Mechanical Problems Delay Pride of Hawaii Handover

April 13, 2006

In a case of déjà vu-all-over again, Norwegian Cruise Line, which had planned to take ownership of its new Pride of Hawaii this week, notes that the ship's handover will be delayed. The cause? Almost the same problem that's plaguing Royal Caribbean's new Freedom of the Seas: problems with bearings in the ship's ABB Azipods.

In fact, the problem was first detected while the ship was undergoing sea trials in late March/early April and the faulty bearings were replaced last week. But now problems have been detected in the replacements.

The ship is now en route to Lloyd Werft, in Bremerhaven, and will arrive there on Saturday. It will take, says a company statement, about four days to make the repair -- and there will be no delay in the ship's planned inaugural events on the U.S. West Coast in mid-May.

Once NCL has fully inspected the vessel, the handover will take place and Pride of Hawaii will set out for its journey across the Atlantic. First stop in the U.S.A. is in Baltimore, where it will undergo U.S. Coast Guard inspections and ramp up its crew numbers -- only 400 are onboard currently -- and the remaining 600 or so, many of whom are undergoing training at the line's facility in Piney Point, Maryland, will board Pride of Hawaii once it arrives in "Charm City."