NCL's Next Generation: Radical? Or Evolutionary?

March 12, 2008

Though no significant new details were revealed at today's NCL press conference at Seatrade, cruise line president Colin Veitch did offer a couple of tidbits about the twin 150,000-ton, 4,200-passenger ships. Such as:

Dates for launch have been changed. The first will debut in March 2010; the second will come out a mere seven months later in October.

Design-wise, the F3, according to Veitch, will be "a natural, logical progression of freestyle with more flexibility and more deconstruction [of traditional cruise features]". Interestingly, he noted that while the F3 will be an evolutionary ship for NCL itself (whose ships are the most innovative in the big-ship arena) it will be of a revolutionary design when it comes to rival cruise lines.

Expect more of what already works on NCL's newest series of ships, like more balconies (well, it's already been announced that all outside cabins will have 'em, which is pretty revolutionary right there). There will be more restaurants and more courtyard villas.

And what you won't find on F3 ships is just as interesting. There will be no main dining room. No "lido" buffet. And its staterooms will be entirely unique. Veitch says, "None will be recognizable as a traditional cruise ship cabin."

The F3 ships are being built at Aker Yards' shipyard in France.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief

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