2009 - The year of the cruise liner
Thursday 31 December 2009
This year has seen the launches of several new ocean-going passenger ships, defying the weakened economic climate with new levels of luxury such as an on-board circus, a 4D cinema and an "aquatheater."
Maiden Voyage - May 5
The 1,130 cabin Luminosa, owned by Costa Cruises, set sail across Northern Europe during summer, toured the Canary Islands, Spain and Morocco in the fall and is currently heading for the Middle East. The Luminosa has a capacity of 2,260 passengers and includes a "4D cinema" that uses scent as well as sound and vision.
Maiden Voyage - June 24
Yachts of Seabourn is an ultra-luxury cruise company that has a fleet of high-end vessels and specializes in visiting smaller destinations that are unreachable by large liners. The Seabourn Odyssey is the line's largest ship carrying up to 450 passengers. The liner offers an 11,400-square-foot (1,059 square meter) spa and mini golf course. Odyssey cruised the Mediterranean over summer and fall, ahead of a round-the-world tour in 2010.
Maiden Voyage - July 31
This ship sailed the Mediterranean through October before heading to the Caribbean. Part of Celebrity's new Solstice Class, the Equinox holds 2,850 passengers. Among its highlights are a Lawn Club deck with real grass and glass-blowing demonstrations.
Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas
Maiden Voyage - December 1
The world's biggest and most expensive cruise ship made its four-night maiden voyage from Fort Lauderdale to Labadee, Haiti in early December. The 16-deck ship can accommodate up to 6,360 passengers and offers amenities such as rock-climbing, surfing and zip-lining. The €900 million ($1.32 bn) extravaganza also features a wooded Central Park and an "Aquatheater" that doubles as a swimming pool by day, whilst hosting acrobatics, synchronized swimming, water ballet and fountain shows by night.
Maiden Voyage - December 13
P&O launched the Pacific Jewel with a glittering ceremony in Sydney, showcasing the vessel's on-board circus, three storey atrium foyer and a 13,993-square-foot (1,300 square meter) spa, the largest in Australasia. Pacific Jewel will operate year-round cruises from Sydney carrying 1,950 passengers.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Dramatic GoPro video shows backpacker Alexander Hennessy warding off armed robber in Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Best Place To Be Today shows 365 of the world's most amazing places - and the perfect time to visit them
Watch a man race the Circle line - and win
The 10 Best hiking boots
Pakistani passenger power forces two politicians off plane
- 2 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 3 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 4 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
£18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...
Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...
£20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...
£15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...