Although the cruise operator first announced its next generation project in February 2016, the company announced the name and showed first images at Seatrade Cruise Global 2017 in Fort Lauderdale only a few days ago. The Leonardo Project will consist of four ships, which will be built by Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.
The first of the as-yet-to-be-named ships will be delivered in June 2022. And the other three are coming in June 2023, June 2024 and June 2025 with an option for two additional ships to be scheduled for 2026 and 2027.
The new additions to the Norwegian fleet will be roughly 140,000-ton ships that can carry 3,300 passengers at double capacity and will feature a lot of open deck space on the lower levels. The ships are not as large as the Norwegian vessels that have rolled out the last few years. They are the two Breakaway Class cruise ships, Norwegian Breakaway that arrived in 2013 and Norwegian Getaway that debuted in 2014.The Breakaway Plus Class ships are 165,300-ton like Norwegian Escape that sails out of Miami and its sister ship Norwegian Joy scheduled to debut later this year and Norwegian Bliss coming in 2018.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Chairman and CEO Frank Del Rio noted that in the cruise industry the next series of vessels is usually larger than the one before, however, the cruise operator is famous for “breaking molds and going against the grain.” He added that not all destinations can handle 5,000-passenger ships effectively.
Further details on the new ships including names and home ports were not revealed. However, Del Rio promised that they will feature “cutting-edge technology” with optimized fuel consumption and reduced environmental impact.