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Discover the top maiden voyages for 2022 and their breathtaking itineraries

Author: Lucy Abbott

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New cruise ship galore – it’s an exciting year for avid cruises with an assortment of new cruise ships ready to take to the water in 2022. Discover the year’s hottest maiden voyages here.

New cruise ships mean a new adventure for you, and, with lots of long-awaited ships coming into service in 2022, let us help you navigate and find your next holiday.

With capacity onboard spanning from an intimate 100 to a staggering 6,988, to say there is a wide range of sparkling new ships sailing this year would be an understatement.

Explore history-filled Hamburg with Ambassador Cruise Line’s new Ambience, indulge in tapas in Bilbao with Celebrity Beyond or spend the day relaxing at CocoCay in the Bahamas with Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas.

Whatever takes your fancy, why not make your 2022 cruise a brand new one? Explore the top ships which will be taking to the waters for the first time this year and where they are visiting…

The 1,400-passenger Ambience. Credit: Ambassador Cruise Line

Ambience cruise ship

Launching on April 6, 2022, Ambience is Ambassador Cruise Line’s perfectly small-sized ship holding 1,400 guests with 798 cabins.

Despite its smaller size, you will be spoiled for choice for food options, with five restaurants onboard, including speciality restaurants, such as an Alfresco Grill.

The two swimming pools, four hot tubs, wellness centre and a bridge and card room will keep you busy during the day while the nine lounges and casino will keep you amused throughout the evening.

- READ MORE: A complete guide to Barcelona’s skyline -

Cruise with a conscience as Ambassador ensures no-single plastic is used on the ship as well as utilising smart technology to go paperless with menus and shore plans.

The cabin choices are endless with inside, outside, balcony and suite options - giving you the choice to tailor your room preferences to what you please.

What’s more, Ambience includes two accessible cabins onboard as well as having interconnecting cabins, perfect for large groups.

Hamburg is home to over 30 Christmas markets. Credit: Shutterstock

Ambience cruise ship maiden itinerary

‘The 2022 No-Fly Maiden Voyage to Hamburg’ is a four-night sailing, departing April 6, 2022, roundtrip from London Tilbury visiting Hamburg.

Hamburg is a beautiful location for Ambience’s first cruise, this port city is surrounded by waterways such as the Elbe River as well as featuring waterways throughout the city with Alster, a right tributary of the Elbe.

Hamburg’s Old Town is a must-visit, admire the neo-renaissance town hall as well as the main church of St. Michaelis with a 132-meter observation deck where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.

As Germany’s second-largest city, Hamburg has something to please everyone. Both music and architecture lovers will enjoy the impressive Elbphilharmonie concert hall, which rises out of the skyline.

A Take That musical will be performed onboard Arvia

Arvia cruise ship

Boasting 20 dining venues and endless entertainment, P&O Cruises’ Arvia guarantees you will never be bored.

Spend the day simply deciding which pool to visit, do you want to take a dip in the infinity pool, infinity whirlpool, panorama pool, SkyDome pool or the main pool? You might as well try all of them.

- READ MORE: Why you should book a cruise through a travel agent -

Carrying 5,200 passengers, this mighty ship features similar features to her sister, Iona, such as the glass-roofed SkyDome.

However, a big difference is Arvia’s Altitude Skywalk, P&O Cruises first-ever high ropes experience measuring a staggering 54 meters above sea - don’t look down!

All your fitness needs are accounted for with a jogging track, oasis gym and fitness studio, and afterwards, you can relax at the beach house or the 710 Club.

Portugal is your last port of call onboard Arvia with P&O Cruises. Credit: Shutterstock

Arvia cruise ship itinerary

Visiting Madeira, Portugal; Santa Cruz, Tenerife; Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Cadiz, Spain; and Lisbon, Portugal before heading back to Southampton, ‘The 2022 Festive No-Fly Atlantic Islands’ is a thorough cruise of the stunning Atlantic.

This 14-night cruise departs on December 9, 2022. Santa Cruz in Tenerife, featuring a bustling marina with a cobblestoned centre, is a highlight of the sailing.

Ride the cable car from the old town to Monte where, at the top, you can take in the amazing views amongst exuberant plant life, free-roaming birds and a slice of history at the Monte Palace Tropical Garden.

Ensure you visit the colourful gardens and banana plantations that thrive in the shelter of the valley’s slopes.

Cadiz, Spain is another highlight with P&O. Let your senses enjoy the citrusy smell of oranges as you explore the town, situated on a peninsula in southwest Spain.

As a popular trading base for around 3,000 years, Cadiz - founded by the Phoenicians in 1,100B - has a rich history. Visit Cadiz Cathedral, which took 116 years to complete; it’s mostly Baroque in style but also includes Neoclassical and Rococo elements.

Celebrity Beyond is the next Edge-series ship with Celebrity Cruises. Credit: Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Beyond cruise ship

As the long-awaited next Edge Series ship joining the Celebrity Cruises' fleet, Celebrity Beyond takes to the water in April 2022.

Featuring 179 more suites and staterooms than any of its Edge-series peers, Celebrity Beyond boasts a 3,260 occupancy alongside an impressive 1,400 crew members.

Take advantage of the SEA thermal suite, spa and whirlpool during the day before having your pick of dinner options in the evening from the main dining room, complimentary dining and speciality restaurants.

- READ MORE: Discover the most popular cruise destinations for 2022 and beyond -

Celebrity Beyond cruise ship itinerary

‘The 2022 Inaugural Spain and Portugal Voyage’ sails for 10 nights, departing April 27, 2022, sailing from Southampton visiting a variety of gorgeous destinations such as La Rochelle, Bilbao, Seville and Barcelona.

Amongst the beautiful landscapes of Malaga you can see the work done to rehabilitate injured turtles and sharks. Credit: Shutterstock

Bilbao is a must-see - this vibrant city features an abundance of beautiful buildings, unique boutiques and delicious tapas bars.

Start your explorations with a stroll along the Nervión River and discover the Art Deco La Ribera Market and pretty San Anton church - for more memorable vistas be sure to take the funicular to Mount Artxanda for a birds-eye view over the city.

Go on to explore more with Celebrity Cruises - like the striking Guggenheim Museum, typically the main draw of Bilbao. Take your time navigating the 19 galleries and admire the works of Picasso and Jackson Pollock.

Malaga in Spain is also a stop that celebrates the work of Picasso, as you can trace Picasso’s early life through artefacts within the Casa Natal, also known as The Birthplace Museum’ where Picasso was born and raised.

Malaga’s central market exemplifies 19th-century Spanish architecture at its best, with noisy stallholders selling a range of produce from fresh fish to legs of ham.

Emerald Azzurra is the line's first yacht and only holds 100 passengers and features a marina platform. Credit: Emerald Cruises

Emerald Azzurra cruise ship

The epitome of an intimate ship, Emerald Yacht Cruises' Emerald Azzurra holds only 100 passengers and measures a compact 110 metres in length.

Fresh, locally-sourced meals await, each crafted by expert chefs and teamed with complimentary sommelier-paired alcoholic or soft drinks.

- READ MORE: What you might not know about life on a cruise ship full-time -

In the evening, wander down to the serene Horizon Bar & Lounge onboard Emerald Azzura and discuss your travels with newfound friends.

During the day, get stuck into the action with the special marina platform onboard, from where you can jump on a Zodiac for expert-led excursions and go in search of wildlife in the water.

Jordan features fascinating architecture. Credit: Shutterstock

Emerald Azzurra cruise ship itinerary

The seven-night ‘Best of the Red Sea from Aqaba’ departing March 11, 2022, onboard Emerald Azzurra brings you to amazing locations in Egypt, Israel and Jordan.

Water sport lovers will be in paradise in Aqaba, Jordan, with this city one of the most popular scuba diving destinations in the world.

Alternatively, take a trip back to the bronze age at the Archaeological Museum which holds a range of seventh to 12th century artefacts. Even travel back to 300 BC with a trip to the ancient city of Petra which features temples, tombs, churches and passageways.

Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt is another high point of the itinerary. This resort town is nestled between the desert of the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea and is famed for crystal clear waters, sandy beaches and coral reefs.

Emerald also brings you to Ras Muhammad National Park to dive around the Shark and Yolanda reefs as well as the Thistlegorm wreck.

Wonder of the Seas is the biggest cruise ship in the world. Credit: Royal Caribbean

Wonder of the Seas cruise ship

Packed to the brim with absolutely everything you could ever imagine, Wonder of the Seas - the world’s largest cruise ship - is the latest ship to join Royal Caribbean International’s fleet.

Holding a staggering 6,988 passengers and 2,394 staff, this is the ideal ship to mingle with fellow cruisers.

But don’t feel overwhelmed by its large size, Royal Caribbean has designed Wonder of the Seas to be easy to navigate by separating the ship by neighbourhood - with each area taking on a new visual style so you can distinguish between each.

- READ MORE: Most popular no-fly cruises for 2022 -

Entertainment options are plentiful and include the amphitheatre-style AquaTheater which shows films and game shows throughout the day and aqua acrobatics and diving performances at night

Something new for Wonder of the Seas is The Vue, a panoramic bar featuring a colourful overhead mosaic. Another new feature is the Sports Zone in Wonder Playscape, an underwater-themed play area with climbing walls, games and slides.

Visit the idyllic port of Nassau in the Bahamas. Credit: Shutterstock

Wonder of the Seas cruise ship itinerary

The seven-night ‘East Caribbean and Perfect Day,’ departing March 4, 2022, roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is the ideal match for the exciting Wonder of the Seas.

The wonders of the Eastern Caribbean await, you will visit Labadee, Haiti; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Nassau, Bahamas.

Embrace the history of Haiti, epitomised by the mountaintop fortress Citadelle Laferriere built by Henri Christophe, one of the leaders of the country’s slave rebellion who later became king.

Of course, you must try some renowned Haitian rum and take a trip to the Barbancourt Distillery where you can admire how the rum is made using sugar cane juice rather than molasses - don’t forget to pick up a bottle or two.

An iconic destination for Royal Caribbean, CocoCay in the Bahamas is the line’s own private island. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and fly down the tallest waterslide in North America, Devil’s Peak.

You can also fly 137 metres into the sky in a helium balloon and enjoy panoramic views of the beautiful island. To relax (or calm yourself down after flying up so high) soak in the largest freshwater pool, Oasis Lagoon, in the Bahamas.

So, even if these cruises haven’t tempted you, they’ve definitely tempted us – we’re packing our bags right now. Where did that bikini get to?

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About Lucy Abbott

Lucy is a cruise journalist who has sailed on a variety of ships, from expedition to river – with her favourite being expedition cruising.

Lucy is interested in new sustainable ways to cruise as well as how cruising is becoming accessible for all.

She works together with Kaye Holland to keep the World of Cruising website up to date with all the latest cruise news.