| Even as Norwegian Cruise Line moves closer to its December debut of Norwegian Pearl, the line's next new ship is progressing, too. The 93,000-ton, 2,384-passenger Norwegian Gem will debut in October 2007.|
In an announcement this week, NCL says that:
In line with a company tradition that emphasizes artwork inside -- and outside -- its ships, Norwegian Gem's hull has been artfully decorated with a series of colorful gems that extend from the bow to amidships.
Unannounced until now is the fact that the ship will sail a series of pre-inaugural cruises in the Mediterranean. The vessel will reposition from Dover to Barcelona on October 8 and visit Vigo, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Naples, Rome (Civitavecchia), Florence (Livorno) and Nice. On October 21, the ship sails a seven-day cruise roundtrip from Barcelona calling into Messina, Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples, Florence (Livorno) and Nice. On October 28, November 9 and 21, the ship will sail three 12-day cruises roundtrip from Barcelona calling in Malaga, Casablanca and Agadir (Morocco), Arrecife and Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, Lisbon, Cadiz, Gibraltar and Majorca. The ship will then make a trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona to Boston on December 3.
Although nothing official has been released regarding the specifics of the inaugural, a series of events on the East Coast have been loosely scheduled. Following the events, Norwegian Gem will be homeporting year-round in New York; it will feature a seven-day Bahamas and Florida itinerary in December 2007 and February, March and April 2008. In January and February 2008, the ship will sail a series of 10- and 11-day exotic Southern Caribbean itineraries roundtrip from New York.
While at this point NCL has not revealed specific details about other new features, the ship has been designed with some of the line's most recent innovations -- the Courtyard and Garden Villas, family-friendly staterooms, and a bowling alley. The ship will of course feature NCL's "Freestyle Dining" series of restaurants that offer major flexibility.
We'll keep you posted as new details are announced.
--by Dan Askin, Editorial Assistant