The permanent addition of the ship to NCL's fleet was widely expected. NCL had announced that SuperStar Leo (nee Norwegian Spirit) would be loaned out by Star Cruises as a result of ship switches necessitated by Pride of America’s tragic sinking in January. SuperStar Leo was brought in to pinch hit for Norwegian Sky, which will be sent early to the refurbishment fast track en route to its new persona -- it will debut as Pride of Aloha, in Hawaii, on July 4.
NCL Spirit will begin its Seattle-based Alaska summer season on May 15. The 76,800-ton, 1,960-passenger ship, along with Star Cruises sibling SuperStar Virgo, was the "pathfinder," design wise, to vessels like Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Star. It was launched in 1998 and was the first purpose-built-for-freestyle-cruising ship introduced by Malaysia-based Star Cruises.
Veitch said today there was "no plan" to transfer SuperStar Virgo to the NCL fleet.