This year is set to be a bumper one for new cruise liners, many of them family-friendly. Among those embarking on their maiden voyages this season are Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas, which will be the world’s largest cruise liner. Onboard amenities for all ages will include three multi-level waterslides (one 10 storeys high), a waterpark, a carousel, a zipwire, two surfing Flowriders, a mini-golf course, a rock-climbing wall and even a Coney Island inspired ‘neighbourhood’ with a classic games arcade and a hot dog restaurant. There’s also a teen hangout and a Kids’ Avenue ‘boulevard’ with a creche, a crafts workshop, a science lab and a theatre space hosting hip hop dance classes and more.
Launching in May 2016, Harmony of the Seas will sail from Barcelona and Rome and visit Mediterranean ports including Palma in Mallorca, Florence and Naples. In autumn it will return to its homeport, Port Everglades in Florida, and sail week-long Caribbean cruises during winter 2016/17.
Other new liners for 2016 include the Carnival Vista, with a Skyride (aerial course in pedal-powered ‘go mobiles’), a high-ropes course and the world’s first IMAX screen at sea. Among other options are Holland America Line’s Konigsdam, which will feature the line’s first purposebuilt family staterooms, and the super-luxurious Regent Seven Seas Explorer with a lavish spa, paddle tennis and bocce courts, and large suites, all with balconies.
Read more about family cruise holidays.