"We're a Miami company," Norwegian's president and CEO Kevin Sheehan said during the announcement at Cruise Shipping Miami. "We have our best assets in Miami."
The ship's hull art will complement not only its Miami homeport but also the Eastern Caribbean itinerary it will be sailing, featuring the "iconic creatures that are the epitome of what we have here in Miami," Harvey said.
The highlight of the hull painting will be a giant sailfish, while the length of the hull will feature turtles, stingrays, frigate birds and whale sharks. On the stern will be depictions of coral reefs and reef fish.
Though the third ship in Norwegian's Breakaway class, Norwegian Escape will carry nearly 200 more passengers than sister ships Breakaway and Getaway. When launched it will become the largest ship sailing from Miami year round.
Norwegian and Harvey also will partner on a Caribbean Challenge Initiative program created to maintain the pristine environments of the Caribbean. An onboard ship will sell items featuring Harvey's recognizable artwork and the licensing fees for these items will go toward continued conservational research and education. Also onboard, passengers will be able to watch documentaries about the various animals painted on the hull.
"The entire ship will fly the flag of conservation," Harvey said.
Does Harvey's association with the Caribbean mean Norwegian Escape will feature a Caribbean theme? After all, the artists who designed the hull art for Escape's fleetmates are famous for their work in the homeport (New York's Peter Max designed Breakaway's hull art; Miami's David "Lebo" Le Batard designed Getaway's). When asked, Sheehan played coy, saying "You'll have to stay tuned."
Escape will sail Eastern Caribbean itineraries calling on ports such as Tortola in the British Virgin Islands and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
--By Dori Saltzman, News Editor