Best New Cruise Ship (2021)


While the pandemic caused cruising to come to a halt in 2020, things are looking up for 2021. Cruise lines around the globe are preparing to launch a whole host of new ships sailing the world’s rivers and seas. Our readers are most excited about these 10 ships scheduled to debut in 2021. 

  • Mardi Gras

    Mardi Gras
    Carnival Cruise Line

    Carnival is celebrating its first ever ship, the 1972 TSS Mardi Gras, with an all new version packed with the line’s signature entertainment options. When Mardi Gras launches in 2021, it will feature six themed Zones with amenities like the first rollercoaster at sea, Emeril’s Bistro 1396, Family Feud Live and a jazz bar inspired by the sounds of New Orleans.
    Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

  • MSC Seashore

    MSC Seashore
    MSC Cruises

    Guests aboard MSC Seashore, scheduled to launch this summer, will feature more restaurants, shops, entertainment areas and staterooms than Seaside and Seaview. Guests will enjoy the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest in the fleet. MSC Seashore will sail the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.
    Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises

  • Enchanted Princess

    Enchanted Princess
    Princess Cruise Lines

    Completed in 2020, Enchanted Princess is set to launch this year, accommodating 3,560 passengers. The ship features a multi-story Piazza atrium, adults-only Sanctuary, a glass SeaWalk that extends from the top deck over the water and numerous dining options, including the all-new Salty Dog Gastropub. Some 80 percent of the ship’s cabins will have balconies.
    Photo courtesy of Princess Cruise Lines

  • American Melody

    American Melody
    American Cruise Lines

    Setting sail this summer, American Melody was purpose-built for to navigate the Mississippi River. Guests will enjoy panoramic views, spacious staterooms with private balconies, an onboard fitness center and yoga studio and a sun deck with a putting green.
    Photo courtesy of American Cruise Lines

  • Viking Venus

    Viking Venus
    Viking Ocean Cruises

    The 930-guest Viking Venus will feature the same design as the fleet’s other award-winning ships. Guests can expect a library stocked with curated books on exploration and maritime history, a sumptuous Nordic spa, several complimentary dining options and balconies in all staterooms.
    Photo courtesy of Viking Ocean Cruises

  • Costa Toscana

    Costa Toscana
    Costa Cruises

    The 6,600-passenger Costa Toscana will rank among the largest ships at sea when it sets sail in December 2021. The ship will be powered by liquified natural gas–one of the world’s cleanest fossil fuels–both in part and at sea. The ship will feature Italian art, sports facilities, a full-service spa and loads of entertainment options.
    Photo courtesy of Costa Cruises

  • Celebrity Apex

    Celebrity Apex
    Celebrity Cruises

    Celebrity Apex, the newest ship in the Celebrity Edge series, carries 2,910 passengers. The vessel includes a three-story Grand Plaza filled with restaurants and bars, Rooftop Garden, terraced pool deck with ocean views and The Magic Carpet, a cantilevered floating platform with a full bar and live music 13 stories above the sea.
    Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

  • Scarlet Lady

    Scarlet Lady
    Virgin Voyages

    Set to debut in May, Scarlet Lady will introduce a different style of cruising, with no set dining times, no dress code, no buffet and no kids–the line is strictly 18 and over. Fares will include all nine restaurants, basic drinks, unlimited wifi and group fitness classes. Some other unique offerings will include a Drag Show Brunch, Squid Ink (the first ever tattoo studio at sea), balconies with custom-designed hammocks and a spa that turns into a club after hours.
    Photo courtesy of Virgin Voyages

  • Rotterdam

    Holland America Line

    The new 2,668-guest Rotterdam will be the newest flagship in the Holland America Pinnacle-class fleet. Music will take a starring role with venues like the new Rolling Stone Rock Room, Lincoln Center Stage, BB King’s Blues Club and Billboard Onboard. Guests will also enjoy a choice of nine dining venues.
    Photo courtesy of Holland America Line

  • Odyssey of the Seas

    Odyssey of the Seas
    Royal Caribbean International

    A planned departure in April will introduce cruisers to Odyssey of the Seas, sailing from Rome and Fort Lauderdale. This Quantum Ultra Class ship, the first to sail in both the U.S. and Europe, will feature indoor skydiving, laser tag, FlowRider surf simulator, a reimagined pool deck with two resort-style pools, bumper cars and a multimedia theater.
    Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International


The top 10 winners in the category Best New Cruise Ship are as follows:

  1. Mardi Gras - Carnival Cruise Line
  2. MSC Seashore - MSC Cruises
  3. Enchanted Princess - Princess Cruise Lines
  4. American Melody - American Cruise Lines
  5. Viking Venus - Viking Ocean Cruises
  6. Costa Toscana - Costa Cruises
  7. Celebrity Apex - Celebrity Cruises
  8. Scarlet Lady - Virgin Voyages
  9. Rotterdam - Holland America Line
  10. Odyssey of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning cruise ships!

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AlertThe Experts

Don and Heidi Bucolo

Don and Heidi Bucolo

Don and Heidi Bucolo

Danielle Fear

Danielle Fear

Danielle Fear

Sherry Laskin

Sherry Laskin

Sherry Laskin

Jason Leppert

Jason Leppert

Jason Leppert

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