There's no rest for the presumably weary folks at Norwegian Cruise Line. Just weeks after the debut of NCL America's Pride of America -- now making its way to the West Coast, where it will be previewed for travel agents and media -- Norwegian Jewel, the company's next new-build, begins the process of sea trials today.
The 93,000-ton, 2,400-passenger ship, an evolved interpretation of cousins like Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Star, has already departed its berth at Papenburg, Germany's Meyer Werft shipyard. The classic rite of passage for ships built at this major facility is the need to cruise backwards down the River Ems -- an event which always draws big crowds on the river's banks -- to get to the North Sea. In this case, Norwegian Jewel successfully transited the River Ems with the assistance of two tugs, though it did operate on its own speed. Norwegian Jewel is now based in Eemshaven, a coastal port in the Netherlands.
After sea trials and other technical tests, the ship will undergo provisioning and crew training before being officially handed over to NCL in early August.
Norwegian Jewel debuts on August 10 with a pair of Europe cruises. The inaugural leaves from Dover, and is headed for the Mediterranean; the ship will also sail a Baltic cruise before heading across the Atlantic in early September. This fall Norwegian Jewel will sail Canada/New England itineraries from New York.