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Copyright © 1995-2003 
Linda Coffman


Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Dawn

Reflecting the "dawn" of Freestyle Cruising, NCL's Norwegian Dawn rounded out 2002's roster of new cruise ships

New Ships for 2003

by Linda Coffman

A Sea of Vessels for 2003

She wasn't supposed to be the first cruise ship to enter service in 2003, but Coral Princess experienced delivery delays that earned her that place in passenger shipping history. The first in a parade of new vessels riding the waves in 2003, the 88,000 ton, 1974 passenger Coral Princess set sail from Fort Lauderdale on January 3rd, bringing innovation and style to Princess Cruises' 2003 line up of ships.

Not all "launches" in 2003 are brand-new and the year will see the re-launch of four former Renaissance Cruises' R-ships as well as some ship-swapping between related cruise lines.

Brand New for 2003 are...

  • Coral Princess -- Princess Cruises, 1974 passengers, January 2003

  • Seven Seas Voyager -- Radisson, 700 passengers, April 2003

  • Island Princess -- Princess Cruises, 1974 passengers, May 2003

  • CostaMediterranea -- Costa Cruise Line, 2114 passengers, June 2003

  • Crystal Serenity -- Crystal Cruises, 1080 passengers, July 2003

  • Oosterdam -- Holland America Line, 1848 passengers, July 2003

  • Carnival Glory -- Carnival Cruise Line, 2974 passengers, July 2003

  • Serenade of the Seas -- Royal Caribbean, 2100 passengers, fall 2003

  • CostaFortuna -- Costa Cruise Line, 2720 passengers, late 2003

  • Mariner of the Seas -- Royal Caribbean, 3114 passengers, winter 2003

2003 Heralds Fleet Changes & A New Cruise Line

Oceana Cruises Regatta

A first look at Oceana Cruises' Regatta in her stylish new livery

Former Renaissance Cruise Line R-ship class vessels that will establish a new niche this year are the R8, which will return to service as Swan Hellenic's Minerva II in April 2003; the R3, which joins the Princess fleet in Alaska as the "new" Pacific Princess; and the R1 and R2, destined to be the flagships of brand-new Oceana Cruises, setting sail as the Regatta in July 2003 and Insignia in October 2003.

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that sister-line Orient Cruises' Crown Odyssey will transfer back to the NCL fleet in September 2003. In addition, Princess Cruises' Sea Princess will move to the P&O fleet to begin sailing as Adonia in May 2003 and Thompson Holidays of Great Britain will launch the former-Nieuw Amsterdam/Patriot as Thompson Spirit, also in May 2003.

Lesser known European lines are also gaining new tonnage. Mediterranean Shipping Cruises will launch their very first brand new ship, the 1600 passenger MSC Lirica in April 2003 and Norwegian Coastal Voyages (Bergen Line) will replace a smaller vessel with the 674 passenger Midnatsol the same month.

Which ship to pick for your next cruise? It's getting more and more difficult to choose... life's decisions should all be so pleasant!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who visited in 2002. Your feedback is gratifying! For 2003, we're delighted to announce that articles are featured in and newsletters.

Wishing calm seas, blue skies, and happy cruising to one and all! J

Photos Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line & Oceana Cruises

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