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MSC Cruises’ latest innovative cruise ship, MSC Seaview, will be making her eagerly awaited debut this summer. Our reporter attends the christening of the vessel to find out more, before jumping on board Viking Cruises’ Viking Orion, which has been designed to mix elegance with a focus on destinations.

Also in this issue, we explore some of the most eye-catching interiors the cruise industry has to offer, from glittering Swarovski crystal staircases to mahogany-bedecked suites, and take a closer look at cruise lines’ plans to ditch single use plastic across their fleets.

We consider whether private cruise islands are crossing an ethical line, after environmental groups in the Bahamas launched a campaign against a plan from Carnival Cruise Line to open a new port destination at Grand Bahama Island’s pristine East End, which is home to ecologically significant marshlands, mangroves, reefs and marine life.

Finally, we find out whether Japan is about to become the next top cruise destination, after the country introduced a new system earlier this year whereby foreign cruisers can obtain free permits to visit formerly closed-off ports around Japan’s shores.

In this issue

MSC Cruises sails towards trailblazing tech launch
The third new ship to launch out of thirteen by 2026, the christening of MSC Seaview took place in Genoa, Italy in June. Frances Marcellin talks to MSC Cruises about its unique design, MSC for Me, and the new high-tech features making a splash next year.
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A tour de force of Viking Orion’s maiden voyage
With the launch of Viking Cruises’ fifth ocean ship, Frances Marcellin sailed on Viking Orion’s maiden voyage and spoke to the Viking team, as well as the ship’s godmother and retired astronaut Anna Fisher, to find out more about how the company is achieving its success.
Read the article here.

In pictures: the world’s best cruise ship interiors
As cruising enters its Golden Age, operators are competing to woo passengers with increasingly lavish interiors. From MSC Divina’s glittering Swarovski crystal staircase to the cashmere and mahogany-bedecked suites of the Oceania Marina, Adele Berti explores some of the most eye-catching interiors.
Read the article here.

Private cruise islands: drawing ethical lines in the sand?
After years of hankering, Carnival Cruise Line was given the green light to open its own private port destination on the island of Grand Bahama. While the project promises to boost the local economy, there are fears such private resorts benefit nobody other than the operators themselves. Ross Davies investigates.
Read the article here.

Riding the wave: explosive growth in Japan’s cruise sector
Japan’s cruise industry is experiencing turbo-charged growth as an influx of Chinese shoppers sends the country’s port calls skyrocketing. How has this growth manifested, and what are the implications for Japan’s most popular ports, many of which are struggling to expand capacity fast enough to meet demand? Chris Lo investigates.
Read the article here.

Cruise lines ditching plastic: an environmental win for the sector?
As Hurtigruten announces plans to become the world’s first plastic-free cruise company, more and more lines are following suit. What are cruise lines doing to get rid of plastic on board, and why are they jumping on the bandwagon now? Joe Baker finds out.
Read the article here.

Next issue preview

Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas has returned to the UK after a multi-million pound upgrade. We get on board the revamped vessel to experience her new features, including SkyPad – a virtual reality bungee trampolining activity – laser tag and an escape room.

Also in the next issue, we talk to Regent Seven Seas Cruises to find out more about its ‘cruise of a lifetime’, which will span six continents, 13 seas, 30 countries and a total of 56 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and take a closer look at the cruise lines looking to cash in on partially thawed relations between Cuba and the US.

Moving to Barbados, we consider the reasons behind the government’s decision to form the National Cruise Development Commission to come up with a path forward for the country’s floundering cruise sector.

Finally, we take a closer look at the new hospitality empire set to launch aboard Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Edge, as well as explore other fine dining options on the high seas, and find out how V. Group’s ship management single digital platform can help cruise lines keep track of their large workforces.