Two new cruise ships for NCL

//Two new cruise ships for NCL

ncl_new.jpgIt’s not the most revealing of computer-generated impressions, but this is allegedly what Norwegian Cruise Lines two new ships will look like.
After months of rumours, the company has confirmed that it has raised the finance and placed an order for the next generation of Freestyle Cruising ships
The 143,500-ton vessels, which will each carry approximately 4,000 passengers, will include lots of the features introduced on Norwegian Epic, and are scheduled to enter service in spring 2013 and spring 2014.
They will be built at the Meyer-Werft shipyard in Germany, and I am looking forward to seeing owner Bernard Meyer at the weekend – when I’ll be visiting his yard to see Disney Dream being floated out – to ask what is the secret of his success.
Rivals STX in France, where Epic was built, and Finland, from where Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas will sail this week are struggling to attract new orders, as are Italian shipbuilders Fincantieri.
But the Papenburg yard, which has been building ships for 213 years, seems to be going from strength to strength. As well as the new NCL order, it is contracted to complete two more Solstice class ships for Celebrity, the AIDASol, and Disney Dream and its sister, Disney Fantasy.
Meyer-Werft has already built seven ships for NCL, including the four Jewel-class vessels, and Herr Meyer said: “We are thrilled to continue our partnership.  Our teams work very well together and we are looking forward to building this new, exciting and innovative class of vessels.”
“In addition, the 21,000 employees of the yard and its supplier companies involved in the construction of the ships appreciate the new project from one of our long standing customers,” he added.
NCL boss Kevin Sheehan must be delighted that the £1 billion he is paying for two ships is little more than the price paid for Epic; the cancellation of its sister and the re-negotiation of the contract may well have soured relations with STX.
“Our decision to add two new ships reflects the significant progress we have made in improving our operating performance and repositioning the company, as well as the strong market demand we are seeing for Norwegian Epic and our other ships,” he said.
“Building on the incredible success and popularity of Norwegian Epic, we are taking the best of what our newest ship has to offer, as well as drawing on our legacy of innovation in the cruise industry, in creating a new class of Freestyle Cruising vessel.
“We are excited to be returning to Meyer-Werft and are confident that their rich ship building history and expertise will bring our vision to fruition,” he added.
How close that vision will be to the picture above remains to be seen.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:18+00:00 25 October 2010|Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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