Norwegian Takes Delivery of New Bliss

From left: Bernard Meyer of Meyer Werft, and Andy Stuart, president of Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line has officially taken delivery of the new 167,800-ton Norwegian Bliss in Bremerhaven, Germany, following a handover from Meyer Werft shipyard.

The Norwegian Bliss is the 11th ship built for Norwegian Cruise Line by the Papenburg-based shipyard.

“This is our 13th cruise ship we delivered to Norwegian within the last 15 years. Our team made has done a great job. I am proud and thankful for their contribution”, said Tim Meyer, Managing Director of Meyer Werft.

Following the delivery, the ship will sail for Southampton, where the ship will be presented to the public for the first time. After a crossing, she will be previewed to media and VIPs in New York and christened later in May in Seattle ahead of her debut summer season in Alaska.

Norwegian Bliss – Main Data

Tonnage 167,800 GRT
Overall length 333.46 m
Width 41.4 m
Number of decks 20
Draught 8.40 m
Machine output MAN 3x 12 V 2x 14V total 76,800 kW
Propulsion power 44,000 kW
Speed 23.2 kn
Passengers 3998
No. of passenger cabins 2043
Number of outside cabins (incl. suites) 1599
No. of inner cabins 444
Crew max. 1,716
Theatre seating capacity 858
No. of restaurants 18
No. of bars/lounges 12
Total weight of applied paint approx. 300 t
Total length of installed cables. 2,200 km
Total length of installed pipes approx. 400 km
Flag Bahamas
Class DNVGL

Norwegian Cruise Line Approves $1 Billion Share Repurchase Program

Norwegian Jewel

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings today announced that its Board of Directors authorized a three-year, $1 billion share repurchase program.

The company said it may repurchase its ordinary shares from time to time, in amounts, at prices and at such times as it deems appropriate, subject to market conditions and other considerations.

Norwegian said it may make repurchases in the open market, in privately negotiated transactions, in accelerated repurchase programs or in structured share repurchase programs, and any repurchases may be made pursuant to Rule 10b5-1 plans. The program will be conducted in compliance with applicable legal requirements and will be subject to market conditions and other factors.

“The $1 billion share repurchase program authorization reflects our ongoing confidence in our financial strength and the long-term outlook of our business,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “Our strong and growing cash flow will allow us to deepen our commitment to provide returns to our shareholders while continuing to invest in our product, innovation and growth.”

Royal Caribbean: ‘Very Aggressive’ on Tech Infrastructure

Ovation of the Seas in Hong Kong

At Royal Caribbean Cruises, the idea is to anticipate the future of technology and get ready for it now.

“I believe that the largest challenges for us are the things that we don’t even know will be coming in the next five to 10 years. There are revolutions coming, things like virtual reality and other things that we don’t even imagine. We need to look at the historical growth of those technologies in the past, focusing on the future,” said Guillermo Muniz, director of satellite and network engineering, Royal Caribbean Cruises.

While cruise lines may plan into the 2020s on the technology front, challenges still remain when it comes to internet aboard today’s fleet.

“Royal Caribbean is being very aggressive regarding infrastructure within the ship. We are investing to make sure we have the infrastructure on our ships to have the correct Wi-Fi and the latest technologies to be able to not worry about connectivity over the next decade,” Muniz said.

The newer Royal Caribbean ships are using a new technology, marketed as Voom, that has significantly improved internet access aboard, helped in part by SES Networks.

“On those ships, the connection is comparable to our home experience. You can stream and watch videos on your devices easily. The amount of bandwidth that we provide to a single user today is the same amount of bandwidth that we provided for our entire fleet in 2000,” Muniz noted.

Royal Caribbean is working on a new boarding process that uses facial recognition to speed up the embarkation. Muniz explained that guests will be able to take a selfie at home, upload it via an app, and then be recognized at the cruise terminal by special facial recognition cameras. The cruise line plans to launch the system over the next few years.