Cruise holidays go hi-tech: Robots, floating platforms and more

Virtual butlers and wearable technology are also the future for cruisers

Updated: 

Credits: Royal Owned

Every day there are incredible advances being made in the world of technology - but for cruise ships, the pressure is on to keep up.

Not only do they need to be upgraded to meet existing technologies, but as ships take years to build, companies have to try and pre-empt what passengers will need in the future - as far forward as 10 years' time.

The stakes are getting ever higher, but some cruise ships are already boasting innovative, high-tech features that are n doubt preparations for cruise holidaysof the future.

The experts at Cruise Nation took a look at some of the best technologies on offer to predict what we can expect from the future - and here are the 6 features that caught our eye...

1. Floating platforms

You can expect plenty more incredible engineering feats onboard future ships, but for now the one that has everyone talking is Celebrity Cruises' 'Magic Carpet' on the Celebrity Edge .

Launching in 2018, it will be the world's first cantilevered floating platform hangs off the side of the ship, and will move up and down to become an extension to various decks.

So if you're headed there for a drink, you'll be treated to a whole variety of breathtaking views from different angles!

Saga launches mysterious new cruise where destinations are kept a secret from the passengers

2. Robotic bartenders (pictured, top)

When it comes to cocktail bars, there's no denying that cruise ships are upping the stakes with exciting and glamorous options.

However, Royal Caribbean has been wowing passengers with its inventive offerings, such as the 'Rising Tide Bar' which moves between floors, or the 'Bionic Bartenders'; robots which mix your drinks, making endless combinations with 30 spirits and 21 mixers to choose from.

First unveiled on Quantum of the Seas in 2014, the Bionic Bar is now onboard three more ships; Harmony of the Seas , Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas.

The best cruise line of 2017 has been revealed - and it's also proven a hit with cruise holiday newbies

3. Wearable technology

Princess Cruises has already embraced the world of wearable technology with its Ocean Medallion , which allows passengers to access their rooms or pay for cocktails.

However, travel gurus predict that in the future, this kind of accessory will provide a far more personalised experience.

For example, these devices will be capable of informing bartenders of the customer's name and favourite drink, alert staff if it's someone's birthday or anniversary, and even tailor activities based on what you've logged before.

Saga shares more sneak peeks inside new cruise ship Spirit of Discovery including the restaurants

4. Eco-friendly features

Cruise ships are already making tremendous investments in environmentally friendly initiatives in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint, from waste disposal to water efficiency.

However, no doubt the attention will turn to the ships themselves, with the next generation tailored to have as little impact as possible on the eco-system.

For example, Royal Caribbean's Icon Class ships, planned for 2022, will be powered by liquefied natural gas and use fuel cell technology to reduce gas emissions.

Plans are also in place for what is being dubbed the 'World's Greenest Cruise Ship' which will use retractable solar panels and a future-ready hybrid engine.

Credits: MSC Rights

5. Screens, screens, screens

We're not talking a strategically positioned TV on the wall in your cabin. We're talking LED screens on the walls, ceilings and even floros.

Royal Caribbean has already created virtual balconies so guests with inner staterooms can still enjoy ocean views, but it's just the beginning.

Think LED shows and quirky illusions that will give public spaces on the ship that extra wow factor.

Credits: Royal Owned

Activity-filled Canary Islands cruise on Saga Pearl II is an excuse to bring ALL your shoes

6. Your own virtual butler

Think voice-activated assistants similar to Amazon's Alexa , which can act as personal butlers from the moment you step into your room.

Cruise Nation experts reckon these will quickly become a popular feature, allowing guests to make dinner arrangements, book last-minute excursions or even have a hire car delivered to the dock - all without having to lift a finger.

For more information visit www.cruisenation.com.

Ten of the best new cruise trends

Ten of the best new cruise trends


provided by