Speaking at the U.K. launch of Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship, Norwegian Breakaway, CEO Kevin Sheehan told Cruise Critic: “The second Breakaway Plus will be confirmed in a couple of months. I assume that we'll do that, even though we haven't confirmed it yet.”
Breakaway Plus II -- as it's being called -- will debut in March 2017, if the line exercises its option to build.
Breakaway made its debut Monday (April 29) in Southampton, and we were onboard. You can have a look at our exclusive video of the ship on our Breakaway page.
Sheehan added Norwegian was looking for a name for "Breakaway Plus" -- and asked Cruise Critic readers to help him out: “We're looking for a name [for the new ship] and we would like you guys to come up with a name,” Sheehan said.
He also revealed that Breakaway Plus, which will be larger than Breakaway and the line's next new ship, Getaway, with 4,200 passengers, will have an additional deck of public space: “It's a little bit early for details, but we have been working very hard, the designs are almost set. It will have an additional deck, a partial deck, of public space and so we think it's just going to enhance that experience for the guests.”
Norwegian officially has two ships on order: Getaway and Breakaway Plus. Getaway will be a sister to Breakaway and will debut January 17, 2014, and will be based year-round in Miami. Getaway will have a strong Miami feel, with hull art by a Miami-based artist, David Le Betard, as well as two new features: The Illusionarium, which replaces the Spiegel Tent; and a Grammy show -- featuring actual winners of Grammy Awards, rather than impersonators. It will also feature the Burn the Floor show that debuted on Breakaway.
Breakaway Plus comes in at 163,000-gross tons, and once completed, it will be the largest ship in Norwegian's fleet. It will make its debut in October 2015.
Sheehan's reveal that there will be a fourth new ship will take the fleet to 15 ships by 2017. Despite this, the line would not commit to basing a ship in the U.K. Andy Stuart, executive vice president of global sales, said: “All the itineraries we are offering have a very strong appeal to all of the U.K. market. I won't say we'll never look at having a ship in the U.K., but we are focusing on delivering the options we are doing.”
Sheehan added: “As you get scale, we'll be pushing into these other markets for sure, but we don't have 100 ships [like Carnival Corp.] and we don't want to take a risk.”
This year the line has four ships in Europe -- Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Spirit and Norwegian Star -- its highest ever deployment in Europe. Two of them -- Jade and Spirit -- operate year-round.
Norwegian has used Epic -- which was a one off -- as a testing ground for passengers, taking its most popular features and introducing them on the new ships or retro-fitting them on others. Pride of America, for example, is having Studio Cabins -- which debuted on Epic and are also on Breakaway -- retrofitted while it is in dry dock for a $30 million makeover. “We're taking all of the knowledge we've gotten [from Epic] and matching it to the rest of the fleet,” Sheehan added.
--by Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor