Norwegian Joy Starts to Take Shape at Meyer Werft Shipyard

800px-Norwegian_Epic_water_chute_2Norwegian Cruise Line has begun construction of Norwegian Joy, its first ship designed exclusively for the Chinese market, where it will make its home port. The 168,800-gross-ton will take about 12 months to be built and is due to launch in summer 2017.

Norwegian Joy has the capacity for 3,900 passengers is being designed specifically for the Chinese travelers. The new addition of Norwegian Cruise Line will be based in both Shanghai and Tianjin.

An official keel-laying ceremony, marking the official start of construction, was held at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. During the event, the first of 80 blocks weighing 680 tons that will make up the new cruise ship was lifted by a massive crane into a Meyer building facility and then lowered into place. Before that cruise line executives, that were present in the hall, laid the traditional “lucky coin.”

The $920 million cruise ship will offer its guests an array of luxury ground-breaking features on-board, including go-cart-like cars. The two-level, open-air racetrack will be located on the top deck and will be the first ever go-kart track at sea.

The ship will also feature bumper cars, laser tag, Oculus Rift virtual reality, car racing simulators, as well as two multistory water slides. One of them, the Double Aqua Loop slide, will feature one loop that extends out over the edge of the cruise ship and a second transparent loop that will stretch to the deck below. The other slide, dubbed Aqua Racer, will enable two riders to race side by side on inner tubes for more than 360 feet and see which one comes out first.

For passengers looking for a quiet space, the top deck will feature a partly covered open green space with pool where yoga and tai chi classes will be held.Among the other luxury experiences on-board will be luxury stores, a suite complex offering personal butler, a private restaurant and 74 suites.