Ultimate vacation: 10 most exciting cruise ships for 2020

Scarlet Lady, the flagship of Virgin Voyages, will make its debut in April.
Scarlet Lady, the flagship of Virgin Voyages, will make its debut in April. (Virgin Voyages)

Looking for a 2020 cruise vacation that will make some waves?

Then don't just hop aboard any old boat: When it comes to planning your perfect trip, travel foresight is "20/20," thanks to this sneak peek at the 10 most exciting cruise ships on the roster for the year ahead.

This next generation of vessels comes hot on the heels of some buzzy late-2019 arrivals: Shiny new megaships such as the Norwegian Encore, MSC Grandiosa, Carnival Panorama, Sky Princess and Costa Smeralda (debuting December 21, 2019) have all glided onto the marketplace in just the last few months, foreshadowing bigger 2020 industry trends to come.

Costa Cruises's Costa Smeralda, for instance, has ushered in a movement toward big ships embracing greener energy via clean(er)-burning liquefied natural gas (LNG) -- a power source that at least two of the new-for-2020 vessels will likewise rely upon.

Meanwhile, Norwegian Encore has wowed adrenaline-seekers with the largest racetrack at sea -- a need-for-speed cruise craze continuing on with the upcoming Carnival Mardi Gras's first at-sea roller coaster.

Norwegian Cruise Line's tech-forward Encore also rolled out augmented reality features in its laser tag arena and virtual reality gaming center; Royal Caribbean, who'd been previously toying with the technology, furthers the trend on its forthcoming Odyssey of the Seas, which will showcase an augmented reality-enhanced arcade, too.

And while many lines are upping the ante with innovations and enhancements via the newest additions to their fleet, this year will also see two significant cruise line newcomers splash onto the scene. Look out for the first-ever ships from both Virgin Voyages and The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection -- two well-established and respected brands that are bringing their own unique stamp of hospitality to the high seas.

So whether its on-board tattoo parlors, roller coasters, cantilevered platforms, or submarine excursions that float your boat, read on: The best new cruise ships of 2020 have got you covered.