(5:30 a.m. EST) -- Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has placed an order for four new 3,300-passenger ships for delivery in 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025, with an option for two more ships in 2026 and 2027.
The four 140,000-gross-ton ships will cost around €800 million (about $800 million) each, and the design will be based on Norwegian Cruise Line's newest Breakaway-Plus Class ships, which includes Norwegian Escape (pictured above).
However, the vessels will be significantly smaller than the Breakaway Plus Class, with around 1,000 fewer passengers and 23,000 tons smaller. Norwegian Joy, the second in the class, debuts to the Asian cruise market this summer, and Norwegian Bliss comes out in spring 2018. The fourth as-yet unnamed Breakaway-Plus ship will debut in winter 2019.
No details of the prototype design of the new ships have been released, but one of the key priorities will be energy efficiency, with the aim of optimizing fuel consumption and reducing the impact on the environment.
"This new class of ships will continue Norwegian Cruise Line brand's legacy of introducing meaningful innovation to the cruise industry," said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
"For the past 50 years, Norwegian Cruise Line has been focused on offering our guests the very best in cruising," said Andy Stuart, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. "It is with great excitement that we look ahead to our next 50 years, which includes this next generation of ships that will offer guests the innovative experiences that have come to define the Norwegian Cruise Line brand."
--By Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor