NCL Announces Major Delay for Pride of America Launch

January 17, 2004

It's bad news for Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America. The 81,000-ton, 2,100-passenger ship – slated to become the first oceangoing new-build in 50 years to wave the American flag – will be delayed for what the company describes as months rather than weeks as a result of flooding accident earlier this week at its shipyard.

Early Wednesday morning, a severe storm with high winds at Lloyd Werft shipyard, in Bremerhaven, swamped the ship with water. Pride of America was flooded up to the third deck, listed 15 degrees and sank to the bottom of the shallow 11-meter deep water-bed. A handful of workers who were onboard were safely rescued though injuries were reported.

Last night's announcement said that Pride of Aloha, which is currently known as Norwegian Sky, and which was scheduled to join the NCL America fleet next fall – to sail three- and four-night all-Hawaii itineraries - will, as a result of the accident, be rushed into refurbishment. It will take over Pride of America's seven-night inter-island cruises, beginning, as originally scheduled (for the new ship) on July 4. NCL has begun taking reservations for Pride of Aloha -- and is transferring bookings from Pride of America.

Pride of Aloha, currently sailing as Norwegian Sky, will now undergo its multi-million dollar remodeling in May and be reflagged into the U.S. registry. The 77,104-ton 2,000-passenger ship, built in 1999, will launch in early June in California and wind-up in Hawaii on July 4th for its inaugural christening and celebration.

The Alaska cruises that Norwegian Sky was meant to sail this spring will be cancelled – passengers booked on those trips will be offered other alternatives.

NCL plans to announce specific timeframe for Pride of America's new launch as soon as possible so stay tuned.