Posts Tagged ‘NCL’

NCL’s Project Leonardo “Optimal Size”.

March 21, 2017

 

nclproject_2

(Courtesy NCL)

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)

nclproject_3.jpg

(Courtesy NCL)

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

A Cruise Ship With Go-Karts

March 18, 2017

Not all ocean cruising is the same. It ranges from Fred. Olsen’s classic little ships (below), to giant floating ‘theme parks’:

See ‘Norwegian Joy’ float-out news: HERE

Introducing NCL’s Project Leonardo

March 15, 2017

The wait was not too long!

Norwegian Cruise Line has named the new generation of cruise ships as ‘Project Leonardo’. The new class will be delivered in 2022. The other vessels will arrive in 2023, 2024 and 2025 which will all be built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri.

The ships will be 140,000 gross tons and carry around 3,300 guests.

“Continuing the trend not only at Norwegian Cruise Line, but throughout the cruise industry of bringing the sea closer to our guests, this vessel has at the lower decks a huge expansive area where you’ll have infinity pools, restaurants, broad decks to be beach-like so people can really connect with the sea,” said Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Chairman and CEO Frank Del Rio.

(NCL)

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 yard could share this design with other lines and it appears that they already have!

On closer inspection ‘Project Leonardo’ does not look dissimilar the MSC’s ‘Seasisde’ also designed by Fincantieri.

Top: MSC Seaside. Below: NCL Leonardo (Click to enlarge)

However I believe Leonardo is shorter than Seaside, which will be bigger: 154,000 gross tonnes and carry up to 5,179 passengers. Seaside also has a glass covered pool in front of her funnel, Leonardo appears to have a non-covered one in this location (for the Haven?) This appears to leaves just one sun-deck pool aft.

The big attraction of this ship design is the very large promenade deck, which is probably more expansive than NCL’s ‘Waterfront’ feature (Breakaway and Breakaway+ classes).

I do find it a little sad when different cruise brands share a ship design. It just lacks originality.

I was going to say that Leanardo will be quite different internally to Seaside, as she will be designed to accommodate NCL’s ‘Freestyle’ dining system with multiple dining rooms.

However looking at Seaside’s deck plans (HERE) there are three full decks and two half decks of restaurants and other public rooms. I guess little will need changing apart from the décor and branding. I guess that was the appeal of using Fincantieri’s existing design.

os-pictures-norwegian-cruise-line-project-leon-010

(Courtesy NCL)

Norwegian Escape Review HERE

Norwegian Bliss – Observation Makes A Comeback HERE

Norwegian Bliss

March 15, 2017

This video is a reminder that ‘Celebrity Edge’ is not the only mega-ship in the world.

Norwegian Joy Float Out

March 5, 2017

(Courtesy Meyer Werft)

The new NCL ship Norwegian Joy 喜悦号 (Xǐ Yuè Hào) was floated out of the Meyer Werft building hall on Saturday, March 4, 2017, Papenburg Germany.

The ship is 168,800 gross tonnes and will carry 3,900 passengers.

At the end of March, the Joy will make her conveyance along the Ems River to the North Sea. In the North Sea, the ship will begin sea trials before finally being delivered to NCL in April 2017.

The ship arrives in Shanghai in late June where she will serve the Chinese market all year-round.

(Meyer Werft)

Innovation or Nightmare?

 

 

On of the most unique features of ‘Norwegian Joy’  is on the ships upper deck. Guests will take the ride of a lifetime on a thrilling two-level competitive racetrack– the first ever at sea. Cruisers can race family and friends in electric cars (a 5-6 minute course) and even share a photo of their first place finish. (NCL)

Malcolm says: You can clearly see Norwegian Joy’s two-level go-Kart track on the sun deck. Is this your idea of an innovation or a nightmare?

(Courtesy NCL)

A rather crowded sun-deck (Courtesy NCL, click to enlarge)

The sun deck looks rather crowded to me, with it’s various facilities.

Innovation! (Norwegian Joy)

Norwegian Joy rendering (Courtesy NCL)

On one had Joy’s on-deck facilities impress me , but on the other hand where is the room for the sun loungers?  As somebody wise once said: “Whatever happened to just cruising”?

However ‘Joy’ is built for the Chinese market and I’m told that the Chinese are not big on sunbathing.

Del Rio allegedly said: Norwegian Joy is getting the first race track on board a ship, with two levels and eight turns that can race 10 cars at a time, 35-40 mph, but del Rio said Bliss will get a race track that is 20 percent longer and have 10 turns, two of which will be banked and cantilevered over the side of the ship. “I want to see somebody beat that” .

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(Courtesy Cruise Industry News)

NCL: A Second Newbuild For China

February 23, 2017

Norwegian Cruise Line’s as yet unamed newbuild, scheduled for delivery in late 2019, will be designated for the Chinese market.

She will be the sister ship of Norwegian Joy.

According to a statement, the decision has been based on the strong market interest in Norwegian Joy, which will enter service from Shanghai in late June this year.

The two 164,600gt ‘Breakaway Plus’ class ships are being built at Meyer Werft, shipyard, in Germany.

(NCL)

NCL – Up To Six New Ships

February 16, 2017

The Norwegian Cruise Line has announced it has reached an agreement with Fincantieri to construct the next generation of ships for the brand.

Four ships are on order for delivery in 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025, with an option for two additional ships to be delivered in 2026 and 2027.

The four 140,000 gross ton ships will each accommodate approximately 3,300 guests.

The new class of ships will build upon NCL’s most recent Breakaway-Plus Class ships and feature a host of innovative designs that will further elevate its guest experience.

A priority of the prototype design is energy efficiency, with the aim of optimising fuel consumption and reducing the impact on the environment.

The contract price for each of the four vessels is approximately €800 million per ship.

Details on the ships’ many innovative guest-facing and first-at-sea features will be announced at a later date.

(NCL)

Innovation! (Norwegian Joy)

Innovation! (Norwegian Joy)

Malcolm says: So a change of shipyard from Meyer Werft, Germany, to Fincantieri, Italy.  Meyer Werft  must be disappointed, they have built most of NCL ‘s current fleet including their ‘Breakaway’ and ‘Breakaway-Plus’ ships.

This change of shipyard is not so surprising. In the past, new NCL CEO, Frank Del Rio, ordered some of the  Regent and Oceania ships from Fincantieri. (Del Rio was previously chairman and CEO for Prestige Cruise Holdings, Inc., the parent company operating both Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.)  He obviously has a good relationship with the Fincantieri shipyard.

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 yard could share this design with other lines.

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NCL CEO Frank Del Rio (Courtesy NCL)

If accurate, the new ships size is slightly smaller (6,000 gt) than NCL’s existing ‘Breakaway’ class and almost 25,000gt smaller that their ‘Breakaway-Plus’ class. It looks like they will carry 1,000 less passengers than ‘Breakaway-Plus’ too. NCL have effectively down-sized their  future product, when most of the other major cruise lines are up-scaling.

I would not surprise me if the new NCL ships resembled ‘MSC Seaside’, also a Fincantieri design.

I was expecting NCL to move to 200,000 gross tonne vessels in the next five years, like their competitors are: Carnival/Costa/P&O, MSC and Genting.  Obviously NCL have decided that bigger is NOT better.

It’s hard to imagine what “….a host of innovative designs “ might be.  I assume the vessels will still be packed with multiple dining rooms, due to the nature of NCL’s ‘Freestyle Dining’ system.  How much room will that leave for innovation?  I believe the ships will NOT be LNG powered, like some other lines future newbuilds will be.

However, I do think it will be a very long time  before more details will be made available.

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(Courtesy Fincantieri)

Norwegian Escape Review HERE

Norwegian Bliss – Observation Makes A Comeback HERE

NCL Adds Cuba Sailings

February 8, 2017
(Courtesy NCL)

(Courtesy NCL)

The Norwegian Cruise Line announced that it will extend its offering of weekly roundtrip cruises from Miami to Cuba.

Together with the five previously announced cruises, 25 additional cruises have been added.

Norwegian Sky will sail four-day roundtrip cruises from Miami each Monday, commencing in May, until December 2017.

Each cruise features an overnight stay in Havana as well as a day-call to Great Stirrup Cay, NCL’s private island in the Bahamas.

(NCL)

Bliss – Observation Makes A Comeback

February 3, 2017
Bliss (Courtesy of NCL)

Two Observation Lounges (Courtesy of NCL) Click to enlarge.

Norwegian Cruise Line has released some details about its next ship ‘Norwegian Bliss’ (a Breakaway-Plus class ships), which will enter service in June 2018.

Bliss will accommodate 4,000 passengers and will be based in Seattle during the summer and cruise the coastline of Alaska.

Her itineraries will include stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria. In the winter she will be deployed in Caribbean waters.

The most notable feature will be two forward-facing observation lounges, designed to offer the best views.

The Haven Observation Lounge

Built for the spectacular vistas of Alaska and The Caribbean, Norwegian Bliss will offer guests staying in The Haven exclusive access to a 2-story observation lounge, spanning decks 17 and 18 with expansive, panoramic ocean views, overlooking the front of the ship.

Haven Observation Lounge (Courtesy NCL)

(Courtesy NCL)

(Courtesy NCL)

Deck 18 (Courtesy NCL)

The Observation Lounge

Imagine sheer amazement from our revolutionary observation lounge offering the most expansive views at sea.

(Courtesy NCL)

(Courtesy NCL)

 

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Deck 15, above the Bridge (Courtesy NCL)

The Observation Lounge is also located at the front of the ship, deck 15 and provides the same stunning views directly above the bridge and features a full service bar for guests to sit back, relax and take in the views.

(NCL)

Malcolm says:  An observation lounge is such a simple concept: sit, relax and watch the sea and land pass by. However many megaships, including some NCL ships, had dropped the facility from their designs some years ago. It’s almost as if looking at the sea had gone out of fashion.

It’s very nice to see ‘observation’ making a comeback. When coupled with NCL’s ‘Waterfront’ feature, the opportunities for views and fresh-air are excellent for such a large ship design.

NCL’s Waterfront, see: HERE

Norwegian Bliss to Homeport in Seattle

October 14, 2016
(All images courtesy NCL)

(All images courtesy NCL)

The Port of Seattle and Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that the Norwegian Bliss will homeport in Seattle beginning in 2018 when the ship is delivered.

The ship is a‘Breakaway Plus’ class at approximately 167,800 gross tons and accommodating 4,000 guests. She will be constructed at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany.

The Port of Seattle also said it will have its biggest cruise year ever in 2017, expecting over one million revenue passengers through its cruise terminals.

“The Port of Seattle is proud to partner with Norwegian Cruise Line as we work to bring people from around the world to see Alaska,” said Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick.

seattle-bliss

“Norwegian was the first line to begin cruising to Alaska from Seattle in 2000 and it’s only fitting that we bring our newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, directly to this incredible location,” said Andy Stuart, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Alaska is one of the top destinations for our guests to explore and we are thrilled to be the first cruise line to offer guests the opportunity to experience this coveted destination on a brand new, state-of-the-art cruise ship from Seattle.”

The Norwegian Bliss will sail weekly seven-day Alaskan cruises from Pier 66 in Seattle. The ship’s itinerary will feature calls in Ketchikan, Juno, Skagway and Victoria, British Columbia, along with scenic glacier cruising.

photo

Norwegian has also announced that marine wildlife artist Wyland has been commissioned to design the hull artwork for Norwegian Bliss.

(NCL)

Genting Dream Delivered

(Courtesy Genting)

(Courtesy Genting)

October 12, 2016: In Bremerhaven, Meyer Werft handed over the new Genting Dream to Genting Hong Kong’s Dream Cruises.

It is the first new ship to be built specifically for the Asian market in over 15 years.

Dream is based on the Norwegian Cruise Lines ‘Breakaway’ design.

(Genting)

(Reviews of NCL ships, menu right)