Meet The New Cruise Brands Entering Service in 2023

In another big year for start up brands, at least five new cruise lines are set to launch service in 2023. With newbuilds and also secondhand vessels, the companies are set to offer different products, including luxury cruises, expedition voyages and more.

Explora Journeys
First ship: Explora I
Built: 2023
Capacity: 922 guests
Inaugural Cruise: July 17, 2023
Maiden Voyage Region: Northern Europe

After years of anticipation, Explora Journeys is making its debut in July. Marking MSC’s entry into the luxury market, the new brand is set to offer what it calls the “ocean state of mind.”

Adora Cruises
First ship: Unnamed Vista-Class Newbuild
Built: 2023
Capacity: 5,000 guests
Inaugural Cruise: TBA
Maiden Voyage Region: East Asia

Result of a joint venture between Carnival Corporation and China State Shipbuilding Corporation, Adora Cruises is the newest homegrown Chinese cruise brand.

Set to launch service later in the year, the startup cruise line has two newbuilds under construction in China and also acquired two former Costa Cruises vessels. Combining an international vision with local tastes, Adora plans to create the ideal cruise experience for Chinese guests, with year-round cruises departing from multiple homeports throughout China.

First ship: Renaissance
Built: 1993
Capacity: 1,258 guests
Inaugural Cruise: May 14, 2023
Maiden Voyage Region: Northern Europe

After acquiring Holland America’s former Maasdam in 2022, CFC aims to fill a gap in the French market by developing a customized premium product.

With all guest-facing staff fluent in French, the new cruise line intends to offer “a quality product” that focus on the country’s identity and needs. Sailing from two different homeports in France, the Renaissance will debut in May, with a program of longer roundtrip cruises that visit destinations in Northern Europe, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

First ship: Exploris One

Built: 1989
Capacity: 132 guests
Inaugural Cruise: December 23, 2023
Maiden Voyage Region: Antarctica

With Philippe Videau, one of Ponant’s founders, serving as the company’s president, Exploris aims to operate a fleet of small expedition vessels for the French market.

Acquired from Silversea Cruises, the brand’s first vessel is set to enter service in December, offering exploration French-speaking exploration cruises in South America and Antarctica. Renamed Exploris One, the former Silver Explorer is also set to sail in the Amazon, the Atlantic Islands, Western Europe and the Arctic during its inaugural season, which includes 30 departures and 26 unique itineraries.

Crystal Cruises
First ships: Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity
Built: 1995 and 2003
Capacity: 606 and 740 guests
Inaugural Cruise: July 31, 2023
Maiden Voyage Region: Mediterranean

After being acquired by the A&K Travel Group in 2022, the Crystal Cruises brand name is returning later this year under a new management. Using two of Crystal’s former oceangoing vessels, the Crystal Serenity and the Crystal Symphony, the new luxury operator plans to launch service in July.

Cruise Industry News