January 31, 2018
(10 a.m. EST) -- Norwegian Cruise Line's next new ship will be called Norwegian Encore, cruise line president Andy Stuart revealed Wednesday at a steel-cutting at Meyer-Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.
With international media, Norwegian executives and hull artist Wyland in attendance, Norwegian cut steel for Norwegian Encore, which will homeport in Miami beginning in fall 2019. (A steel-cutting represents the official start of the cruise ship building process.)
At the ceremony, Stuart and a handful of Meyer-Werft executives pushed the button to start the laser cutting the steel plate. Meyer-Werft Managing Director Tim Meyer praised Stuart and Norwegian for their continued partnership and said the ship would be ready to float out by May 2019. After, Stuart and Meyer raised glasses of Champagne and toasted, leading a traditional "hip-hip-hooray" cheer.
Norwegian Encore is the fourth ship in the cruise line's Breakaway Plus class, joining Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Joy (sailing in China) and Norwegian Bliss (debuting in April 2018).
Previously referred to as "708," Encore will carry 4,000 passengers. Other ships in the Breakaway Plus Class include a complex for solo passengers that offers cabins and a lounge for singles, waterslides and even go-kart tracks. The class also perfects the line's successful Waterfront, an alfresco dining and drinking spot that wraps around the ship, promenade style.
Encore originally was slated to sail in China, something parent company NCLH CEO Frank Del Rio announced in an earnings call in February 2017.
--By Colleen McDaniel, Senior Executive Editor