Come pull up a deck chair as we look toward all
the exciting voyages 2011 holds.
Photo © Aaron Saunders
With the last week of 2010 upon us, it’s time to start looking ahead to all the exciting voyages that are available in the coming year.
Recognizing that cruisers are looking for variety as well as value, many lines are expanding their fleet deployments to include more itineraries that are unique to the line, or altogether brand-new.  Longer cruises are also a big deal in 2011, and often represent a better per-day value than their week-long counterparts.  Lines are also looking to blaze trails in destinations they’ve never been to: Disney Cruise Line and Oceania will sail to Alaska for the first time next year, and Crystal Cruises returns after a five-year hiatus.  Carnival also makes a return of sorts, choosing to sail the brand-new Carnival Magic in the Mediterranean for the summer season before repositioning to the United States for the winter Caribbean season.
The brand-new Disney Dream will enter service next month.
Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line 
2011 could also be heralded as the year of the special offer: rather than slashing fares to unsustainable levels, many lines are opting to offer incentives instead.  Crystal Cruises, for example, routinely offers up to $1,000 per person onboard spending credits on select sailing.  From time to time, Norwegian Cruise Line runs special upgrade promotions that see cruisers paying ocean-view prices, but gaining balcony accommodations.  And upscale Silversea offers free round-trip airfare from a number of US and Canadian gateways on many of their sailings, as well as onboard credits on select voyages.  With the increasingly unpredictable costs of airfare, it’s hard to overlook the value of such an incentive.
 Oceania Marina, seen in this photo-illustration, will launch
at the end of January.
Photo-illustration courtesy of Oceania Cruises
Finally, 2011 will see the launch of several high-profile ships including Disney Dream, Oceania Marina, and Carnival Magic.  While Carnival Magic represents an evolution of 2009’s Carnival Dream, Disney Dream and Oceania Marina are long-awaited newbuilds for two highly successful lines.  In Disney’s case, Disney Dream is the first newbuild for the line in eleven years.  Marina is the first purpose-built newbuild for Oceania.  Together, they could be two of the biggest game-changers of the year – a fact that is certainly not lost on executives at other lines.
Over the next five days, we will take a look at five different lines to find out where they are headed in the new year, and what you should watch out for.  While each and every cruise line offers something special for the new year, we’ve selected these five because we feel they have something unique to offer cruisers of every style and budget, and aren’t always represented in the mainstream media as well as they should be.
From short trips to the Bahamas to month-long voyages that circumnavigate Australia, there’s bound to be something for everyone in 2011.
 2011 promises to be an excellent year for cruisers.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Happy Holidays!
From the Deck Chair
 

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