2024 Wellness Guide

The Resort Deck on Celebrity Edge.


Sea Worthy

The cruise industry is on a new wave of onboard innovations.

By Kathryn Romeyn
It’s a new age on the high seas for cruising, with innovations in ship design and avant-garde, immersive experiences aboard. “For me, a cruise ship is the sum of all its parts,” says acclaimed architect Tom Wright of WKK, who collaborated on Celebrity Edge, a standout vessel that along with several others showcases the industry’s latest and greatest. “Until now the luxury cruise business has been quite classical; it’s nice to go to what feels like a super upmarket luxury hotel, but at sea.” The bolder approach du jour stretches well beyond staid notions of boundaries expected at sea, sometimes even surpassing what’s done on land.

Brands are thinking outside the box to captivate guests, with creative teams cracking open the possibilities. Take Ponant, whose French architect-oceanographer Jacques Rougerie dreamed up a whale-inspired, multisensory subaquatic lounge. Blue Eye, says Rougerie, “offers passengers the precious opportunity to become pioneers, explorers of the marine depths, discovering the underwater biodiversity as dreamed of by Jules Verne in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

Whether it’s carrying out such a fantastical vision on a grand scale or making nuanced edits to seamlessly marry a vessel to its environment, says Regent Seven Seas Cruises president and CEO Jason Montague, “Perfecting luxury is about obsessing over large and small details.”