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Electric Racetracks And Underwater Lounges To Dominate Cruise Ships In 2018

National Hotel

Much like retail, cruise ship operators are shifting their focus to ensure they can offer the most memorable experiences for travelers.

While robot bartenders had entered the market as an Instagram-worthy amenity last year, ships are expected to leave no stone unturned in the experience department this year.

A racetrack on the Norwegian Bliss

The Norwegian Bliss will offer a weekly Grand Prix tournament that allows visitors to race around its upper decks on a 1,000-foot-per-lap track. The Norwegian Bliss and The Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas — now the largest ship in the world — both will have laser tag arenas. The former will offer a space-shape-themed open-air course on the 20th deck, while the latter will have an indoor, glow-in-the-dark arena with an intergalactic theme, Bloomberg reports.

The Celebrity Edge cruise ship has opted to offer more refined features for adults, including an open-air specialty restaurant that moves up and down the edge of the ship and has been nicknamed the “Magic Carpet,” because it looks like it is floating alongside the ship.

Other ships, such as the MS Roald Amundsen and Ponant Co.’s Le Laperouse and Le Champlain, are looking to provide guests with underwater experiences without ever having to get wet. 

Hurtigrutan AS, which owns the Amundsen, worked with BluEye Robotics to create a 15-pound drone that will dive up to 150 meters down in the water. The robot is designed to take videos that can then be streamed back to the ship so viewers can watch in real time. Le Laperouse and Le Champlain will feature underwater lounges with large portholes that allow visitors to view sea life as it passes. The rooms will also have screens that broadcast images captured by underwater cameras and if by chance a whale happens to swim by, the furniture will even vibrate.