Norwegian Cruise Line may be welcoming their biggest ever ship, Norwegian Escape, into service next month but they are certainly not resting on their laurels – as work begins on sister ship, Norwegian Bliss. Ol’ Blissy (a nickname I will try to get to stick) will become the second member of NCL’s Breakaway Plus Class when she takes to the seas – scheduled for 2017.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s executives gathered this week to celebrate the steel cutting ceremony – indicating the official start of the ship’s construction. The steel was cut using the dry plasma system – significantly different from the water cutting method used by older ships in the fleet, such as the Epic.
The ceremony was held at the Papenburg, Germany shipyard of Meyer Werft – the shipbuilders have a long and illustrious partnership with NCL, having previously constructed other members of the fleet including the Breakaway, Getaway, Star, Dawn, Pearl, Jade, Jewel and Gem.
The ship will follow the same design and construction as sister ship, Escape, but will undoubtedly feature unique hull art and could include new amenities and dining options. With roughly 18 months for construction, the ship has a short turnaround time – but Meyer Werft are confident they can throw up some pleasant surprises for Norwegian Cruise Line and the cruise industry as a whole.
The Norwegian Escape is still receiving her finishing touches in the shipyard, before undertaking her sail out next week. The Escape will then make its way to Miami where she will homeport for her maiden winter – completing seven night itineraries around the Eastern Caribbean.
No itinerary or homeport details have been released for the Bliss yet. Although NCL’s increased attention to the Asian cruise market could see the ship targeted at that rapidly-growing region – with China a likely homeport country.
Cruise1st will keep you updated as and when news is released about the Norwegian Bliss and other advances in the industry.
Images sourced via Norwegian Cruise Line Media Centre.