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

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

Escape: Hull Art & Homeport

March 13, 2014
(Escape, NCL Image - click to enlarge)

(Escape, NCL Image – click to enlarge)

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that Guy Harvey, widely recognised as the world’s finest marine wildlife artist and champion of ocean conservation, has been named to design the signature hull artwork of the line’s largest ship to date, Norwegian Escape, scheduled to debut in October 2015. At an event at Cruise Shipping Miami, the artist revealed his custom design for Norwegian Escape’s hull, which features an underwater scene of marine wildlife. Norwegian’s newest ship is Harvey’s largest canvas to date, at 325m in length, with his artwork spanning from the hull to the aft featuring two undersea scenes that blend seamlessly.

image003

“Guy Harvey is the perfect artist to design Norwegian Escape’s hull artwork because he is so passionate about the sea and his marine artwork is so life-like and well recognised,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “We also appreciate how Guy is focused on ocean conservation and keeping the marine environment pristine, we plan to work with him to help support the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation as that goes hand-in-hand with our company’s strong commitment to the environment.”

Harvey combines his unique artistic talents with his background as a marine biologist, diver, photographer and angler, to create marine wildlife art with an unmatched authenticity and visual appeal.

edit2

“I am deeply honoured to be asked by Norwegian to paint the hull of the newest and largest ship in their fleet,” said Harvey. “The larger than life paintings of popular but endangered marine creatures in the Caribbean will heighten public awareness about marine life. The large scale mural demonstrates the concern and respect that Norwegian and I have for the marine environment through which this ship will travel over the years.”

The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation funds inspired scientific research and innovative educational programs to encourage conservation and best management practices for sustainable marine environments.

rear

Also at Cruise Shipping Miami, Norwegian announced that Norwegian Escape will homeport year-round in Miami and sail a seven-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary starting 14 November, 2015; visiting Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas.

map-7day-easterncaribbean-en

At approximately 163,000 gross tonnes and 4,200 passenger berths, Norwegian Escape will join the fleet in October 2015. The ship’s Eastern Caribbean itineraries will go on sale 19 March, 2014. Norwegian Escape will boast all of the exciting and innovative features found on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, plus a number of new spaces and interactive experiences that are yet to be announced.

EscapeMap-Itinerary10dayTA-new

(Source: NCL)

Malcolm Says: It will be interesting to see how different  ‘Escape’ will be to the ‘Breakaway’ class (Breakaway and Getaway). We know that there will at least be a few new public spaces.

Escape speculation here: http://wp.me/pfRKD-2oT

See my Getaway review here: http://wp.me/PfRKD-2i7

Norwegian Epic’s European Itineraries

March 8, 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced Norwegian Epic’s 2015/2016 winter itineraries from her new year-round homeport of Barcelona, Spain. From 29 November 2015 through 7 April 2016, Norwegian Epic will set sail from Barcelona on 10-day Canary Islands & Morocco itineraries, and 10, 11- or 12-day Western Mediterranean itineraries. Norwegian Epic’s new Europe itineraries will open for sale in the UK in early April 2014.

 Epic at Southampton, June 2010.

Epic at Southampton, June 2010.

“Norwegian Epic is the perfect ship to bring to Europe year-round and the ship’s new Europe itineraries are sure to be a hit among cruisers looking to explore this spectacular part of the world,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “These new itineraries provide exciting experiences and sights for our guests, while giving them a chance to spend more time exploring more of the beautiful cities that Europe is known for.”

Canary Islands & Morocco

Norwegian Epic will offer 10-day Canary Islands & Morocco itineraries from Barcelona starting 29 November 2015. Norwegian Epic’s Canary Islands & Morocco itineraries will encompass some of the most sought after ports of call along the North Western Coast of Africa and will visit: Tangier, Morocco; Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife, Spain; Funchal, Madeira, Portugal; and Málaga (Granada), Spain. Sail dates are 29 November 2015; 3, 24 January; 14 February; 6 and 28 March 2016.

Guests looking to celebrate Christmas 2015 on board Norwegian Epic can do so on a nine-day Canary Islands & Morocco itinerary which will be offered on 19 December 2015. Guests cruising for Christmas will visit Tangier, Morocco; Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife, Spain; and Málaga (Granada), Spain.

Western Mediterranean

Guests looking to cruise to the Western Mediterranean in the winter on Norwegian Epic can cruise on their choice of six-, 10-, 11-, and 12-day itineraries.

The 11-day itinerary features ports of call including Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy; Carthage, Tunisia; Palermo, Sicily, Italy; Naples (Pompeii), Italy; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy; Palma, Majorca, Spain; and Barcelona, Spain, and will be offered on 13 January, 3 and 24 February 2016.

On 9 December 2015 and 7 April 2016, Norwegian Epic will sail two 10-day Western Mediterranean itineraries that visit Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy; Carthage, Tunisia; Palermo, Sicily, Italy; Naples (Pompeii), Italy; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; and Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy.

Guests looking to cruise through the New Year can set sail on 28 December 2015, from Barcelona on a six-day cruise. Ports of call include Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Naples (Pompeii), Italy and Palma, Majorca, Spain.

On March 16, 2016, Norwegian Epic will depart for its longest Western Mediterranean winter season cruise, a 12-night itinerary that visits Valencia, Spain; Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy; Carthage, Tunisia; Palermo, Sicily, Italy; Naples (Pompeii), Italy; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy; Palma, Majorca, Spain; and Valencia, Spain.

 (Source: NCL)

Malcolm Says: Epic is a remarkable floating resort and is ideal for the young, young at heart and families looking for plenty of action and entertainment.  It nice to see her season extended and operating  European itineraries that are a little more adventurous, in 2015/16.

My Norwegian Epic Review:  http://wp.me/PfRKD-Iy

 


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