Norwegian Bliss, the third of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Plus class, emerged from the Meyer Werft building dock in Papenburg, Germany on 17FEB, representing a major milestone in the vessel’s construction.
The ship will remain in the shipyard port for the final phase of construction, until its conveyance down the River Ems towards the North Sea, scheduled for mid-March. During this time, the first crewmembers will move into their staterooms on board, begin their training, and familiarize themselves with the ship.
Construction of the ship began in OCT 2016 with the traditional steel-cutting ceremony launching the 12th Norwegian Cruise Line ship to be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard.
The third ship in the Breakaway Plus class measures 1,082 feet in length by 136 feet wide, with gross tonnage of 167,800 and accommodating approximately 4,000 guests.
The float-out marked the public debut of the ship’s signature hull artwork designed by world-renowned marine life artist and conservationist, Wyland. Best known for his marine life paintings, sculptures and grand scale murals, or “Whaling Walls,” Norwegian Bliss’ hull design is named “Cruising with the Whales” and features an image of a mother humpback whale and her calf as the centrepiece of the design, representing the beauty of Alaska’s wildlife.
The Bliss will stake a claim as the first cruise ship custom-built with features and amenities designed for the Alaska cruise experience, including a 180-degree Observation Lounge where guests can enjoy Norwegian’s most expansive views at sea.
She will also be the first NCL ship to make her debut in Seattle, with cruises beginning MAY 2018. The Bliss will offer weekly seven-day cruises with ports-of-call including Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska, as well as Victoria, BC, along with scenic glacier cruising.
“Our partners at Meyer Werft have done an excellent job realizing our vision for a ship designed to experience Alaska and the Caribbean like never before,” said NCL president and CEO Andy Stuart. “We are counting down the days until her official debut in Seattle this summer, where guests will be able to race around the world’s largest two-level race track at sea against the backdrop of Alaska’s wild frontier, and enjoy other first-at-sea experiences.”
Following preview events in New York City, Miami and Los Angeles, Norwegian Bliss will sail into Seattle for her official christening on 30MAY, with summer cruises to Alaska beginning 2JUN. She will spend her fall seasons sailing to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles. In winter of 2018 she will sail to the Caribbean from Miami, and in the 2019 fall/winter season she will cruise from New York City to Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.