(2 p.m. EDT) -- Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship, the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway, launching in April 2013, will feature the fleet's largest facilities for children and teens. The announcement came at a press conference Thursday, where the line also revealed the names for its updated youth programs, which debuted on Norwegian Gem in February.
The new teen program, dubbed Entourage, will feature Norwegian's largest facilities on Breakaway. Located on Deck 16, the dedicated space will include foosball and air hockey tables, gaming stations and a video jukebox for late-night dance parties.
Splash Academy, the new moniker for the line's children's program, will be divided into Guppies (infants to 2 years), Turtles (3-5), Seals (6-9) and Dolphins (10-12). On Breakaway, the two-deck facilities will be located on Decks 12 and 13, adjacent to the ship's family cabins.
Babies and toddlers under age three, along with their parents, will also have their own dedicated play space with activities.
The most notable offerings for children include circus workshops (think juggling, plate-spinning and stilt-walking) through a partnership with New York-based Hilario Productions Cirque du Jour and active pursuits like soccer workshops and physical challenges in collaboration with the King's Foundation and Camps, a U.K.-based organization. Children younger than 3 can take part in art classes, storytelling and mini-workouts with their parents. (There's no charge for kids younger than 3, but they must be accompanied by a parent.)
The revamped youth programs, which also include family activities like cupcake-decorating, pizza-making and game shows, are set to roll out fleetwide by the end of August.
Norwegian has been steadily revealing information on Breakaway, the first in a new class for the line (a sister, Norwegian Getaway, will debut in April 2014). Details on Breakaway's cabins, suites, dining options and expansive indoor-outdoor public hubs, "The Waterfront" and "678 Ocean Place," have already been announced. Reveals on entertainment options and top-deck activities are next on the docket. Cruise Critic will be covering every step of the process, from steel cutting to launch; readers can follow the progress on our Project Breakaway page.
--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor