December 28, 2018
(4 p.m. EST) -- From expanded voyages to the Caribbean and the Panama Canal to active river cruising through Europe, there are plenty of itineraries to get excited about for summer 2020 and beyond. Right through to 2021, cruise lines are pulling out all the stops, crafting interesting and unique itineraries that explore more of the world's oceans than ever before.
A renewed focus on so-called "homeport" cruising means extra options for close-to-home destinations like Alaska and the Mexican Riviera, while Europhiles will find plenty to love about the Mediterranean and Northern Europe as cruise lines sail into the future.
Below is a sneak peek at the itineraries on offer, as well as some of the lines going there, so you can start planning your next at-sea adventure.
Princess Cruises won't be stopping its Caribbean program once spring has sprung. Instead, it will offer a complete program of year-round Caribbean voyages from April through July 2020 aboard Caribbean Princess.
Sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Caribbean Princess will offer alternating weeklong Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, with the option to combine both to create what Princess is calling its 14-night "Caribbean East/West Adventurer." Eastern Caribbean runs visit St. Thomas, St. Maarten and the line's private Bahamian island, Princess Cays, while Western Caribbean cruises call on Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize City and Cozumel. A 21-night "Circle Caribbean Adventurer" voyage also visits off-the-beaten-path southern ports, including Antigua, St. Kitts, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad, Curacao and Aruba.
Keeping with the expanded Caribbean theme, Norwegian Cruise Line is pulling out all the stops in the region as summer transitions into fall.
Repositioning from Asia to North America in 2019, 3,802-passenger Norwegian Joy will set sail on its first-ever cruises from Miami beginning October 24, 2020, running a mix of five- to seven-night Western and Eastern Caribbean itineraries. Western Caribbean cruises will include calls on Roatan, private Belizean island Harvest Caye, Costa Maya and Cozumel. Eastern Caribbean cruises will visit Puerto Plata, St. Thomas, Tortola and private island Great Stirrup Cay.
Norwegian will also base Norwegian Encore in Miami during winter 2020, with a mix of seven-night Western Caribbean cruises and exciting 12- and 13-night cruises to the Panama Canal. The latter will stop in Puerto Plata, Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba, Colombia's Cartagena and Santa Marta, Colon and Puerto Limon.
Norwegian Escape, meanwhile, will be based in Port Canaveral, sailing five- and seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. Sister ship Norwegian Breakaway will return to New Orleans November 22, 2020, to operate weeklong voyages to the Western Caribbean.
Both Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Gem will return to New York to sail seven- to 14-night Bahamas and Caribbean itineraries in winter 2020, while Norwegian Epic homeports in San Juan from December 2020 for a series of weeklong Southern Caribbean itineraries with visits to Curacao, Aruba, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Bonaire.
Norwegian Jade, meanwhile, will be based out of Tampa and operate a variety of Western and Southern Caribbean cruises from November 22, 2020, until April 11, 2021. Also operating a mix of Caribbean itineraries is Norwegian Pearl, which will sail Western and Southern Caribbean cruises along with Panama Canal itineraries that include a partial transit of the waterway. Shorter four- and five-night getaways will visit a variety of ports in the Caribbean and Bahamas.
Norwegian Cruise Line isn't excluding West Coast cruisers in 2020, either. Beginning in October of that year, Norwegian Bliss will operate a wide array of five- to seven-night voyages in the Mexican Riviera. Sailing roundtrip from Los Angeles, these cruises will include port stops in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Ensenada.
Additional stops in the Mexican Riviera will also be made on select 16-night Panama Canal cruises between Los Angeles and Miami.
Mexican Riviera Cruises
Norwegian Joy7 Night Mexican Riviera CruiseLos Angeles, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Los AngelesNow
Norwegian Bliss7 Night Mexican Riviera CruiseLos Angeles, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, Los AngelesNow
Norwegian Joy5 Night Mexican Riviera CruiseLos Angeles, Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada, Los AngelesNow
In 2020, Norwegian Cruise Line's newly renovated Norwegian Jewel will offer itineraries between Australia and New Zealand. Beginning October 9, 2020, these voyages will visit iconic destinations, such as Milford Sound, Doubtful Fjord, Dusky Fjord, Dunedin, Picton, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, Bay of Islands and the popular city of Auckland.
Norwegian Jewel10 Night Australia CruiseSydney , Dusky Sound, Dunedin, Akaroa, Picton, Napier, Tauranga, AucklandNow
Norwegian Jewel10 Night Australia CruiseAuckland, Tauranga, Napier, Picton, Akaroa, Dunedin, Dusky Sound, SydneyNow
Norwegian Jewel21 Night Australia CruiseSydney , Brisbane, Noumea, Isle of Pines , Isle of Pines , Mystery Island, Lautoka, Dravuni Island, Pago Pago, Bora Bora, Bora Bora, Raiatea, Moorea, Tahiti , TahitiNow
Norwegian Cruise Line will deploy 2,348-passenger Norwegian Star on 14-night itineraries sailing between Montevideo and Puerto Montt, stopping at Punta Del Este, Puerto Madryn, the Falkland Islands, Ushuaia, Punta Arenas, and Puerto Chacabuco.
South America Cruises
Norwegian Star15 Night South America CruiseMiami, Santa Marta, Cartagena , LimaNow
Norwegian Star14 Night South America CruisePuerto Montt, Punta Arenas, Ushuaia , Stanley, Montevideo, Buenos AiresNow
Norwegian Star15 Night South America CruiseLima, Puerto Limon, Great Stirrup Cay, Port CanaveralNow
Europe River Cruising
River cruising doesn't have to be a sedentary experience: AmaWaterways has upped its partnership with outdoor company Backroads to offer more than 120 active river cruises in 2019 and 2020. These sailings along the Danube, Rhine, Seine and Douro rivers will give passengers the chance to cycle through some of the most beautiful cities and towns in Europe. A handful of itineraries will be offered on AmaWaterways' new extra-wide ship, AmaMagna, which makes its debut in spring 2019.
Europe River Cruises
AmaMagna7 night Romantic DanubeVilshofen an der Donau, Vilshofen an der Donau, Linz , Vienna, Budapest, BudapestNow
AmaMagna7 night Gems of Southeast EuropeBudapestNow
AmaMagna7 night Christmas Markets on the DanubeVilshofen an der Donau, Vilshofen an der Donau, Linz , Vienna, Budapest, BudapestNow
Luxury line Regent Seven Seas Cruises' second Explorer-class ship, Seven Seas Splendor, will debut in fall 2020 with a series of cruises throughout the Mediterranean, and Northern and Western Europe. Cruisers can choose from a variety of departure cities, including Venice, Rome, Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Athens, Istanbul and Southampton, taking advantage of the line's pre-cruise stay package, among other fare inclusions. The ship's inaugural season in Europe concludes November 13, 2020, with "The Perfect Sojourn," a transatlantic crossing between Barcelona and Miami.
Another new ship, Celebrity Cruises' Apex, will visit the Mediterranean during its maiden season in Europe. The ship will spend most of summer 2020 sailing seven- to 12-night Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona and Rome. Port highlights, depending on the itinerary, include Naples, Florence, Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo, Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza and Valencia. Select cruises also will stop in Lisbon and Valletta.
The year 2020 will mark Holland America's return to Turkey after the line became one of many to axe visits to the country in July 2016 in the wake of a military coup attempt. (Royal Caribbean and Viking Ocean Cruises are among other lines that have revealed they are also returning to Turkey.) Nieuw Amsterdam will spend a full season in the Mediterranean, offering 12-night cruises to Greece, Turkey and Italy roundtrip from Venice, or between Venice and Barcelona or Rome. The ship also will sail 12-night "Adriatic Dream" and "Greek Odyssey" itineraries between Venice and Rome.
Meanwhile, Carnival revealed it would return to Europe in 2020 with a series of Mediterranean cruises on Carnival Radiance (currently sailing as Carnival Victory); Carnival Legend also will offer select 12-night cruises between Venice and Barcelona, with stops in Marseilles, Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Rome, Naples, Kotor, Corfu, Valletta Dubrovnik and Rijeka.
Seven Seas Splendor7 Night Mediterranean - Western CruiseRome , Florence , Saint-Tropez, Monaco , Marseille, Palamos, Palma de Mallorca , BarcelonaNow
Seven Seas Splendor12 Night Mediterranean - Eastern CruiseVenice, Zadar, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Argostoli , Taormina , Positano , Rome , Portofino, Monaco , Marseille, BarcelonaNow
Seven Seas Splendor10 Night Mediterranean - Eastern CruiseRome , Sorrento, Taormina , Malta , Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, AthensNow
Canada & New England
For the fall 2020 cruise season, Princess Cruises is offering a total of 16 departures on five Canada & New England itineraries that range in length from five to 16 nights.
The crown jewel of these itineraries is the 16-night "Greenland & Canada" cruise that departs August 17, 2020, aboard Caribbean Princess. Sailing roundtrip from New York, this unique voyage traverses the Canadian Maritimes before leaving room to explore Greenland -- no transatlantic flying required. Calls on Nuuk, Nanortalik and Qaqortoq, Greenland, are supplemented by stops along the way in the Canadian ports of Halifax and Sydney, as well as St. John's.
Caribbean Princess will also offer 10-night "Classic Canada & New England" voyages between August and October 2020, sailing one-way between New York and Quebec City (or reverse). These will visit Newport and Boston, plus Saint John, New Brunswick (home of the Bay of Fundy), Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, Saguenay and Quebec City.
Meanwhile, Sky Princess will sail weeklong Canada & New England cruises from New York in 2020, with stops in Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John and Halifax. A special five-night "Canadian Provinces Atlantic Getaway" itinerary also will be offered; it will depart on October 31 and visit Halifax and Saint John.
Canada & New England Cruises
Regal Princess5 Night Canada CruiseNew York , Halifax, Saint John , New YorkNow
Caribbean Princess10 Night Canada / New England CruiseNew York , Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John , Halifax, Sydney , Charlottetown , Quebec City, Quebec CityNow
Regal Princess7 Night Canada / New England CruiseNew York , Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John , Halifax, New YorkNow
Despite its temperate weather conditions, Alaska is shaping up to be among the hottest cruise destinations in 2020, with an increasing number of options for ship, departure port, itinerary and ports of call.
Princess Cruises will sail 11 cruise-only itineraries and 25 cruisetour options in Alaska and British Columbia in 2020. Golden Princess will debut a full season of 14-night Inside Passage itineraries roundtrip from Los Angeles with a visit to Hubbard Glacier.
Royal Princess, Grand Princess, Coral Princess and Pacific Princess will be based in Vancouver and offer one-way "Voyage of the Glaciers" itineraries between the cosmopolitan city and Whittier. Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess will be based in Seattle, operating roundtrip Inside Passage voyages. Star Princess will be based in San Francisco, featuring 10-day roundtrip Inside Passage voyages from California.
New for 2020 is Princess Cruises' 17-night "Ultimate Cruisetour," which combines a weeklong cruise with 10 nights on land and two nights apiece at each Princess Wilderness Lodge in Alaska.
Cunard also will return to Alaska in 2020 after a multi-year hiatus. Learn more about its new itineraries.
Additionally, Carnival will sail from San Francisco for the first time ever in 2020, with a summer season in Alaska. See the dates and details, as well as other destinations the line will offer from the northern California port.
Ruby Princess7 Night Alaska CruiseSeattle, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Victoria, SeattleNow
Royal Princess7 Night Alaska CruiseWhittier, Glacier Bay, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, VancouverNow
Emerald Princess7 Night Alaska CruiseSeattle, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Victoria, SeattleNow