PHOTO: Rendering of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Project Leonardo ship class. (Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)
After recapping and detailing a number of current projects at the annual Seatrade Cruise Global conference, Norwegian Cruise Line pulled back the current on the exterior design of its next ship class, dubbed Project Leonardo.
That wasn’t the only notable news on the docket, however.
In between its seasonal deployments in Alaska and the Caribbean, it was announced that California would get some love in between with 7-, 8- and 14-day Mexican Riviera sailings from Los Angeles. On the routes, Mexican ports of call will include Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Ensenada, Manzanillo and Puerto Quetzal, with the longer sailing being a repositioning to Miami through the Panama Canal’s new larger locks.
Also on the itinerary side of things, Cuba was anticipated as Norwegian Sky’s next destination beginning in May, 2017, for a total of 30 weekly 4-day sailings from Miami that will initially last through this December. The other port of call on these voyages will be the cruise line’s Great Stirrup Cay, which is also the focus of renewal, to the tune of $40 million.
The private island has aready received an enhanced beach area, updated cabanas, a refurbished boardwalk, new dining and shaded lounge seating, landscaping and the free Abaco Taco eatery. Next to be added through the end of the year will be a new Landshark Bar & Grill, zip-line, underwater sculpture garden, marina lockers, family beach, shaded benches, private lagoon area and medical center.
Back on board, the next-to-launch Norwegian Bliss was also featured for its connection to the ocean, completing a journey that began with the al fresco Waterfront on the Norwegian Breakaway and coming to full fruition with its multiple decks of sea-view observation lounges. Other new features include virtual views for the ship’s studio cabins bringing outside vistas in. There will also be the same amount of Haven suites on the Bliss as on the preceding Norwegian Escape while providing double the amount of common ship-within-a-ship space.
Entertainment is being added on the current fleet with a complimentary “Escape the Big Top” puzzle room experience on the Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Escape. Plus, “Cirque Dream & Dinner” is to be enhanced on the Breakaway and Epic as well as being added to the Getaway via a format that arranges the new show and main dining elements separately.
Even though the Norwegian Bliss itself will not launch until the summer of 2018, the next aforementioned Project Leonardo is already making waves with its exterior aesthetic. The first ship from the new series will come out in 2022 followed by other ordered sister-ships in 2023, 2024 and 2025. Options exist for two more in 2026 and 2027.
When Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. revealed the renderings of the 140,000-gross-ton vessel, he pointed out that it will include broad decks as well as several infinity pools, all in service to his vision of crafting a premium product for the mainstream line.
Each new ship will carry approximately 3,300 guests, building on the amenities found in the line’s latest Breakaway Plus-class ships.