November 11, 2002
Norwegian Cruise Lines, which acquired from the now defunct American Classic Voyages its partially-completed "Project America" newbuild, has taken the ship out to sea. The ship, now just a hull, will be finished in Europe -- presumably Germany's Lloyd Weft as the company is in the process of negotiations with them. The design of the as-yet-unnamed ship, due for launch in spring 2004, was originally meant to cater to the Hawaiian cruise market and had earned the distinction of being the first cruise ship in decades to be built by a U.S. shipyard. Norwegian has revamped the design to fit more with its "freestyle cruising" theme and has not announced planned itineraries. There is a second Project America vessel. That one's still in the Northrop Grumman Ship Systems shipyard in Mississippi; in an announcement NCL has said it will not explore the feasibility of completing that one until the completion of the first.