NCL Surprises Industry; Places Two New Ship Orders

December 17, 2004
Norwegian Cruise Line, remaining true to its stated mission to completely overhaul its fleet by 2010, is two steps closer today.

According to a press release issued by Meyer Werft, the Papenberg-based shipyard that's building Norwegian Jewel, NCL has placed an order there for another new ship. This vessel, slated for delivery in February 2007, will be a sister to the still-under-construction Norwegian Jewel. That 93,000-ton, 2,384-passenger vessel will debut in September 2005.

A more intriguing announcement, also made today, is that NCL has placed an order for yet another new vessel from Helsinki-based Aker Finnyards. This ship will be the first in the big ship industry to -- get this -- to feature, with every outside cabin, a private balcony (see rendering, right).

That means the ship has five full decks of cabins-with-balconies -- far more than those available on Norwegian Jewel (and her just announced offspring).

Industry-watchers speculate that this ship, unlike that of the Papenberg-built vessels, will be a prototype -- representing a new design for NCL. It's actually smaller than Norwegian Jewel; the as-yet-unnamed ship will measure only 89,000 tons -- but, with a capacity of 2,430, will actually carry more passengers. Delivery is slated for spring 2007. The company also plans to build a sibling; it would be delivered in early 2008.