Four new generation Norwegian cruise ships are currently set to be delivered in the next five years. Norwegian Cruise Line is definitely bringing on the tonnage and is planning to add four cruise ships of record for NCL size to its fleet. Each of the four 164,600 gross tons ships of the new Breakaway- Plus class will start at 4,200-passenger berths.
The company already had two ships of Breakaway- Plus class under construction: Norwegian Escape, scheduled to be delivered in 2015, and Norwegian Bliss, in 2017.
An agreement was reached between Norwegian Cruise Line and the German ship builder Meyer Werft that two more Breakaway Plus cruise ships will be built and debut in 2018 and 2019, announced Norwegian Line officials a week ago. The two new ships have not yet been named and the contract prize for both is approximately €1,6 billion.
The line presently has two Breakaway cruise ships in service both sailing to the Bahamas: Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010 and homeported in New York City and Norwegian Getaway, launched in May 2013 and homeported in Miami. The new class ships are similar in basic floor plans to the current Breakaway Norwegian ships. However, the Breakaway-Plus ships are around 19,000 tons larger and include an additional expanded Promenade deck named “The Waterfront”.
The new class cruise ships will continue the Freestyle Cruising concept that the company pioneered in 2010 with the introduction of 4,100-passenger Norwegian Epic. In many ways, it has served as a framework for the new class cruise ships. The newer ships have several improvements over the unique Epic design, notably in the basic stateroom design and the overall profile of the vessel.
On July 2, “Travel & Leisure” magazine announced the results of its World’s Best Awards survey. The readers ranked Disney Cruise Line as number one Top Mega-Ship Cruise Line and Top Mega-Ship Cruise Line for Families. The readers were asked to vote on several different criteria including itineraries and destinations, excursions, activities, service, cabins and food.
This is the first time Disney Cruise Line has won the Top Mega-Ship Cruise Line award and the sixth consecutive year it has been named Top Mega-Ship Cruise Line for Families.
Travel & Leisure’s editor-in-chief Nancy Novogrod says in a media statement that Disney Cruise Line which in the past has been ranked the number one Family Cruise Line, moved to the top of the list of Mega-Cruise Ships with capacity of 2,200 passengers or more for the first time because of the great service, onboard experience and activities for all ages.
Disney Cruise Line with its small fleet of four ships, the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder takes guests on trips to various destinations including the Caribbean, Hawaii, Bahamas, Alaska and Europe. The company is constantly adding new itineraries and reinvesting in their fleet by making onboard enhancements. Recently, the Disney Magic was upgraded with a new water thrill ride called the AquaDunk and innovative technologies.
GT USA, an American company which is a subsidiary of Middle Eastern cargo company Gulftainer signed a 35-year agreement with Port Canaveral and agreed to invest $100 million in infrastructure, equipment and human resources. The company expects to hire almost 100% of its full-time employees from Florida.
Badr Jafar, Chairman of Gulftainer’s Executive Board and John E.Walsh, CEO of the Canaveral Port Authority, signed the agreement at a ceremony on June 24.
With a global reputation for highly efficient and productive services, cargo company Gulftainer Group operates and manages ports and logistic businesses in 5 continents worldwide and has a current handling activity of 6 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) and plans to expand them to 18 million.
When fully operational, the new terminal at Port Canaveral is expected to create about 2,000 direct and indirect jobs including 500 jobs at the port itself.
As one of the busiest ports in the world today, Port Canaveral handles approximately four million tones cargo per year and with the new agreement signed it will contribute more than US$280 million in revenue to Port Canaveral and about US$630 million to the local economy.
Norwegian Cruise Line is planning to spend more than $250 million through 2015 to upgrade entertainment, dining, drinking and many other elements of its cruise product, company officials said on Tuesday.
Although some aspects of the Norwegian new program have previously been announced, the improvements are meant to be built on both Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, the most recent additions to Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line.
The cruise line said that the H2GLOW Party will be available on all ships, including new shows, acrobats, showgirls; free dining rooms with new menus; more exciting activities for kids will be added as part of the upgrade.
In addition, the cruise operator will invest in new technology: interactive displays will be introduced across the whole fleet and the passengers will be able to make dining reservations, organize shore excursions as well as many other parts of their trips only by using a touch screen sign.
Princess Cruises launched its newest ship, the Regal Princess, last month. The vessel will join the sister ship the Royal Princess in Port Everglades in November when it will be named in an official ceremony and then the Regal Princes starts sailing on its regular itineraries to the eastern Caribbean through spring 2015.
The new cruise ship expands the line’s fleet to 18 vessels that offer their guests a variety of worldwide destinations.
The 3, 560-passenger ship features an adult-only retreat with private VIP cabanas, a showpiece atrium, relaxing Lotus Spa, Center Court sports area, exceptional dining, the Princess Theater offering night shows, casino, and dance club.
The most notable feature off all is the innovative SeaWalk, a glass-floored walkway at a height of 128 feet and offering a view of the blue ocean.
The Regal Princess will offer 7-night itineraries from November 9, 2014 to April 5, 2015 with stops at the private Bahamas island Princess Cay, St Tomas, Saint Maarten as well as three days at sea. The ship will home port at Port Lauderal.
Jan Swartz, the Princess Cruise President said that he hopes that the new addition to the line’s fleet will offer to its guests a special experience and they will enjoy the exciting on-board amenities.