Norwegian Cruise Line took the first step this week into willing the second Breakaway Plus-class vessel, Norwegian Bliss, into reality.
At the Meyer Werft shipyards in Papenburg, Germany, the first piece of steel was cut for the 165,000 GT as-yet-unnamed ship that is set to debut in the spring of 2017. Sister-ship to the nearly-completed Norwegian Escape, the Norwegian Bliss will be approximately 10 percent larger than Norwegian’s Breakaway Class that includes the Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway.
Contributing to the size increase will be an additional deck that will incorporate new staterooms, suites and other innovations. Capable of carrying 4,200 guests, Norwegian Bliss will feature interiors designed by Tillberg Design and London-based SMC Design. The central idea behind Breakaway Plus was to roll all of Norwegian’s most successful features from its existing fleet into a single ship.
It’s an idea that clearly seems to be working: Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway are two of the line’s most successful vessels to date. Norwegian Escape, the first Breakaway Plus-vessel, will enter service on this October, homeporting in Miami, Florida and primarily sailing runs to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. A transatlantic crossing from Southampton to Miami is scheduled for October 29, 2015.
“On behalf of the more than 20,000 Norwegian team members worldwide, we are thrilled to mark the start of construction of the second ship in our company’s Breakaway Plus class and the continued evolution of the Norwegian brand,” said Andy Stuart, president of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Not only will this ship fully embody the Norwegian brand and the freedom and flexibility that a Norwegian Cruise Line vacation means, but the combined expertise of the company’s new leadership team will create what is sure to be the epitome of contemporary cruising.”
The feeling was echoed by executives at Meyer Werft, Norwegian Cruise Line’s longtime shipbuilding partner. “We are very happy to build these new class of ships for Norwegian Cruise Line and to continue our long-standing relationship,” said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft.
Along with sister-ship Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Bliss will be the largest vessel in the company’s fleet. While her initial destinations have yet to be announced, it is known that she will be able to sail around the world in an environmentally friendly fashion: Norwegian Cruise Line will fit each vessel with five advanced scrubbers developed by Green Tech Marine. These will allow Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss to comply with the 0.1 percent sulphur limit in areas with emission controls that are set to take effect by the end of this year.
More information on Norwegian Cruise Line can be found by viewing our company overview here on Avid Cruiser.