity Constellation will sail the Caribbean in early 2016 before heading to Europe in April, where it will operate Mediterranean cruises throughout the summer and introduce new ports like Monte Carlo and Sete, a charming fishing town criss-crossed with Venetian-style canals. It will then head to the Arabian Sea to homeport from Abu Dhabi for the 2016-2017 season -- a first for the line.
Celebrity Millennium will be deployed in Asia for the start of 2016 before heading to the South Pacific for a Fijian and Tahitian cruise. It will transition to Hawaii and then on to Alaska for a number of summer sailings. The ship heads back to Japan in September.
In Europe, Celebrity is increasing the number of cities where it will stay overnight so passengers can experience more nightlife and local flavor. (St. Petersburg, Russia, will have double overnights in 2016.) In addition, sailings with "signature events," such as Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, the British Open golf tournament and Cannes Film Festival have been added for 2016 in addition to the French Open in 2017. Skagen in Denmark and Isafjordur in Iceland will be added as new ports in 2016.
Celebrity Eclipse will return to the U.K. in 2017, offering its seventh consecutive season of cruises to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe from Southampton. The 2,850-passenger ship will offer sailings to Scandinavia, Russia, Iceland, the Canary Islands and Azores, as well two-week Mediterranean cruises.
Celebrity has pulled Istanbul overnights for all 2016 itineraries on Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Constellation due to berth availability in port and ongoing security concerns in the region.
Costa Deliziosa will homeport from Port Everglades in 2016, the first time the 2,260-passenger ship will be based at a U.S. port. It will also be the newest Costa Cruises vessel to homeport in South Florida. It will sail Caribbean and Mexico itineraries. Also in the Caribbean, Costa Favolosa will sail to destinations including St. Kitts, St. Maarten and Martinique before heading to the Med in April and Scandinavia in June.
Costa neoRiviera will sail from Dubai to the Indian Ocean in early 2016 and will reposition to the Med to offer itineraries between Istanbul and Venice. It will head back to the Arabian Gulf in December. Costa Fortuna will also operate Arabian Gulf itineraries to/from Dubai throughout 2016. After a 24-day voyage from Sydney to Dubai in March, Costa Luminosa will offer Baltic itineraries throughout the summer before embarking on lengthy voyages from Savona to Los Angeles and then to Singapore.
In European waters, Costa Diadema will sail seven-night cruises between Barcelona and Savona. Costa Fascinosa will also sail from Savona on itineraries that hit Morocco, Spain and Portugal, as well as Marseille. Costa neoRomantica will sail the Indian Ocean at the start of the year before returning to Europe to offer Med sailings and Norwegian fjord itineraries. Costa Magica will sail the Caribbean until March before heading to the Mediterranean to offer sailings from Rome and Savona.
Costa Victoria will head to Japan next summer to offer cruises geared to the Japanese market. It will join Costa Atlantica in the region.
January sees all three Cunard ships meet in Southampton to set off on world voyages. Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2 will depart on its first full circumnavigation in eight years, and Queen Victoria will embark on a westbound voyage through the Panama Canal to New Zealand and Australia before heading back to Southampton via South Africa. Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth 's 121-night sailing will explore the Far East and Asia before returning via the Suez Canal.
Queen Mary 2 will undergo an extensive 25-day dry dock refurbishment in May and June 2016 in Hamburg, which will see 15 new single cabins and 30 Britannia Club cabins added in addition to more pet kennels. Upgrades to the restaurants and lounges will also be made.
Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity are adding a significant number of new ports in 2016, with 27 maiden calls -- the most debuted in a single year. Inaugural ports include Arendal, Norway; Bandol, France; Catalina Island, California; Crotone, Italy; Hoonah, Alaska; Isla Margarita, Venezuela; Karlskrona, Sweden; Kavala, Greece; Kirkwell and Isle of Skye, U.K.; Nanaimo and Prince Rupert, British Columbia; Corinto and San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Samana, Dominican Republic; and Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.
About half of the ship's itineraries will be 10 days or fewer. For the first time, the line will run one four-night and two five-night cruises on the U.S. West Coast. There will also be a record number of two-night port stays in cities such as San Diego, Amsterdam, New Orleans, Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Istanbul, Venice, London, Lisbon, Barcelona, Sydney and Melbourne.
Crystal Serenity is returning to Alaska in 2016 for the first time in five years. Other new 2016 trips include a Hawaii round trip from San Francisco, a San Diego round trip, a return to New Orleans after 10 years and a new route to Antarctica, departing from Buenos Aires.
In early 2017, Crystal Serenity will embark on a 94-day world cruise to and from Miami, featuring six segments that include Antarctica, the Amazon and the Panama Canal. Crystal Symphony's Grand Cruise lasts for 99 days and sails round trip from Sydney, stopping in Bali, Singapore, Japan, Polynesia and the Philippines. Following the cruise, Serenity will reposition to North and South America, where it will offer routes along the East and West coasts, through Alaska, New England and Eastern Canada, as well as the eastern seaboard into the Caribbean. Serenity has spent the majority of the past 12 years at sea cruising the Mediterranean, Western Europe and the Black Sea.
The line's newest vessel, 62-passenger yacht Crystal Esprit, will focus on the Mediterranean region nearly year-round and will call on classic European ports, including Venice, Dubrovnik and Athens.
In early 2016, Disney is adding two ports -- Tortola in the British Virgin Islands and Martinique -- and also returning to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for embarkation.
Disney Wonder will spend January 2016 in the Southern Caribbean, sailing seven-night cruises from San Juan with stops in Barbados, Grenada, Martinique, Antigua and St. Kitts.
Disney Fantasy and Disney Magic will include Tortola on seven-night Eastern Caribbean itineraries out of Port Canaveral in January and April. All cruises include a stop at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.
Disney Magic will spend the summer in Europe and will embark on its first British Isles cruise in June. Two cruises to the Norwegian Fjords and Iceland will depart in June and July. Magic's Mediterranean itinerary was recently revised in order to remove Turkish ports due to ongoing security concerns in the region.
Holland America's new cruise ship, Koningsdam, will mark the first in its Pinnacle Class when the vessel launches April 2016. It will be the biggest ship in the fleet, offering Scandinavian itineraries from Rome and Amsterdam. Both Eurodam and Oosterdam will sail the Caribbean until April before offering Mediterranean itineraries for the rest of the year. Amsterdam will embark on a Grand World Voyage from January to March before heading to Seattle for round trip sailings for the rest of the year. Maasdam offers similar routes, minus the Grand Voyage. Noordam is based in Australia for the first half of the year and then heads to Canada to offer glacier discovery itineraries. Nieuw Amsterdam will offer year-round Caribbean sailings from Fort Lauderdale. Prinsendam will offer Mediterranean, Baltic and Black Sea sailings throughout the year. Rotterdam will be based out of -- you guessed it -- Rotterdam for much of the year, offering Western Europe, Canary Islands and fjords itineraries.
MSC Seaside, the line's brand new 4,140-passenger ship, will debut in November 2017 and sail exclusively from Miami's recently expanded and renovated Terminal 5. Caribbean and Mexican itineraries are currently on sale for departures until April 2018. MSC Divina will also offer year-round Caribbean itineraries from its homeport of Miami, starting in January 2016. The refurbished ship will offer new wine experiences and an updated entertainment program.
MSC Opera became the first global ship to homeport from Cuba in December 2015. From April 2016, it will reposition to Europe to offer northern European and Med sailings before returning to Cuba from December 2016. It will be joined by MSC Armonia, which will homeport from Havana for the 2016-2017 winter season.
MSC Splendida will be based out of Brazil through early 2016 before it repositions to Europe to offer northern European and Mediterranean cruises between April and November. MSC Fantasia, MSC Preziosa, MSC Magnifica will sail the Mediterranean for much of 2016. MSC Musica will offer itineraries around the Middle East before repositioning to northern Europe in April 2016. MSC Orchestra begins the season in the Caribbean before heading across to Europe in April 2016. MSC Poesia will offer multiple Med cruises before embarking on a series of Grand Voyages between Europe and the Caribbean in late 2016 and early 2017. MSC Meraviglia is slated for delivery in April 2017 and will offer northern Europe and Med cruises from June 2017. MSC Sinfonia will be based out of South Africa throughout 2016. MSC Lirica will be deployed to China from April 2016 to cater to the Chinese market.
MSC is developing a private marine reserve island in the Bahamas called Ocean Cay MSC, with a view to open in November 2017. The 95-acre former sand extraction station lies 20 miles south of Bimini and 65 miles east of Miami.
Norwegian is adding a new destination in Belize when Harvest Caye opens in February. Ships that will sail there include Norwegian Star out of Tampa, Norwegian Dawn out of New Orleans and Norwegian Jade from Houston.
The line's newest ship, Norwegian Escape, will continue to offer seven-day Eastern Caribbean sailings from Miami, visiting Tortola, St. Thomas and Nassau. Norwegian Getaway, also based in Miami, will sail the Western Caribbean, including Great Stirrup Cay, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.
From New York, Norwegian Breakaway will sail to the Bahamas and Florida, as well as the Southern Caribbean, stopping in San Juan, St. Thomas, Tortola, St. Lucia, Barbados and St. Kitts. Norwegian Gem will travel from New York to the Eastern Caribbean.
Norwegian Spirit will alternate between Western and Eastern Caribbean routes from Port Canaveral before moving to the Mediterranean in May.
Norwegian Epic will continue to offer European cruisers various Mediterranean options from its homeport in Barcelona throughout the year.
Oceania will introduce 60 new itineraries and 19 new ports of call throughout 2016/2017. Never-before-sailed ports of call for the line include Burnie, Tasmania; Ensenada, Mexico; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; and Harvest Caye, Belize.
The newly revamped Sirena will spend 16 days voyaging from Miami to Los Angeles through the Panama Canal over the December holidays. It will then ply the Caribbean to Mexico and Central America and cross over to Hawaii and the South Pacific before embarking on extensive sailings throughout Australia.
Regatta will sail the Caribbean while crossing through the Panama Canal and exploring Mexico's Copper Canyon. The focus is on its three-week "Patagonian Odyssey,"" which sails from Buenos Aires around Cape Horn en route to Lima. This cruise makes 11 stops throughout South America's most remote regions and includes scenic cruising through the Chilean Fjords and Strait of Magellan.
Marina will make three South America sailings, along with several throughout the Caribbean. The highlight of the ship's winter season is its three-week ocean crossing, "Passage to Discover," which will travel from Miami to Lisbon, calling off the west coast of Africa and the Caribbean.
Riviera will spend its winter sailing seven- to 14-night Caribbean crossings, with most departing round trip from Miami. Ports include Punta Cana and Grand Turk.
Nautica will sail eight long itineraries through Asia and Africa this winter. Four of those are new and include "Safaris, Temples & Jewels," a 30-night Cape Town-to-Singapore cruise with 15 ports, including Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Male, the capital of the Maldives.
Insignia will depart Miami in January 2017 on the journey of a lifetime. "Around the World in 180 Days" will circumnavigate the globe on a comprehensive world cruise, tackling 98 ports in 36 countries across six continents. Can't make all 45,000 nautical miles of the trip? Passengers are offered eight segments from which to choose.
Three Princess ships will sail out of the U.K. from spring 2016: Emerald Princess will be based out of Southampton for Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and Baltic voyages; Pacific Princess will depart from Dover on routes to the Mediterranean, North Cape and Iceland; and Caribbean Princess will sail round trip from Southampton around the British Isles.
Royal Princess will be based in the Mediterranean, departing from Barcelona, Rome or Athens, with cruises ranging in duration from seven to 28 nights. Sister ship Regal Princess will sail 11-night Baltic itineraries deployed from Copenhagen.
Princess Cruises' extensive Alaska program continues, with 105 different itineraries on six different ships, including Island Princess, Grand Princess, Star Princess, Crown Princess, Coral Princess, and Ruby Princess.
In April 2017, Majestic Princess will enter the fleet, joining sister ships, Royal and Regal Princess in Europe, departing from Barcelona, Rome or Athens. In May 2017, Majestic Princess will sail from Rome to China, where the ship will be based year-round.
The luxury line's brand new ship, Seven Seas Explorer, will make its grand debut in July 2016. The 750-passenger all-suite vessel will spend its maiden voyage and inaugural season in the Mediterranean and will feature the fleet's largest spa and a Culinary Arts Kitchen -- a first for Regent Seven Seas.
Free unlimited Wi-Fi is being introduced across the entire fleet for all voyages beginning with the 2016-2017 winter collection, which features four brand new ports: Gisborne, New Zealand; Rijeka, Croatia; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Mazatlan, Mexico.
In 2017, the line will celebrate its 25th anniversary by undertaking a $100 million fleetwide refurbishment. New design elements will be introduced to Seven Seas Navigator in April 2016, Seven Seas Voyager in fall 2016 and Seven Seas Mariner in 2017. Seven Seas Explorer will embark on a special 10-night anniversary sailing from Barcelona to Venice in April 2017, including private dinners, onboard parties and commemorative gifts.
Seven Seas Mariner will begin the season in the Caribbean before heading through the Panama Canal to South America and the Mexican Riviera, and it will return to Alaska in May 2017.
Seven Seas Navigator anchors the line's North America presence, with numerous Caribbean cruises from Miami in early 2016. In April, the ship repositions to the Mediterranean and sails the French, Italian, and Spanish Rivieras. In January 2017, the ship will embark on a 128-night world cruise that covers six continents, 12 seas and oceans, 31 countries and 62 ports.
Seven Seas Voyager starts the 2016 season in Asia, calling on ports that include Bangkok, Hong Kong and Tokyo. The ship will reposition to the Mediterranean in April 2016, where it will make the fleet's first Irish Sea/Bay of Biscay cruise, followed by a cruise through Iceland, Scandinavia and Greenland. It will head back to Asia in November 2016 with a 43-night cruise that travels through Dubai, and reposition to Europe in April 2017, sailing from Bangkok to Istanbul.
Royal Caribbean will expand its presence in China in 2016 by adding Beijing (Tianjin) as a homeport for Ovation of the Seas and Hong Kong as a homeport for Voyager of the Seas. Ovation of the Seas will debut with a five-night France and Belgium sailing in April before heading out to its base in China.
Independence of the Seas returns to Southampton from Fort Lauderdale in May 2016 to offer 15 European sailings throughout the year. It will reposition to the Caribbean in October. Navigator of the Seas will also return to the U.K. following a multimillion-dollar makeover. Sailings from Southampton start in May 2016 and cover the fjords, Baltic and Mediterranean.
All three of the line's Oasis-class ships will be based in Florida in 2016. Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas will sail Caribbean itineraries out of Port Everglades. In fall, Harmony of the Seas, which launches in April from Barcelona, will replace Oasis of the Seas in Port Everglades and sail Caribbean routes for winter 2016/2017.
Quantum-class Anthem of the Seas will homeport in Bayonne's Cape Liberty year-round and offer cruises to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Bermuda and Canada/New England.
Empress of the Seas will sail short cruises out of Miami when it returns to the Royal Caribbean fleet after spending eight years with sister company Pullmantur. The 2,020-passenger ship will sail three- to five-night itineraries, beginning April 2016, including some five-night sailings that feature overnight stays in Cozumel.
Seabourn will offer Alaska sailings in 2017 for the first time in 15 years onboard 450-passenger Seabourn Sojourn. The ship will sail from Vancouver and Anchorage for 11, 12 and 14 nights and stop at ports that include Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka, as well as Klemtu, a small island in Alaska's Inside Passage; and Alert Bay, a tiny Namgis First Nation community in British Columbia.
Seabourn Odyssey will begin 2016 with a 77-day voyage to the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia before heading to the Mediterranean, Aegean and Adriatic.
Seabourn Quest sets off from South America in early 2016 and will offer Amazon and Antarctica sailings before heading to northern Europe for Baltic and fjord voyages.
When it debuts in 2017, Seabourn Encore will make nine maiden calls to Australia ports, following a naming ceremony in Singapore and its inaugural voyage, a 10-day cruise to Bali.
The luxury line's five oceangoing ships and three expedition ships will visit a whopping 107 new ports during 2016. Highlights include Aldabra, a coral atoll and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Seychelles, and Ullapool in Scotland, a fishing town and gateway to the northern Highlands.
Beginning in January 2016, Silver Whisper will embark on a 114-night world cruise, departing Fort Lauderdale for Venice. Thirteen of the 51 stops will last more than one day. Other 2016 marathon cruises include a 65-night voyage on Silver Spirit that starts in Fort Lauderdale and rounds the horn of South America. Spirt will also sail from Barcelona to Rome in May with overnights in Cannes for the glittering film festival, and in Monte Carlo during the Grand Prix.
Silver Wind will offer summer departures from (or near) London's iconic Tower Bridge on the river Thames, and Silver Shadow returns to Alaska between May and September for 17 weeklong voyages between Seward and Vancouver.
Slversea's new ship (and largest vessel), Silver Muse, is currently under construction at Fincantieri shipyard in Italy and is set to debut in April 2017. Later in 2017, Silver Cloud, the first ship in Silversea Cruises' fleet, will be adapted to sail the polar regions in November 2017, becoming the line's fourth luxury expedition ship. The refurb is scheduled to start August 2017. The ship will carry only 200 cruisers on Arctic and Antarctic itineraries.
Star Legend will offer two new itineraries from San Juan, which will be the first time Windstar has launched from a U.S. port of call in recent history. Both the "San Juan & the Virgin Islands" and "Caribbean Hideaway" itineraries will call on Little Bay, Montserrat, where Windstar will be the first cruise line to make regular calls to the port since the 1995 eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano that buried the island's capital city.
Star Breeze will sail Costa Rica and the Panama Canal until April before heading to the Mediterranean to sail out of Lisbon, Rome, Nice and Venice. Star Pride will follow much the same route but will also operate itineraries around the Greek islands between May and September.
Wind Spirit will offer year-round Tahiti sailings from Papeete, visiting Moorea, Tahaa, Raiatea, Huahine and Bora Bora.
Wind Star kicks off 2016 by sailing the Windward Islands from Barbados before navigating across the Atlantic to sail around the Greek islands and Turkey.
Wind Surf will offer 10-night Baltic sailings in later summer, sandwiched between Caribbean and Mediterranean sailings.
--By Rachel Beard, Destinations Editor