Archive for the ‘Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)’ Category

NCL Acquires Prestige Cruises International

September 12, 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Prestige Cruises International, Inc. (“Prestige”), the market leader in the upscale cruise segment and parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, in cash and stock for a total transaction consideration of $3.025 billion.

(NCL Image)

(NCL Image)

“The acquisition of Prestige represents an extraordinary opportunity for Norwegian Cruise Line to expand our market presence by adding two established, award-winning brands in the upscale cruise segment with loyal followings,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer.

“We are excited to become part of the Norwegian family and start a new chapter for our company,” said Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO of Prestige. “With Oceania and Regent, we have built iconic brands with distinctive product offerings and strong customer loyalty.

Prestige operates eight ships and approximately 6,500 berths under two segment-leading brands. Oceania Cruises is the market leader in the upper-premium cruise segment with five ships offering destination-oriented cruise. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the market leader in the luxury cruise segment and operates three award-winning, all-suite ships, with an additional ship on order for delivery in summer 2016.

“The combination of three distinct brands, each serving a different market segment, under one umbrella immediately creates an industry-leading cruise operator with an unmatched growth trajectory and a portfolio of products that allows us to appeal to guests at every stage of their life cycle,” added Sheehan. “We are fully committed to retaining the brand propositions, guest experiences and cultures of the Norwegian, Oceania and Regent brands that have allowed each to realize such success.”

(Source: NCL)

NCL to Purchase Prestige Cruises?

September 3, 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is in negotiations to purchase Prestige Cruises International for roughly $3 billion (£1.8 billion).

OceaniaCruises-CD-Header

Reuters reports that the acquisition will give Norwegian Cruise access to Prestige Cruises’ wide variety of ships and clientele, allowing the company to compete with rivals Royal Caribbean Cruises and Carnival Corp.

Prestige Cruises operates under the Oceania and Regent brands. Together, these travel to Scandinavia, Russia, the Mediterranean, North America, Asia and South America.

The company posted revenues of $1.2 billion last year, marking a six per cent rise from 2012.

However, the deal could still fall apart and is yet to be concluded.

(Reuters)

Norwegian Getaway Review: http://wp.me/PfRKD-2i7

 

NCL Orders Two More Breakaway-Plus Ships

July 15, 2014

NCL  has ordered two more Breakaway-Plus-class ships for delivery in 2018 and 2019.

The two 164,600 gross tonnage, 4,200-passenger ships will be built by Germany-based Meyer Werft. The first will be delivered in the second quarter 2018, while the second will come in the fourth quarter 2019. They will join sister Breakaway-Plus-class ships Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss, due October 2015 and March 2017, respectively.

(NCL Image)

(NCL Image)

The design of the Breakaway-Plus-class ships is based on the two Breakaway-class ships already in Norwegian’s fleet, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway.

The contract price for both new ships is approximately 1.6 billion euros.

(NCL/Cruise Critic)

Malcolm says: O.K NOT the two rumoured 200,00gt mega-ships, but two more impressive additions to the expanding NCL fleet. As for homeports, how about China and the UK? Maybe not the two new breakaway+ ships themselves, but they would free up older tonnage for re-deployment.

What Would NCL Include On A 200,000gt Mega-ship?

July 14, 2014

While daydreaming, I was wondering what the Norwegian cruise might include on-board a 200,000 gross tonne mega-ship.

(November 2013 - Click for bigger image)

Getaway – Andreas Depping

A recent rumour suggest that they might be about to order such a mega-ship (or two) which would be almost as big as Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the seas (225,000 gt).

Firstly I believe that such a ship would have to be a completely new design. NCL have added an extra deck to their ‘Breakaway’ design (146,600gt) to create the ‘Breakaway Plus’ (Escape and Bliss at 163,000 gt) but we are talking about a 200,000gt. That’s more than just two extra decks!

Not only is Oasis the world’s biggest class of cruise ship, carrying the highest number of passengers (6,296 maximum) she also has room for a number of breath-taking public spaces. Not only does she have an enlarged ‘Royal Promenade’, which is an internal street running along much the length of the ship, she has the ‘Boardwalk’, complete with Merry-Go-Round at the stern and the amazing ‘Central Park, an area with real trees and plants. Only the remarkable split-superstructure design and  scale of the ship allows such ‘wow’ spaces.

Central Park (Oasis)

Central Park (Oasis)

Norwegian’s three most recent ships: Epic, Breakaway, Getaway and the forthcoming Escape and Bliss all have a very different design to Oasis.  Third generation ‘Freestyle’ requires almost every inch of the ships to be packed with multiple dining rooms, multiple bars and multiple entertainment venues. This leaves little room for double-height rooms or big spaces. Even their atriums are modest when compared to many other big modern cruise ships.

So what would they do with 200,000 gt? Well more cabins and more passengers than ‘Escape’ is a given. I guess her double occupancy might be around 5,000 passengers, so that’s maybe a 1,000 more than ‘Breakaway’?  Obviously bigger dining rooms and bigger entertainment venues will be required to handle the extra passengers. However NCL’s new ships already have more dining options than you could use in 7 night cruise. Would a new NCL mega-ships really need even more?

It would be nice to see at least some of the extra-gross tonnage used for some big new public spaces. I assume the very attractive ‘Waterfront’ feature (bars and dining rooms lining an external promenade deck) will be back. After all it’s a simple, but excellent idea. I would expect such a mega-ship have a much enhanced ‘Waterfront’. They say that Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and the MSC newbuild project ‘Seaside’ will also have a big ‘Waterfront’ like feature.

(The Waterfront)

(The Waterfront)

What would NCL do with the pool-deck? We have already seen their big aqua-parks with mini golf, sports court, ropes course, rock climbing wall and water slides. What next, a Ferris -Wheel or roller coaster? Maybe even a mini-train around the deck?

Personally I like some of the traditional ideas such as a high forward facing observation lounge. This helps give a ship a better ‘connection with the sea’.  Even RCI have abandoned their signature ‘Royal Viking Crown’ lounge on-board their new ‘Quantum’ class ship, which is a shame.

How about pools? Everyone seems to complain that the pools on-board mega-ships are not plentiful enough and too small. I believe this is because they are now always located on the top deck and having too many tons of water up their can compromise the ships stability. How about creating a big pool, on a low deck, inside the ship. This is where the pools were located on-board the ocean liners of yesteryear. Just an idea!

In short, I have no more idea than the next man what NCL might incorporate into a new mega-ship, but its fun to speculate. What facilities do you think a new NCL mega-ship might have?

Malcolm

NCL To Build Two Ships Almost As Big As Oasis?

July 8, 2014

Rumours claim that a Norwegian Cruise Line are on the verge of ordering two 200,000-ton prototype ships. These rumours allegedly come from multiple suppliers involved in the bidding process.  If this is true, the ships will approaching the size (in terms of gross tonnage)  of Royal Caribbean’s ‘Oasis’ class.

(Oasis)

(Oasis)

The rumours go on to suggest that this order will go to Turku, STX Finland.  It has also been suggested that Meyer Werft and the Finnish Government are signatures away from a deal to see STX Finland end up in the hands of the German shipbuilding company. NCL of course have a very positive relationship with Meyer Werft.

'Breakaway Plus' (NCL Image)

‘Breakaway Plus’ (NCL Image)

These two rumoured NCL mega-ships are not to be confused with their forthcoming newbuilds, the ‘Breakaway Plus’ ship ‘Escape’ (2015)and ‘Bliss’ (2017).  At 163,000 gt these are NCL’s biggest ships yet, but still short Oasis’s 225,000 gt.

(Source: The Net Rumour Mill)

Getaway Review: http://wp.me/PfRKD-2i7

 

 

Norwegian Escape to debut in Hamburg

June 20, 2014

Hamburg is preparing to welcome Norwegian Escape in October 2015. Norwegian Cruise Line’s 4,200 passenger newbuild, currently under construction at Meyer Werft, will make its public debut in the city on October 23, becoming the largest cruise ship to call in Hamburg.

(Escape, NCL Image - click to enlarge)

(Escape, NCL Image – click to enlarge)

The first visit is during a two night cruise for the travel trade, followed by a two night sailing from Hamburg to Southampton.

‘The European market has played an important role for Norwegian Cruise Line for years now, with Germany in particular one of our key source markets. Our choice of Hamburg as the venue for the Continental European premiere celebrations for a new vessel for the first time clearly illustrates our commitment to the German market, demonstrating the potential we see here for Norwegian Cruise Line in the coming years,’ says Jürgen Stille, director business development Continental Europe at Norwegian Cruise Line.

‘The presentation of the new vessel on the River Elbe, the cruise industry’s red carpet, is the perfect choice of venue,’ says Gerd Drossel, managing director of Hamburg Cruise Centre.

(Source: Seatrade)

‘Escape’ Speculation: http://wp.me/pfRKD-2oT

Norwegian Jewel Gets Enhanced

May 17, 2014
(NCL Image)

(NCL Image)

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that Norwegian Jewel will re-enter service on May 17, 2014 following a two-week dry dock where the ship received numerous enhancements before her summer season in Alaska. The Jewel will sail from Houston, starting October 11.

Norwegian Jewel is the first ship to be retrofitted with the O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill (first introduced on Norwegian Epic and also on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway). In addition, the ship’s Moderno Churrascaria, the Brazilian-style steakhouse, was relocated to Deck 13 and the Sugarcane Mojito Bar, first introduced on Norwegian Getaway, was added adjacent to the new restaurant.

O'sheehan's (Epic)

O’sheehan’s (Epic)

Guests will also be able to enjoy delicious cannoli and cupcakes from Carlo’s Bake Shop by Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s Cake Boss and Next Great Baker, that has been added in the Java Café. A number of additional guest area enhancements include: updates to the Casino and Photo Gallery, new carpets and flooring throughout guest areas, window replacements, upgrades in galley areas and updates to the pool deck.

(NCL Image)

(NCL Image)

Norwegian’s digital signage, first introduced on Norwegian Breakaway, will also be added to the ship over the summer. The interactive touch screen signs will allow guests to order specialty items, get directions and reserve dining and shore excursions simply with a scan of their stateroom key.

Norwegian said that technical modernizations also took place during the dry dock. The ship is being outfitted with Green Tech Marine Scrubbers, in order to reduce fuel emissions, overall energy consumption, and the company’s environmental footprint. In addition, the cruise line stated that the ship will receive an Azipod hydrodynamic upgrade and state-of-the-art silicone paint on the hull, in order to further improve fuel efficiency.

Norwegian Jewel will also benefit from the installation of shore power connectivity. Additional significant technical and safety updates include: lifeboat and tender boat release systems upgrade; thrusters and stabilizer maintenance; and ballast and bilge piping replacement.

(Source: cruiseindustrynews.com)

Norwegian Jewel pre re-fit:

Below Norwegian Jade Review (also a Jewel class ship):

http://wp.me/PfRKD-1h

Norwegian Epic For Southampton 2015

April 25, 2014

Norwegian Cruise has announced that Norwegian Epic has added two sailings to and from Southampton in 2015, marking the first time that the ship has visited the port since the inaugural celebration in June 2010.

 Epic at Southampton, June 2010.

Epic at Southampton, June 2010.

Norwegian Epic will sail one six- and one seven-night Iberian Peninsula itinerary. The ship’s six-night sailing will depart Barcelona on 20 September 2015 and arrive in Southampton on 26 September 2015, with ports of call including Cartagena, Spain; Granada (Malaga), Spain; and Lisbon, Portugal.

Following a 15-night dry dock in France, Norwegian Epic will embark on a seven-night Iberian Peninsula cruise from Southampton to Barcelona on 11 October 2015. The ship will visit ports of call including Vigo, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Granada (Malaga) and Cartagena, Spain.

Beginning April 2015, Norwegian Epic will homeport year-round in Barcelona, sailing seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries in the summer season and 10-night Canary Islands & Morocco and six-, 10-, 11- or 12-night Western Mediterranean itineraries during the 2015 and 2016 winter season.

(Source: NCL)

Malcolm Says: The UK has never seen so many big ship! In the next year or so, Oasis, Quantum, Britannia, Royal Princess, Anthem, Epic and Escape will all be offering at least some cruises from Southampton. Let’s also not forget our Home-port ships the QM2, Ventura and Azura, none of which are small ships either!

My Epic review: http://wp.me/PfRKD-Iy

Norwegian iConcierge Smart Phone App

April 6, 2014

MI-Iconcierge-01

Norwegian Cruise Line announced this week that the company’s smart phone application, “Norwegian iConcierge” is now available on board the line’s newest ship, Norwegian Getaway. Norwegian iConcierge has previously been activated on Norwegian Getaway’s sister ship Norwegian Breakaway, as well as on Norwegian Epic, and will roll out to additional vessels in the fleet by the end of 2014.

In partnership with Allin Interactive, Norwegian’s exclusive application allows guests to create a highly-customized vacation experience by providing interactive access to Norwegian Getaway’s on board guest information and service systems during their cruise, via the guest wifi network onboard.

“Norwegian iConcierge app has been extremely popular among guests on Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Breakaway,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer.

Android_iConcierge_v3

Guests who download the free application are able to conveniently interact with Norwegian Getaway’s systems from anywhere on board using their smart phone to make shore excursion, box office and dining reservations, view the ship’s Freestyle Daily activity guide and review their folio activity all from the palm of their hand. In addition, Norwegian iConcierge offers guests the ability to easily find and communicate with fellow cruisers. Guests who have the application installed on their SIP capable smart phones will be able to make and send unlimited calls and messages to each other while on board for a nominal fee.

” The Norwegian iConcierge app also features new ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship calling capabilities using a dedicated 1-800-number. For a low per minute rate, guests can now make and receive calls while on-board via the app.

Norwegian iConcierge is a free download and available through Apple, Android and Windows7 smart phone application stores. Norwegian is the first cruise line to implement this innovative technology across multiple ships, continuing the line’s history of innovation and elevating the guest experience.

(Image/Text Source: NCL)

 iConcierge  Downloads Here:

http://www.ncl.com/downloads/iconcierge

Norwegian Getaway Review: http://wp.me/PfRKD-2i7

 

Steel Cut For Escape

March 22, 2014

20th March, 2014

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(NCL Image – Kevin Sheehan and Bernard Meyer)

The first piece of steel was cut at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany today for the construction of Norwegian Escape, the first of two new Breakaway Plus Class ships for Norwegian Cruise Line, set for delivery in autumn 2015.

(NCL Images)

(NCL Images)

Norwegian Cruise Line and Meyer Werft executives watched as the first plate of steel was cut by a plasma torch in the yard’s state of the art facility. This plate will become part of Block 46 that will comprise the new vessel.

Image1bbbb66666

“Norwegian Escape will be the largest ship in our fleet and will continue our legacy of innovation,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer. “Cutting the first piece of steel for Norwegian Escape marks the official start of construction for this remarkable ship. We are eagerly anticipating her delivery in October of 2015.”

Image2

(Source: NCL)

Escape Hull Art & Homeport: http://wp.me/pfRKD-2rf


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