The Best New Cruise Ships of 2023 (2024)

For the first time, we’re spotlighting new cruise ships on Travel + Leisure’s It List, as these exceptional vessels become more and more like floating resorts — celebrity chefs, crystal chandeliers, and Rolex boutiques included.

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Explora Journeys’ Explora I

It’s not every day a new cruise line arrives. The debut of the remarkable Explora I was a moment years in the making for Explora Journeys, the upstart luxury operator that aims to bring a European sensibility to the world of vacations at sea. So far, the project is a smashing success, thanks to the ship’s low-key vibe, standout food and beverage, and intriguing itineraries that visit in-demand ports in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean. My own August 2023 trip on Explora I, from Copenhagen to Hamburg, Germany, included fulfilling visits to places such as Oslo and the town of Stavanger, Norway, a gateway to adventurous hiking with a postcard-perfect Old Town. The ship itself was also a destination, with its abundance of outdoor space — including an alfresco fitness center — and pools at seemingly every turn. The 461 suites, all of them with balconies, are filled with luxurious touches such as Frette linens and robes, heated marble floors, and Dyson hair dryers. But Explora I truly shines when it comes to food: During the week I was aboard, it was impossible to find a bad meal — and I was often astonished at the quality of, in particular, the pasta served in the Emporium Marketplace and the sushi on offer at Sakura, two of the nine restaurants aboard. The most ambitious of them all is Anthology, a rotating-chef concept that has seen a residency from seafood whiz Mario Ulaissi, known for his Michelin three-starred restaurant on Italy's Adriatic coast, and that recently welcomed Emma Bengtsson, from Aquavit, in New York City. Much has been made of Explora I’s Rolex boutique — the first on any cruise ship — but for my money, the other shops on board were more interesting: The company has tapped family-owned businesses around the world to create capsule collections of resort wear, handbags, fragrances, sunglasses, and beautiful gifts that can’t be found elsewhere. From $2,050 per person for a six-day sailing. Accessible ship. Paul Brady

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Oceania Cruises’ Vista

The new Oceania Vista is in a class of its own; no really, it’s the first in Oceania Cruises’ new Allura class. Of its 11 bars and restaurants, three are entirely new to the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings–owned brand — including a high-end co*cktail spot called Founders’ Bar, serving 26 intricate drinks that use house-made syrups and top-shelf booze like Whistle Pig and parsley-infused Grey Goose. As Oceania levels up, the cruise line has produced a ship that feels more like a floating resort than the vessels that came before. There’s pickleball; a health-conscious restaurant, Aquamar, serving made-to-order salads and pressed juices; and a coffee shop that looks like one in walking distance of my home in L.A. (marble counters, gold accents, leather bar stools) and pulls an espresso shot of similar quality. Vista has more suites than others in the Oceania fleet, too: There are 14 Oceania Suites (up to 1,200 square feet); eight Vista Suites (up to 1,850 square feet); and three Owner’s Suites with Ralph Lauren Home decor and two massive terraces (2,400 square feet). But the most hotel-like touch? A celebrity chef–driven restaurant, Toscana, where Giada De Laurentiis — the ship’s godmother — supplied two recipes for the menu. As someone who watched a lot of Everyday Italian in the early aughts, I was particularly excited to try her signature, Capri-inspired lemon spaghetti, and lemon-cream sauce with grilled shrimp and capers didn’t disappoint. From $2,499 per person for a seven-night sailing. Accessible ship. Maya Kachroo-Levine

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Grandeur

The Best New Cruise Ships of 2023 (3)

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ sixth ship, the Seven Seas Grandeur, sailed its inaugural season in December, joining sibling ships Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor as the newest member of the luxury fleet. The cruise line is a favorite among T+L readers for its gorgeous ships and all-inclusive pricing that covers unlimited shore excursions, dining at specialty restaurants, and even round-trip airfare. Grandeur lives up to its name thanks to stunning, art-filled spaces designed by cruise ship interior experts Studio Dado: signature restaurant Compass Rose is enchanting with interiors inspired by a fairy-tale forest; the Observation Lounge sparkles with an undulating chandelier and swanky bar; and the $11,000-per-night Regent Suite has a private en suite spa and custom Treesse mini pool. As I boarded Grandeur for the ship’s inaugural sailing, I was mesmerized by the grand staircase and glittering chandelier. And with a maximum capacity of 744 guests, I found it easy to take time to myself in the myriad of quiet spots tucked throughout the ship, whether in the Serene Spa and Wellness area, in the Library, or on the Sports Deck overlooking the ocean. Seven restaurants include specialty steakhouse Prime 7, pan-Asian restaurant Pacific Rim, and breakfast and lunch buffet La Veranda, which refines the cruise buffet experience with daily specials like paella and sushi. Several bars and lounges, a pool and hot tubs, a casino, Broadway-style productions, and cooking classes at the Culinary Arts Kitchen make the ship a destination in itself, though guests will want to take advantage of those included excursions on Caribbean, Central American, North American, and European itineraries, ranging from seven to 16 nights, during the ship’s 2024 season. From $4,669 per person for a seven-night sailing. Accessible ship. Elizabeth Rhodes

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Silversea’s Silver Nova

The Best New Cruise Ships of 2023 (4)

Carrying 728 passengers, Silver Nova is big for the luxury sector, but boasts a hugely important metric: a capacious passenger space ratio — that is, the number of guests relative to the size of the ship. Simply put, this ship offers more elbow room per passenger than almost any other cruise vessel. Silver Nova is wrapped in glass, with an asymmetrical layout; the funnel is positioned off-center, so is the pool, offering an expansive, uncluttered pool deck. Many features of the brand-new ship recall previous Silversea successes, my favorite of which is the S.A.L.T. (Sea And Land Taste) program, expanded for Silver Nova. S.A.L.T. perks include a gorgeous, sea-facing lab for hands-on culinary lessons (at no additional cost), plus a new concept, the Chef’s Table, where an 11-course menu is prepared for just 24 diners. All facets of the S.A.L.T. ecosystem, including ingredients, a bar, lectures, and shore excursions, are keyed to the region Nova is sailing. While food is a drawing card for Silver Nova, accommodations also received a revamp. Tied to the theme of bringing the outside in, there are brilliant new suites found in the aft starboard corner of the ship, with wraparound balconies revealing a 270-degree view. This is where you can tuck me in when I win the lottery and head off on a world cruise. But until then, Silver Nova will summer in Alaska and spend northern hemisphere winters in Australia and New Zealand, places where top-deck views should prove ceaselessly rewarding. From $3,250 per person for a seven-night sailing. Accessible ship. David Swanson

The Best New Cruise Ships of 2023 (2024)


What is the nicest cruise ship 2023? ›

  • Best New Ship: Virgin Voyages' Resilient Lady. Best Ship Refurbishment: Carnival Venezia. ...
  • Best Luxury Cruise Line: Silversea Cruises. Best New Luxury Ship: Silversea Cruises' Silver Nova. ...
  • Best New Luxury Ship: Scenic Eclipse II. Best for Adventure: Quark Expeditions. ...
  • Best River Cruise Line: Viking.
Dec 6, 2023

What is the newest cruise ship in 2023? ›

Six-star cruise line Regent Seven Seas debuted their newest ship, Seven Seas Grandeur in November 2023.

What is the most luxurious cruise ship in the world 2023? ›

With the November 2023 launch of Seven Seas Grandeur, Regent completed its trio of vessels dubbed 'the world's most luxurious ships'.

What is the nicest cruise ship today? ›

  • #1. Celebrity Edge. Celebrity Cruises. ...
  • #1. Celebrity Beyond. Celebrity Cruises. ...
  • #3. Rotterdam. Holland America Line. ...
  • #3. Viking Venus. Viking Ocean Cruises. ...
  • #5. Celebrity Apex. Celebrity Cruises. ...
  • #5. Seven Seas Splendor. Regent Seven Seas Cruises. ...
  • #5. Viking Saturn. Viking Ocean Cruises. ...
  • #8. Viking Sky. Viking Ocean Cruises.

What is the #1 rated cruise line? ›

The best cruise lines in 2023. Norwegian Cruise Line ranked as the best cruise line in the world, according to Condé Nast Traveler.

Which cruise line is the best quality? ›

With more than 140 years of sailing unforgettable journeys with its passengers, Holland America Cruise Line offers the highest quality of service and some of the best cruises for adults aboard its 11-ship fleet.

What is the most luxurious cruise line? ›

  • #1. Viking Ocean Cruises. #1 in Best Luxury Cruise Lines. ...
  • #2. Seabourn Cruise Line. #2 in Best Luxury Cruise Lines. ...
  • #3. Regent Seven Seas Cruises. #3 in Best Luxury Cruise Lines. ...
  • #4. Oceania Cruises. #4 in Best Luxury Cruise Lines. ...
  • #5. Silversea Cruises. #5 in Best Luxury Cruise Lines. ...
  • #6. Azamara. #6 in Best Luxury Cruise Lines.

Is 2023 a good year to cruise? ›

It's safe to assume that 2023 will be another huge year for cruising - especially as people look to make those big bucket-list trips that have been up in the air the last few years. What is this? Taking advantage of great sales during wave season is the perfect way to kick off 2023.

What is the newest Royal Caribbean ship in 2023? ›

Nov. 22, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. Royal Caribbean's highly anticipated Icon of the Seas is set to debut in 2024. The world's biggest and most ambitious cruise lines never stop building out their fleet of ships, and Royal Caribbean International is no exception.

What is the best cruise line for adults? ›

Adults-only Cruise Lines
  • Viking. Courtesy of Viking Cruises. ...
  • Saga Cruises. Stuart C. ...
  • Explora Journeys. Courtesy of Explora Cruises. ...
  • Silversea Cruises. Courtesy of Silver Sea Cruises. ...
  • Windstar Cruises. Courtesy of Windstar. ...
  • Seabourn. Courtesy of Seabourn Venture Cruises. ...
  • Ponant. Olivier Blaud. ...
  • Regent Seven Seas.
Jan 24, 2024

What is the best luxury small ship cruise line? ›

For the ultimate luxury small ship cruising experience, Silversea, Seabourn, Explora Journeys, and Seadream have options around the world for you. If yacht-style cruising is for you; look no further than the super yachts of Emerald Cruises or Scenic Ocean Cruises!

Which cruise ship is the newest? ›

After being delivered to Royal Caribbean International in late 2023, the new Icon of the Seas is set to enter service on January 27, 2024. Set to spend its inaugural season in the Caribbean, the 250,800-ton vessel will take over the title of biggest cruise ship in the world from its fleet mate Wonder of the Seas.

What Cruise Line has the least problems? ›

The 15 cruise ships with perfect scores of 100
Cruise shipCruise lineScore
Norwegian PearlNorwegian Cruise Lines100
Oceania RivieraOceania Cruises100
RotterdamHolland America Line100
Silver MoonSilversea Cruises Ltd100
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Jul 9, 2023

Is Royal Caribbean or Carnival better? ›

Assuming both cruise lines can fit your date, destination and amenity preferences, Royal Caribbean comes out ahead. This is particularly true if your budget can accommodate the higher cost for interior cabins and/or you aren't traveling with kids.

What is the number 1 cruise ship wonder of the seas? ›

In service
RankShip nameCruise line
1Icon of the SeasRoyal Caribbean International
2Wonder of the Seas
3Symphony of the Seas
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Are Royal Caribbean cruises fancy? ›

When it comes to luxury cruises, nobody does lavish like Royal Caribbean. Unforgettable adventures call for an unforgettable oasis where you can rest and recharge in between thrills.

What is the ship of the year 2023 Royal Caribbean? ›

RC Ship of the Year, 2023: Vision of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International - Cruise Critic Community.


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