If ever there should be an official Year of the Cruise, it would be 2022. It’s an absolute no-brainer.
Having spent much of the past year cooped up in various ways, we are all in extremely urgent need of a memorable holiday. And, as we all know, the best of the best in holiday terms is a cruise. There is simply nothing like it
As we never tire of remarking, the choice and variety of ships on offer is absolutely extraordinary, and, despite all the vagaries of the past 12 months, that hasn’t changed. In fact, the prospect of a new year offers more possibilities than ever before.
Not only will we see the latest crop of vessels taking to the waters of the world – both at sea and along the inland waterways – but there will also be original cruise lines, destinations and completely novel ways to enjoy the maritime experience.
In fact, with many lines offering some extremely tempting early booking incentives, we’d go as far as to say there has never been a better time to consider your next (or first) cruise. Hardly a day goes by without an offer dropping into our Inbox and laying out another magnificent enticement to set sail to tantalising horizons far and wide.
Because it’s not just us who have been cooped up like the most hesitant of chickens since the pandemic first caught us off guard. Virtually every ship in the known cruisi-verse has been equally stricken, confined to nautical barracks in the most ignominious of places.
Now, though, they are all ready to burst out and renew their seafaring love affairs, from Alaska to Zanzibar and the North Atlantic to the South Pacific.
With that in mind, we thought it would be handy to identify 10 prime reasons why 2022 should be YOUR call to return to the great cruise cosmos:
10. New ships ahoy!
Next year will see quite a few contenders for Best New Ship of the Year. In fact, with the dozen or so that were either delayed from 2020 or are still due to make their debut later this year, 2022 will see no fewer than 24 of the latest vessels that will all be vying for attention, from Royal Caribbean to Carnival Cruises, and Disney Cruise Line to Cunard.
9. A whole new world.
Yes, world cruises will be very much in focus next year, with fully 11 different global itineraries to take your fancy, including from Cunard, Holland America Line, Silversea and Viking Cruises. Oceania Cruises may take the nautical biscuit, though, with their epic ‘Around the World in 180 days’ voyage on Insignia, departing Los Angeles on January 6.
8. Safer than ever.
Cruising has been under the media microscope like never before thanks to the pandemic, and many lessons have been learned. With that in mind, the cruise lines have implemented an extensive array of extra health and safety practices and procedures that should ensure there is nowhere safer on holiday, including extensive sanitization measures, enhanced protocols, and state-of-the-art ventilation and filtration systems.
7. New cruise lines.
While the ‘annus horribilis’ that was 2020 put paid to the advent of Virgin Voyages, we can certainly look forward to seeing not just the Scarlet Lady in action in the months to come, but also other cruise companies, too. The Ritz-Carlton Cruise Collection will make their long-awaited debut, with their 298-passenger Evrima, while Florida-based Atlas Ocean Voyages and Tradewind Voyages will both offer completely novel operations.
6. Tradewind Voyages.
We are especially excited by the imminent arrival of this exciting brand, which promises to feature truly iconic cruising on their innovative square-rigged sailing ship – the largest of its kind – from this summer. The magnificent 272-guest Golden Horizon will start in the tried and trusted waters of the Mediterranean, but then branch out in 2022 to include Australia, plus the South Pacific and Indian oceans.
5. Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection
Did we mention Ritz-Carlton? While their keenly-anticipated debut has so far been one of several false starts, we remain convinced this start-up company will definitely wow us when their super-chic newcomer finally takes her bow. Featuring all the fine, upscale hallmarks of the hotel brand, Evrima will also offer a genuine all-inclusive style, notably dining options that should rival anything at sea.
4. A new Dawn for Silversea.
Staying on the subject of the latest ships, ultra-luxe Silversea will welcome the third in their superbly outfitted Muse-class of vessels when Silver Dawn arrives fresh from the Italian master craftsmen of Fincantieri in Ancona, Italy. We have already waxed lyrical about Silver Muse on numerous occasions, and we believe the latest example of this true paragon will be an ideal reason to cruise in 2022.
3. No more buffets.
Okay, this may just be us (although we don’t think so!), but we have never been fans of the traditional ship’s buffet. This has often seemed like an infection waiting to happen, and the virus may well have done us all a favour in this instance, but the hands-on, help-yourself buffet alternative should most assuredly be a thing of the past.
2. Round-Britain cruising.
The sudden move to base numerous ships in the British isles and offer cruises to multiple British ports this summer should underline the excellent quality and appeal of sailing around our coastal waters. Look for these to continue in 2022 and provide even more value for people who prefer not to fly.
1. It’s bargain time!
After the last 12 months, we have endured, we certainly don’t need any second urging to walk across the gangway and onto any kind of ship. The lure of an ocean voyage has never been higher, but, with so many lines offering significant discounts to entice advance bookers, there are some truly outstanding deals to be had. And, with The Cruise Line, you know you are always getting the best of those cruise deals, so it makes sense to be thinking 2022 this month – and booking your ideal trip now.
And the only ‘lockdown’ we want to hear about is that the lock on the stateroom door is down, and the Do Not Disturb sign is hanging on the handle.
Sweet travel dreams, folks…!
By Simon and Susan Veness.
What is your ideal prospect for a cruise in 2022? Give us your thoughts in the Comments section below.