Sunday, February 20, 2011;
A host of new cruise ships is launching this year, all offering the latest in culinary delights and entertainment options. Here's a look at these floating wonderlands, large and small:
Size: 66,000 tons, 1,250 passengers
Debut: Feb. 5
Destinations: Caribbean, Europe
Starting price per person: $2,199 for 12 days in the Caribbean and Central America
Features: Oceania Cruises' newest and largest ship offers 10 dining venues, including Jacques by celebrity chef Jacques Pepin. Take cooking classes at the Bon Appetit Culinary Center or art classes in the Artists Loft.
Uniworld's SS Antoinette
Size: 164 passengers
Debut: March 27
Destinations: Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland along the Rhine River
Starting price per person: $1,999 for eight days from Basel to Amsterdam
Features: Elegance is the word on this boutique river cruise ship. A 10-foot blue Baccarat chandelier with sapphires, from New York's late Tavern on the Green, hangs in the two-story lobby. Other amenities: a movie theater, a panoramic main lounge with full service bar, two bars on the sun deck, a mosaic-tiled, heated swimming pool.
Info: www.uniworld.com , 800-733-7820
Uniworld's Douro Spirit
Size: 128 passengers
Debut: April 28
Destinations: Douro River Valley in Spain and Portugal
Starting price per person: $2,799 for 11 days from Lisbon to Porto
Features: All staterooms with river views and balconies. Main lounge with full-service bar and dance floor, restaurant with open seating and sun deck with swimming pool.
Info: www.uniworld.com , 800-733-7820
Size: 130,000 tons; 3,690 passengers
Debut: May 1
Destinations: Service begins in Europe with Mediterranean cruises; repositions in November to Galveston, Tex., for Caribbean cruises.
Starting price per person: $529 for seven nights from Galveston to the Caribbean
Features: The RedFrog, Carnival's first pub, with its own private-label draught. SkyCourse, the first ropes course at sea. Outdoor fitness area with stationary bicycles, elliptical and rowing machines and the Sports Track, an 800-foot-long jogging path. Another company first: a two-level, nine-hole miniature golf course.
Info: www.carnivalmagic.com , 800-764-7419
Size: 166 passengers
Debut: May 14
Destinations: Danube and Rhine rivers; Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic
Starting price per person: $1,099 for a stateroom for five days from Zurich to Frankfurt
Features: The cruise line calls this the industry's first "suite ship." Its 66 suites (in addition to 17 staterooms) measure 200 square feet, much larger than the average cabin on a European river cruise. Also features a club, a main lounge and dining room with views, a Sky Deck fun pool and a hair salon.
Info: www.avalonwaterways.com , 877-797-8791
Size: 188 passengers
Debut date: Spring
Destinations: Rhine, Main and Danube rivers
Starting price per person: $1,256 for eight days through Austria, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia
Features: A "green" ship, with hybrid diesel-electric engines that produce 20 percent fewer emissions and reduce noise and vibration. Also features a sun deck with 360-degree views, a boutique and a library. Offers demonstrations in cuckoo-clock-making, wooden-shoe-carving, glassblowing.
Info: www.vikingrivercruises.com , 800-706-1483
Size: 32,000 tons, 450 passengers
Debut: June 20
Destinations: Eastern Mediterranean, operating alternately between Athens and Istanbul and Venice and Athens; Black Sea
Starting price per person: $2,999 for seven days in the Greek Isles and Dalmatian Coast
Features: 225 luxury suites, four dining venues and six bars and lounges. Built-in marinas for swimming, snorkeling, windsurfing and more right from the ship. A huge spa covers two decks.
Info: www.seabourn.com , 800-929-9391
Size: 114,500 tons, 3,016 passengers
Debut: July 7
Destinations: Eastern and Western Mediterranean
Starting price per person: $490 for three nights in Spain and France
Features: Five restaurants and 13 bars, such as a Cognac and Cigar Bar and a Coffee and Chocolate Bar. Spa with Turkish bath and UVA-ray solarium. Entertainment options include a 4-D cinema, casino, Grand Prix simulator, golf simulator and PlayStation World area.
Info: www.costacruise.com , 800-247-7320
Size: 122,000 tons, 2,884 passengers
Debut: July 23
Destinations: Holy Land sailings roundtrip from Rome; Caribbean cruises out of Bayonne, N.J., starting in November
Starting price per person: $1,209 for 12 nights in the Caribbean
Features: The Lawn Club, Celebrity's new interactive outdoor restaurant, lets guests grill their own meat or make their own pizza. The ship will also hold one of the world's largest permanent collections of original contemporary art, with self-guided iPad tours.
Info: www.celebritycruises.com , 800-647-2251
- Nancy Trejos