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

Norwegian Joy Welcomed to New Shanghai Home Port

Norwegian Joy Welcomed to New Shanghai Home Port
PHOTO: Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Norwegian Joy docked in Bremerhaven, Germany. (photo by Jason Leppert)

Following maiden calls in Singapore, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Norwegian Joy, was welcomed to its new home port of Shanghai, China.

The Norwegian Joy was engineered in Germany and designed specifically for the Chinese market.

During a preview voyage that departed from Shanghai June 10, the new ship welcomed more than 1,700 VIP members and guests of the Alibaba Group for a four-day preview cruise.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s preview voyage aboard the Norwegian Joy called on the Japanese port of Kochi before returning to Shanghai, and the ship’s christening ceremony will take place on June 27 with its Godfather, ‘King of Chinese Pop,’ Wang Leehom.

Year-round voyages on Norwegian Joy from Shanghai begin June 28, with sailings from Tianjin from August 26 to September 15. The vessel was designed with several major attractions, including the first race track at sea, virtual reality experiences, plus 28 local and international dining options.

“Norwegian Cruise Line is extremely proud to welcome the newest addition to our fleet, Norwegian Joy, to her home port of Shanghai, China,” NCLH China president David Herrera said in a statement.

“Norwegian Joy’s arrival demonstrates our commitment to the Chinese cruise market.  She was custom-built with Chinese cruise guests in mind.”

The Norwegian Joy will cater to the modern Chinese family, with amenities that include staterooms designed for multi-generational families, Las Vegas-style performances and a variety of luxury shopping options.

The new features, services and amenities found on the Norwegian Joy will help Norwegian Cruise Line make a massive impact in the Chinese market.

Norwegian’s New Chinese-Bound Ship Offers Clues for America

Norwegian's New Chinese-Bound Ship Offers Clues for America

PHOTO: Norwegian Joy floated out at the Meyer Werft shipyard. (Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Norwegian Joy may be slated for the Chinese market, but it also provides hints for what the North American market can expect once the Norwegian Bliss launches.

The Joy will be officially launched on April 27, 2017 in Bremerhaven, Germany, and I will be there to cover a quick preview of the ship and its delivery ceremony.

Before then, it has already emerged outside of the enclosed Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg for a better look.

Image result for Norwegian joy

On March 4, 2017, the 168,800-ton, 3,850-guest Breakaway Plus-class ship exited building dock II where its hull art (by Chinese artist Tan Ping) could be seen in all of its glory for the first time.

Now tied up at the finishing dock, the ship will soon complete construction that first began in September 2015. She follows the Norwegian Escape as the second in the larger Breakaway Plus series, with the Norwegian Bliss scheduled to set sail behind as the third in June 2018. (That ship is initially being built now.)

Here’s what’s different from Escape: The Joy has a midship go-kart racing track in place of a ropes course, a single longer meandering free-fall waterslide and multi-decker observation lounges above the bow.

We already know that the Bliss will also feature such expansive scenic venues to match, but perusing its currently revealed deck plans neither yet reveals any watersides nor any ropes and racing courses.

Still, as the Bliss already matches the Joy so closely, it makes sense that other attractions will follow suit.

A racetrack would work well in Alaska, where the ship will first deploy, and waterslides would fit in nicely in the Caribbean, where the ship will head in the winter—both are features I plan to capture and share aboard the Joy next month.

After all, the Joy is custom-designed for China and home ports like Shanghai and Beijing, but that doesn’t mean some of its venues would not also be perfect in America—most notably the sinuous double-decker racing course which measures in at 833 feet long. The experience is anticipated to last around five minutes.

Otherwise, the Bliss will sport the wildlife artwork of Wyland as the biggest exterior change that is expected from the now floated-out Joy. Other features unique to the Joy, at least for now, will be a laser tag course, hovercraft bumper cars and simulator rides, plus interactive video walls at the Galaxy Pavilion.

Speaking of such thrills, Joy unexpectedly includes a singular free-fall waterslide: Instead of the two racing free-falls on the Escape, the new ship features just one that traverses a longer figure-eight cantilevered far over the side of the ship with translucent tube sections.

Here’s hoping that too makes its way on the Bliss.

Until that time when more is unveiled about the Bliss, David J. Herrera, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings China President had this to say about Joy: “We are thrilled that Norwegian Joy is now one step closer to delivery and one step closer to delivering on our promise to create a First Class at Sea experience for our Chinese guests.”