In today’s other big-deal new-ship-news, Norwegian Cruise Line announces it has finalized a deal to build two “freestyle cruising” vessels. Right now, the two ships, known only as "hull’s 667 and 668" will basically be modeled after NCL’s Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Star. The ships will be built to cruise quickly -- capable of moving at 24 – 25 knots. At 93,000 tons, and with a passenger capacity of 2,400, they are ever-so-slightly larger than Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Star.
The vessels will be built at Germany’s Meyer Werft shipyard. That’s good news for Meyer Werft, the shipyard where Royal Caribbean had held – and then cancelled – two options for Radiance-class new builds. Meyer Werft has already built four ships for NCL and parent company Star Cruises – Superstar Leo and Superstar Virgo, and the aforementioned Dawn and Star.
Financially, NCL estimates that the ships together will cost about $790 million ($703 euros) at today’s exchange rates; per berth cost will be about $170,000. NCL says the ships will be delivered in 2005 and 2006 and construction begins, on the first vessel, this month.
Detail-wise, the design of the new ships won’t introduce too many surprises. There will be ten different restaurants – from a steak house and sushi bar to a coffee bar and Spanish eatery. State-of-the-art environmental and safety management technology will be integrated into the design and that includes advanced wastewater treatment plants, water-emulsion injection systems that reduce nox emissions from the diesel engines, and shore side discharge pumping systems for closed-system waste disposal to licensed land-based facilities. The ships will also have a CCTV surveillance system with more than 1000 cameras monitoring all areas of the ship.
There will be some design-related modifications that will differentiate these vessels from Dawn and Star but NCL says those details will be announced later.