Top New Cruise Ships Launching in 2021

It’s time for the annual TalkingCruise guide to The Top New Cruise Ships in 2021. This year we’re highlighting 12 of our top picks of the latest and greatest.


After a year where we saw a worldwide pause in cruising, it’s time to look forward to the new cruise ships coming in 2021. It’s going to be an exciting year for new ship builds, with tons of variety in design, purpose and features. Our list highlights our tops picks, starting off with some highly anticipated vessels delayed from 2020.

Delayed Cruise Ships from 2020

Mardi Gras

Carnival Cruise Line

New Cruise Ships in 2021 - Carnival Mardi Gras

Launching: February 2021
Ship Class: 1st Excel-Class Ship
Home-Port: Port Canaveral, Florida
Size: 180,800 Gross Tons
Guests/Crew: 5,282 Guests (double), 1,745 Crew

Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras is not only their largest ship ever, it’s likely one of the most-anticipated new cruise ships for 2021. Powered by liquified natural gas, Mardi Gras will be a vast departure in design, amenities and style than what we’ve seen from Carnival before, highlighted by the world’s first roller coaster at sea. Named Bolt, the electric ride vehicles will reach speeds up to 40mph. There’s also a totally brand-new design of Carnival WaterWorks, SportSquare and the main pool deck. Carnival favorites like BlueIguana Cantina, Guy’s Burger Joint, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse|Brewhouse, SeaFood Shack and more are back, joined by new venues Shaq’s Big Chicken, Street Eats, RedFrog Tiki Bar and Emeril’s Bistro 1396.

There’s the new multi-level Grand Central atrium, summer landing aft pool area, reimagined Havana Bar & Pool, Al fresco dining opportunities and all-new stateroom and suite designs. You’ll also find new Carnival entertainment and show venues, spa experiences and debut of Carnival’s Excel level suites, featuring a host of amenities and perks like access to the Loft 19 pool and sun deck. Mardi Gras will sail year-round from Port Canaveral, Florida, alternating 7 night Eastern & Western Caribbean itineraries through at least April 2023.

MSC Virtuosa

MSC Cruises

New Cruise Ships in 2021 - MSC Virtuosa

Launching: April 2021
Ship Class: 2nd Meraviglia Plus-Class Ship
Home-Port: Barcelona, Spain; Civitavecchia, Italy; Genoa, Italy; Marseille, France; Palermo, Italy
Size: 181,000 Gross Tons
Guests/Crew: 4,800 Guests (double), 1,700 Crew

MSC Virtuosa will share the title of largest ship in the MSC Cruises fleet along with her sister MSC Grandiosa. The ship will offer the most popular features found on other Meraviglia-Class vessels, including the LED domed Promenade, with more venues to drink and dine, two all new Cirque du Soleil shows available per sailing, massive aqua park, over a dozen dining venues, F1 racing simulator and the exclusive MSC Yacht Club and Aurea Experience private areas. Guests will also be able to utilize ZOE, MSC Cruises digital cruise assistant. MSC Virtuosa will offer varying 3 to 14-night Europe and Mediterranean itineraries.

Odyssey of the Seas

Royal Caribbean

New Cruise Ships in 2021 - Odyssey of the Seas

Launching: April 2021
Ship Class: 2nd Quantum Ultra-Class Ship
Home-Port: Civitvecchia (Rome), Italy; Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Size: 169,379 Gross Tons
Guests/Crew: 4,246 Guests (double), 1,551 Crew

Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas will be the first of their popular Quantum-class vessels to homeport seasonally from Florida. The ship will feature the latest technology along with several interesting interactive elements. Like sister Quantum Ultra class ship Spectrum of the Seas, Odyssey will include class-specific venues like the Music Hall, Royal Esplanade, Two70, North Star, the SeaPlex and RipCord by iFLY. Plus, the best features from around the fleet including SkyPad, Lime & Coconut Pool Bar, Playmaker Sports Bar & Arcade, Splashaway Bay, FlowRider and solarium with pool, the most popular included and specialty restaurants, kids and teen spaces and Vitality Spa & Fitness Center.

Odyssey of the Seas will debut from Civitavecchia, Italy offering 7 to 12 night Europe and Mediterranean cruises through October before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where Odyssey will sail 6 to 9 night Caribbean cruises through April 2022.


Crystal Endeavor

Crystal Cruises

New Cruise Ships in 2021 - Crystal Endeavor

Launching: May 2021
Ship Class: 1st Expedition Ship
Home-Port: Various Ports for Alaska, Europe, Antarctica, Asia & South America
Size: 20,000 Gross Tons
Guests/Crew: 200 Guests (double), 200 Crew

Crystal Cruises is taking their 6 star excellence to expedition cruising. With an unmatched 1 to 1 staff to guest ratio, Crystal Endeavor, the line’s first expedition ship, will keep guests pampered while on their cruise of discovery and adventure. The ship will feature six dining venues, luxurious all suite accommodations, a glass enclosed solarium, The Marina fold out platform, high end shopping, wellness spa and several lounges providing incredible views, entertainment, learning experiences and social opportunities. Crystal Endeavor will sail to adventurous locales exploring exciting destinations in Alaska, Europe, Antarctica, Asia & South America.


2021 Scheduled New Cruise Ships

Viking Venus

Viking Ocean Cruises

New Cruise Ships in 2021 - Viking Venus

Launching: January 2021
Ship Class: 7th Small Class Ship
Home-Port: Various Ports for European Cruises
Size: 47,842 Gross Tons
Guests/Crew: 930 Guests (double), 550 Crew

Viking Ocean Cruises, a relative newcomer to ocean cruising, is on an aggressive schedule to build 12 new ships in under 10 years. Making her debut in 2021, Viking Venus will be nearly identical to sister ships and offer modern and comfortable accommodations for just 930 guests allowing for more interaction with crew and the destinations visited. Although small, the ship will feature many of the activities and services found on large cruise ships including multiple dining venues, bars, shops, fitness center and spa, pool with retractable roof and the aft infinity pool and several entertainment lounges. Viking Venus will sail from several European ports of call throughout her first year of operation.



AIDA Cruises

New Cruise Ships in 2021 - AIDAcosma

Launching: May 2021
Ship Class: 2nd Helios Class Ship
Home-Port: VKiel, Germany; Dubai, UAE; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Palm de Majorca, Spain
Size: 183,900 Gross Tons
Guests/Crew: 5,200 Guests (double), 1,500 Crew

AIDAcosma, the latest ship from German cruise line AIDA Cruises, will be the line’s second cruise ship to run on LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). Like her sister, AIDAnova, AIDAcosma will offer her guests many incredible experiences onboard. Enjoy Fun Park with children’s pool, a twin water chute and the Water Slide, relax in the Beach Club where it always feels like Summer, add to that 16 restaurants, 17 bars over 20 types of accommodations and a very stylish and contemporary décor throughout the ship. Set to debut in May 2021, AIDAcosma will be the largest ship to homeport in Dubai for the 2021/2022 cruise season as she sails the Arabian Gulf.


Valiant Lady

Virgin Voyages

New Cruise Ships in 2021 - Valiant Lady

Launching: May 2021
Ship Class: 2nd Lady Ship
Home-Port: Barcelona, Spain; Miami, Florida
Size: 110,000 Gross Tons
Guests/Crew: 2,770 Guests (double), 1,150 Crew

Valiant Lady, the second adult only ship from newcomer Virgin Voyages will be virtually identical to her sister Scarlet Lady. Onboard, just about anywhere you go will scream Virgin style, with ultra-contemporary furnishings and one-of-kind amenities like a tattoo parlor and record shop. Staterooms feature modern appointments, and the rock-star suites are over the top. While there will be an emphasis on healthy cruising, with complimentary fitness classes, you’ll still be able to indulge at the over 20 included dining venues. Speaking of inclusions, how about free gratuities, Wi-Fi, filtered water and sodas. During Valiant Lady’s inaugural year, sailors will be able to select from 3 Mediterranean itineraries departing from Barcelona, Spain, two transatlantic voyages and 6-8 night Caribbean itineraries from Miami each with a stop at Virgin Voyages’ exclusive Beach Club at Bimini.


ms Rotterdam

Holland America Line

New Cruise Ships in 2021 - ms Rotterdam

Launching: August 2021
Ship Class: 3rd Pinnacle Class Ship
Home-Port: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Trieste, Italy; Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Size: 99,500 Gross Tons
Guests/Crew: 2,668 Guests (double), 1,025 Crew

As the third Pinnacle-Class ship, MS Rotterdam will offer elegant style and a sophisticated décor. Guests will enjoy several unique dining venues throughout the ship including the classic Pinnacle Grill and poolside eats at Dive-In and New York Pizza, plus immersive activities like Microsoft Studio Workshops and BBC Earth Experiences. Entertainment comes alive at B.B King’s Blues Club, Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard Onboard, Rolling Stone Rock Room and more. Starting with her debut in August 2021, Rotterdam will sail Northern Europe and the Mediterranean throughout the Summer and Fall before repositing to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for her Caribbean season.


MSC Seashore

MSC Cruises

New Cruise Ships in 2021 - MSC Seashore

Launching: August 2021
Ship Class: 1st Seaside EVO Class Ship
Home-Port: Genoa, Italy; Naples, Italy; Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Miami, Florida
Size: 169,500 Gross Tons
Guests/Crew: 4,540 Guests (double), 1,648 Crew

MSC Seashore represents the evolution of the popular Seaside class ships, and providing even more connections to the sea. While many guest favorite spaces like the AquaPark and Waterfront will return, most have been reimagined to create all new experiences. Along with Seashore’s larger size, guests can expect a host of new places to explore and wider range of accommodations, including an expanded Yacht Club for the ultimate in luxury. The ship will also offer the latest proprietary MSC technologies, MSC for ME and virtual personal cruise assistant ZOE.

MSC Seashore will debut in the Mediterranean with a series of 4 to 7 night itineraries through October 2021. Following a repositioning voyage to Miami, MSC Seashore will cruise the Bahamas and Caribbean through April 2022, featuring a stop to their private island of Ocean Cay, Bahamas on most itineraries.


Discovery Princess

Princess Cruises

New Cruise Ships in 2021 - Discovery Princess

Launching: November 2021
Ship Class: 6th Royal Class Ship
Home-Port: Civitavecchia, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; Piraeus, Greece; Venice, Italy; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; Los Angeles, California
Size: 141,000 Gross Tons
Guests/Crew: 3,660 Guests (double), 1,346 Crew

Discovery Princess will be the line’s sixth Royal-Class ship, continuing the rapid growth plans from the last several years. Discovery Princess will feature the latest evolutions found on her most recent sister ships Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess. These include more hot tubs, a newly designed main pool deck, retreat pool and infinity WakeView aft pool. They’ll also be new kids and teens spaces and unparalleled luxury of two Sky Suites offering tons of space for up to 5 guests with two bedrooms and bathrooms and a massive 700 square foot balcony. Discovery Princess will debut from Civitavecchia, Italy sailing a series of Mediterranean itineraries before repositioning for the Winter months in the Caribbean and South America.


Costa Toscana

Costa Cruises

New Cruise Ships in 2021 - Costa Toscana

Launching: November 2021
Ship Class: 2nd Excellence Class Ship
Home-Port: Barcelona, Spain; Civitavecchia, Italy; Piraeus, Greece; Southampton, England; Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Size: 183,900 Gross Tons
Guests/Crew: 5,200 Guests (double), 1,682 Crew

Costa Toscana will be a sister ship in the same class as Costa Smeralda, the largest cruise ships ever built for Costa Cruises. This LNG powered ship will feature a wraparound promenade, outdoor theater, dozens of dining venues, stylish accommodations, innovative entertainment spaces, large aqua park and the beach club. Costa Toscana will offer a series of Mediterranean itineraries from Barcelona, Spain.


Seabourn Venture

Seabourn Cruise Line

New Cruise Ships in 2021 - Seabourn Venture

Launching: December 2021
Ship Class: 1st Expedition Ship
Home-Port: Various ports for cruises in The Arctic, The Amazon and Antarctica
Size: 23,000 Gross Tons
Guests/Crew: 264 Guests (double), 120 Crew

Seabourn Venture, Seabourn’s first expedition vessel, will offer guests unbelievable adventures paired with ultra-luxurious onboard amenities.  The casually elegant atmosphere is noticeable throughout the vessel. Unique guest areas include the Expedition Lounge, Discovery Center and Seabourn Square. Explorations begin in the Landing Zone, offering direct access to one of the 24 Zodiacs or dive below the surface on one of their two custom-built submarines. Amenities for spa and wellness, fitness and the outdoor infinity pool await on the return.

The ship features 8 distinctive dining experiences including The Colonnade with menus by Michelin-starred Chef Thomas Keller. Seaborn Venture features 132 guest suites, with private furnished verandas and a personal suite stewardess. Seabourn Venture’s destinations include The Arctic, The Amazon and Antarctica.

We know you’ll agree, that’s an amazing lineup of new cruise ships in 2021. Which one is your favorite? Did you see any ship you are interested in sailing on? Let us know in the comments.

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