Four new ships of record size for Norwegian are now set to arrive in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019
Norwegian is really bringing on the tonnage in the next five years, with plans to add four more, bigger than ever (for NCL) ships to its fleet by 2019.
The line already had two ships of a new class called “Breakaway-plus” on order, but the cruise line has just contracted with the German ship builder MEYER WERFT of Papenburg to build two new, additional Breakaway-Plus class cruise ships.
This new class ships is similar in basic floor plan to the line’s current newest generation in service, the “Norwegian Breakaway” and her sister ship, “Norwegian Getaway.” But the Breakaway-PLUS ships are about 19,000-tons larger and include an added deck almost fully dedicated to additional staterooms. The overall larger size of the ship will also allow designers to expand the public spaces to accommodate the extra passengers.
Interestingly, all of the new generation Norwegian ships will bear a striking resemblance to one another, similar to the way the Freedom-class ships of Royal Caribbean are expanded versions of the Voyager-class.
The Breakaway-Plus Sisters
The two current Breakaway-plus vessels on order and under construction are the Norwegian Escape (scheduled to arrive in 2015) and Norwegian Bliss (scheduled to arrive in 2017). The two added ships just announced are set to debut in 2018 and 2019, and have not yet been named.
The Breakaway-plus ships will continue the concept of Freestyle Cruising as pioneered by Norwegian Cruise Line beginning in the early 2000s. The first ship to be built within the framework of the most recent iteration of “free-style” was Norwegian Epic (2010), which in many ways has served as a template for the Breakaway ships, although the newer ships have several improvements over the one-of-a-kind Epic design, especially in the basic stateroom designs, plus the overall profile of the ship, and the addition of an expanded Promenade deck known as “The Waterfront.”
According to Norwegian, “The “Free-style” concept offers guests the freedom and flexibility to enjoy their cruise vacation on their own terms, including multiple dining venues, relaxed attire, a variety of accommodations and world-class entertainment.”
Norwegian Epic was launched in June 2010, Norwegian Breakaway was designated as “New York’s Ship” when it debuted there in May 2013 and Norwegian Getaway was deployed to Miami in February 2014.
Each of the four ships of the new class will be 164,600-gross tons and start at 4,200 passenger berths, referring to the two primary berths per stateroom, although several additional passengers can be accommodated in many stateroom with convertible sofa-beds and pull-down beds. This raises the true passenger capacity of each ship to well over 5000 guests per cruise.
The new ships are said to have azipod propulsion, a break from the standard propeller drives built into earlier Norwegian Cruise Line ships, including Norwegian Epic.
“Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway have proven themselves as industry game-changers and are extremely popular with our guests,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “It was only natural that we build on their success with this new ship order that further solidifies our long-term growth strategy.”
The combined contracted price for building the two additional ships is approximately 1.6 billion Euro. The Company has export credit financing in place for each ship, arranged and underwritten by KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH of Germany.
“We are thrilled that Norwegian Cruise Line has the continued confidence in MEYER WERFT to expand their fleet,” said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of MEYER WERFT. “We are very proud of our longstanding relationship with Norwegian.”