Norwegian Cruise Line has ordered at least four 140,000 tonne, 3,300-passenger Project ‘Leonardo’ ships from Fincantieri. These will be delivered from 2022 through to 2025.
This news represents a downsizing from the recent Breakaway+ class ships at 163,000 gross tonnes, carrying 4,300 passengers.
Speaking on the company’s year-end earnings conference, President and CEO Frank del Rio called it an “optimal size”.
“The size of these vessels provides an optimal balance between deployment flexibility and earnings potential, allowing us to add new ports of call worldwide while maintaining a strong return profile with a payback of roughly five years, in line with our most recent newbuild,” said del Rio.
The ships will also allow Norwegian to redeploy existing vessels to other domestic and international homeports, where the company does not yet have a presence, according to del Rio.
(Cruise Industry News)
Malcolm says: Interestingly this new class of ship is based on a prototype developed by Fincantieri, and NOT by NCL, as in the past. I guess the advantage of this approach truly guarantees a new design of ship. However the disadvantage is that the ship can share this design with other lines. ‘Project Leanoaro’ is clearly a slightly smaller version of MSC ‘Seaside’, also designed by Fincantieri.
It’s curious how one management team must have thought that 163,000 gt (Breakaway-Plus) is an ‘optimal size’, yet the next team think 140,000 gt is better. However many experienced cruise passengers have expressed their opinion that modern cruise ships are getting too big, although the new NCL ships are hardly small.
It depends what sort of experience that you are seeking. I personally think that mass-market ships can benefit from being very big – there is simply more room for for public rooms, facilities and innovations. The ‘Oasis’ class (the world’s biggest) is an amazing design. However a ship of say 30,000 gt can provide you with a more intimate experience that a mega-ships cannot compete with.
I was expecting to see an 200,000 gt NCL design to be delivered within the next decade. It looks as if I’m wrong.
Project Leonardo slide show: HERE
The Worlds biggest class of cruise ship review: HERE
Norwegian Escape Review HERE
Norwegian Bliss – Observation Makes A Comeback HERE