By: Sarah Phillips
As 2013 starts the embarkation process and begins to set sail, here’s a look back at the top 5 cruise stories from 2012.
1. The biggest, most unexpected and ultimately saddest cruise story of 2012 is the sinking of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy. On January 13, the Costa Concordia deviated from her planned route, sailing too close to the island of Giglio striking a submerged reef. The collision tore a huge gash in the ship’s hull, crippling her and bringing a devastating end to dinner aboard the liner. The largest passenger ship to ever sink, thirty passengers perished, 2 are missing (and presumed dead) and 64 were injured during the difficult evacuations. The ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, is facing criminal charges of manslaughter, causing a ship wreck and other violations of Italian Navigational laws. The removal process of Costa Concordia is a maritime marvel and will span into mid-2013, costing an estimated $400 million.
2. The cruise story that’s long on longships and record breaking belongs to Viking River Cruises. As both the original holder and subsequent record breaker, Viking River Cruises became the first line in modern history to christen four ships on the same day. Done simultaneously on March 21, the line christened Viking Longship Odin and Viking Longhip Idun in Amsterdam and via satellite from Germany, the Viking Longship Njord and Viking Longship Freya.
3. No need to set the 5 AM alarm to get a deck chair on sea days. Carnival launched a new plan on the Carnival Breeze to keep those chair hogs at bay. When a guest leaves a deck chair, a sticker is placed on the chair with the current time. After 45 minutes, if the guest hasn’t returned, all of their items are gathered and stored at the towel station, leaving deck chairs free for everyone to enjoy.
4. The most transforming cruise story of 2012 was destiny. The Carnival Destiny that is. In March, Carnival announced plans for a dramatic 49 day, $155 million dollar refit to transform the Carnival Destiny (former record holder of the world’s largest cruise ship) into the Carnival Sunshine. In addition to all the Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades, the Carnival Sunshine will also sport a 3 story Serenity Deck and a redesigned Camp Carnival. After summering in Europe, she’ll make her new home in New Orleans.
5. Mazel Tov to the Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas! In the expansion cruise story of the year, Royal Caribbean announced a new sister ship for the Oasis-class, due to launch in 2016. Not content with just one new ship, the line also exercised the option to build a second Sunshine-class vessel in early 2012. With details being kept under wraps, the two ships are currently under construction in Germany, with deliveries expected in 2014 and 2015.
Even with only a few new ships on the horizon in 2013, we’ve still got plenty more cruising excitement in store for the year!
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