NCL Orders Two New Ships
Rendering of the new NCL ships scheduled for 2013, 2014.
As many have been predicting, the Miami Herald is reporting this morning that NCL has ordered two new cruise ships to be delivered in April 2013 and April 2014. The new ships will be similar in size to Norwegian Epic, 143,500-gross tons and 4000 passenger berths, but the line says "We did modify the look and feel of the ship to a more traditional ship."
The exterior appearance of Norwegian Epic has been criticized for being boxy and just plain ugly by many readers of this site.
President Kevin Sheehan said, "we are taking the best of what our newest ship has to offer, as well as drawing on our legacy of innovation in the cruise industry, in creating a new class of Freestyle Cruising vessel that is sure to provide our guests with the unparalleled freedom and flexibility they have come to expect on a Norwegian cruise."
The new ships will cost $1.7-billion together, and NCL has selected a new shipbuilding company to do the job after it had a highly pulicized dispute with the French STX shipyard located in St. Nazaire, France during the building of Norwegian Epic. The new ships will be built at the Meyer Werft GmbH shipyard in Germany.
The Epic order was originally for two ships, but the second ship was canceled soon after work had started on it. At that point attempts were made to halt the entire project but the shipyard was unable to find a buyer for the first ship already under construction. I t was said that the hull was too drastically different from what most cruise want these days.
It is notable that Norwegian Epic has internal engines and screw propellars rather than the pod systems installed on the latest ships from most of NCL's rival cruise lines; Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America, Cunard, Carnival, etc.
For the interior, NCL says it is staying with the current "Freestyle" design of having several dining and entertainment venues aboard the ship.
Norwegian Epic has been criticized for the limited size of its entertainment venues which require cruisers to get reservations for shows long before the cruise and then requires them to stand in line to get good seats for the open seating shows.