A New Era Of Real Ships (250-550 berths) – Other Cruise News: The New Explorers (200-249 berths) – Hotel Yachts (298 berths) – Norwegian Coasters (468 berths)
by Kevin Griffin
Since the introduction of the first of the big ships, with the Sovereign of the Seas in and the first 100,000-tonner with the Carnival Destiny in there has been a substantial evolution in ship design among smaller vessels. The Cruise Examiner first covered these trends on May 12, 2008, in an article entitled “The Middle Way – A Return to Medium-Size Ships?” and a follow up three years later, “The Market for Middle Size Ships,” on May 30, 2011. However, these ships came in to the 30-50,000-ton range whereas the latest crop are mostly Polar Class 6 vessels in the 15-30,000-ton range. Le Commandant Charcot is an exception, a real Polar Class 2 icebreaker.