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Cruise Ships on the Horizon

In the cruise industry, it is never a case of one size fits all. Ships of all shapes for desires of all sizes for passengers with bank accounts of all sizes. And that’s not about to change any time soon.

Take the ships that will arrive this year as an example. There are six still to be launched — two small, two medium, two large.

Here they are:

Avalon Luminary: Sister ship of the Scenery. The Luminary will be launched in Europe, during the first week in August when it sets sail from Zurich for Amsterdam, the second new launch for Avalon in 2010 — the Felicity arrived in spring. Capacity is 138.

Seabourn Sojourn: Sister of the Odyssey, reportedly an identical twin. The Sojourn (above) will be launched next month, blessed by its Godmother — Twiggy — and after spending the summer in Europe it repositions to Fort Lauderdale from November 3-19. Capacity is 450.

MS Queen Elizabeth: It replaces the QE2, now moored in Dubai, its future uncertain. Cunard designed it to recreate the golden era of cruising and at least one cruise writer, Phil Reimer, thinks the Queen herself will preside at its launch in October. Capacity is 2,092.

Nieuw Amsterdam: Another identical twin, of Holland America‘s Eurodam, dedicated two years ago by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands. Its interior and art collection will reflect New York City, once known as Nieuw Amsterdam. Capacity is 2,106.

Epic: The giant of the Norwegian fleet is all about size and entertainment. Reba McEntire names it on July 2, with Blue Man Group, The Legends and Nickelodeon entertaining on it during Caribbean runs the rest of the year. Capacity is 4,200.

Allure of the Seas: Bigger than many small towns, this latest creation from Royal Caribbean is almost the same as the mighty Oasis, with some tinkering in design after feedback from passengers. The Allure’s maiden voyage is scheduled December 1, to RC’s private paradise, Labadee. Capacity is 5,400.

In the end, size matters, no matter what it is.

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