Major cruise lines are already planning for 2022 and beyond. They’re developing new ways to bring passengers onboard, keep them entertained, and ensure that no matter what the weather is like at their destination, they can still have a great time. Here’s a look at 7 trends you’ll see in 2022 if these major changes come to pass.

The “cruise trends 2021” is a list of 7 cruise trends that will be seen in 2022.

7 Cruise Trends You'll See in 2022

Over the last several years, a lot has happened in the cruise business, both connected to the global epidemic and its direct influence on cruising, and wholly unrelated.

We’re seeing a variety of cruising trends, with several themes standing out in particular on the profusion of new ships being constructed for cruise lines all around the globe.

We’ve broken out what we think are the top seven cruise trends for 2022.

1. Touchless, digitized experiences

Carnival Horizon Return Trip Report

If we were to summarize the whole essay in just one point, this would most certainly be it. Pre-pandemic, cruise lines were already using things like wearable technology to pay for goods or access cabin doors, utilizing their smartphone applications to check out the day’s agenda and make bookings, and checking in for the cruise ahead of time to speed up the boarding procedure.

However, when the whole industry shut down in 2020 and health became a top priority for people throughout the world, cruise lines’ digital experiences became more vital than ever.

We’re seeing virtually entirely digital muster drills (more on that below), live online conversations with guest services, and QR codes in restaurants instead of printed menus – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Whether you like it or not, digital integration will be a part of sailing in 2022, and cellphones will be a big part of it.

2. Processes at Muster Stations That Are Easier

muster drill celebrity millennium trip report susan young

Gone are the days of waiting for every single cruise passenger to arrive at their muster station while standing on the scorching lifeboat deck, ready to pass out in the blazing sun.

This is one among the things that many cruisers are hailing as a positive result of COVID-19. The muster exercise is required, and with tightened restrictions following the sinking of the Costa Concordia, the drill must now be completed before the ship is permitted to leave the port.

The procedure is now considerably easier, but it varies per cruise company. The premise, though, remains the same.

You may watch a life jacket presentation from your smartphone or cabin television instead of having to attend one with hundreds of other passengers. After seeing the exercise, scan your keycard to check-in at your chosen muster station, and you’re off! 

3. Expedition Cruising in Luxury

seabourn venture aft exterior rendering

Seabourn Venture is a luxury cruise line (Rendering courtesy of Seabourn)

To be honest, this isn’t a fad that sprung up out of nowhere, and it has been rising in popularity since before 2021. However, 2022 might be the most important year in the history of luxury adventure cruising.

Viking, which is best known for its river trips and, more recently, small ocean ships, is expanding its cruising portfolio with the debut of two expedition ships in 2022.

Atlas Ocean Voyages, a newly renamed firm, will also launch the first two of five small exploration boats next year. Seabourn is also entering the adventure market with the introduction of Seabourn Venture in April, and one of the cofounders of French luxury line Ponant is establishing Exploris, a new expedition line.

These premium adventure ships join Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Endeavor, which will debut in 2021 and will be the brand’s first expedition vessel. (Note: Since of mid-January 2022, Crystal’s future is questionable, as its parent company, Genting Hong Kong, has filed for bankruptcy owing to a lack of cash.)

4. Swimming Pools With No End

garden pool msc divina

MSC Divina’s Garden infinity pool (Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises)

The Garden Pools on the MSC Divina and Preziosa debuted in 2012 and 2013, respectively, and were the first infinity pools on a cruise ship.

When Viking introduced an aft infinity pool on its first ocean liner, Viking Star, in 2015, they became even more popular.

Infinity pools (or “infinity style” pools on certain cruise lines) and cantilevered pools that protrude out over the edge of the ship are now the swanky new cruise trend.

Since then, a number of ships have launched with infinity pools, including every Viking ocean ship, the AIDAcosma and MSC Seashore in 2021, and the Mardi Gras, which has an infinity-style hot tub in the private Loft 19 area.

But 2022 may just be the biggest year yet for these unique onboard swimming spots. A multitude of cruise lines are getting in on the hype — Disney Wish, P&O’s Arvia, and Ritz Carlton’s first yacht Evrima will all boast infinity pools.

MSC Seascape will join MSC Seashore in having one of the biggest infinity pools at sea, while Norwegian Prima will have numerous infinity pools.

Even Viking Mississippi, the company’s future river ship designed specifically for the Mississippi River, will feature one.

On the Rooftop Garden sundeck of Celebrity Cruises’ third Edge-class ship, Celebrity Beyond, there will be two cantilevered float pools.

MORE: 25 First-Time Cruise Passengers’ Tips

5. More Food Venues, Less Focus on Buffet & Main Dining Room

guy's pig and anchor barbecue smokehouse brewhouse mardi gras

Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse | Brewhouse on Carnival’s Mardi Gras

This isn’t so much a new trend as it is a continuation of one that has already begun. For years, cruise companies have placed a premium on dispersing guests across the ship during mealtimes, and in this new pandemic period, this is more crucial than ever.

Most modern ships include a wide range of eating choices, combining included venues with speciality restaurants that are either a la carte or charge a fixed cost per passenger.

Cruisers may pay for speciality restaurants ahead of time with dining packages, so they don’t have to worry about their bill at the conclusion of the voyage. In addition to the buffet and main dining area, several cruise companies provide a good range of free locations.

Carnival Cruise Line has made several venues on its new ship Mardi Gras gratis for the time being in a clear effort to disperse crowds, even though they aim for them to become for-fee speciality eateries in the future.

6. Additional Ship Areas

msc seashore yacht club sundeck pool

MSC Seashore’s Yacht Club sundeck and pool (photo courtesy of Ivan Sarfatti/MSC Cruises)

While some could say that we’re returning to the days when cruise ships had separate passenger classes, we wouldn’t go quite that far.

Exclusive places solely accessible to individuals staying in certain cabins are, nevertheless, becoming more popular on most prominent cruise lines.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s The Haven, MSC Cruises’ The Yacht Club, and Celebrity Cruises’ The Retreat are likely to spring to mind when people think of “ship-within-a-ship” complexes.

Each of these keycard-only hideaways has its own lounge, bar, restaurant, and sundeck with pools just for those living there. They frequently feature additional amenities like beverage packages, as well as upgraded experiences like butler service and high-end toiletries. 

Of course, what amenities are available in these complexes — and what additional benefits are provided — varies by ship and cruise company.

Ship-within-a-ship zones, on the other hand, aren’t going away anytime soon, and they’re just becoming bigger.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras presented its first attempt into this idea last year, with Excel Suites with exclusive access to Loft 19. This year, Royal Caribbean’s next Oasis-class ship, Wonder of the Seas, will launch with a brand-new “neighborhood” section called the Suite neighborhood, which will be a first for Royal Caribbean.

Another example is Disney Cruise Line; although previous ships have provided certain special rooms for Concierge class passengers, the introduction of Disney Wish this year is anticipated to take the concept much farther.

7. Additional Private Island Visits by Cruise Lines

msc seashore ocean cay island

The MSC Seashore has arrived in Ocean Cay.

As we approach 2022, we’re seeing an increasing number of Bahamas and Caribbean itineraries that feature visits to cruise lines’ exclusive destinations, particularly private Bahamian islands. 

This isn’t unexpected, and it’s a smart business move for cruise lines in urgent need of cash after the lengthy cruise shutdown and restart, which resulted in less onboard capacity and higher expenditures to execute health and safety procedures.

When a cruise ship arrives at a conventional, public cruise port, cruise companies have no influence over what passengers do or how much money they spend when they disembark. (The only exemption in this COVID-19 period is if the port requires cruise passengers to participate in “bubble excursions” organized by the cruise line or another permitted tour operator.)

It also costs them docking fees, which they save when they dock at their own private islands.

Visitors may join a cruise line excursion, but it’s also extremely probable that they’ll schedule their own activities or just spend time strolling the town, shopping, and dining at local establishments. During a port day, the cruise company will most likely not make as much money as all of the local companies combined.

So they earn all the money when they dock on their own private islands. Whatever customers do when they disembark, whatever money they spend goes straight to the cruise operator. 

Private islands are also a wonderful concept right now in terms of COVID-19 safety since the cruise operator effectively keeps everyone in the cruise ship “bubble.”

The majority of the personnel who manage the stores, restaurants, bars, and activities on private islands are crew members who disembarked with the tourists on the same ship. Keeping travelers in the island bubble ensures they don’t have much interaction with the local people, which protects both sides.

NEXT: 18 New Cruise Ships Set to Debut in 2022

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The “5 current issues in the cruise line industry” is a list of problems that are currently affecting the cruise industry. These include environmental concerns, customer satisfaction, and competition from other forms of travel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will there be cruises in 2022?

A: Most likely not. You can check the website for more information about this topic and other events in 2022.

What new cruise ships are coming out in 2022?

A: The information you are looking for is not currently available.

Will world cruises go ahead in 2022?

A: It is unclear if world cruises will go ahead in the future, due to lack of funding. There has not been any announcement about them going ahead for 2022 or even further into the future

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