Under Full Sail
Global Traveler|November 2021
Cruise lines launch new ships and voyages to meet pent-up passenger demand.
J. D. BROWN AND MARGARET BACKENHEIMER

For 20 consecutive months, the world’s seas and waterways were nearly devoid of travelers, furloughed by viral winds, and the ships of major cruise lines remained anchored in a ghostly quarantine stretching around the globe. Only this summer has the maritime lockdown begun to loosen, ports reopen and regulations relax to the point where operators can set sail on a course toward normalcy. The restart has been rocky, however, and it would require a boatload of crystal balls to predict precisely when — and even if — cruise lines can resume full operations. Passengers are therefore advised to scrutinize a cruise line’s refund policies before taking the plunge.

Nevertheless, with a robust demand to return to sea, the pent-up desire to explore and vacation at sea unleashed a typhoon of bookings. If all holds tight, 2022 could be the most spectacular cruising year on record.

To match this rising tide of expectations, cruise lines are launching a host of new ships and calling on a variety of fresh destinations in 2022. The calendar of next year’s sailings is rife with bucket-list voyages and other bounty, reminding passengers of what they’ve been missing.

For example, 2022 coincides with Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 30th anniversary. All five of its all-inclusive ships will be back on the waters, beginning with a 16-night Miami-to-San Diego journey via the Panama Canal, departing Jan. 3, 2022. This is just the first of 17 brand-new cruises Regent has slated to welcome travelers back to cruising.

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