Norwegian Cruise Line’s new 4,000-passenger Norwegian Bliss departed Meyer Werft, the shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and sailed backwards on the narrow Ems River on its way to the North Sea. It was expected to arrive at Eemshaven, Netherlands, on the evening of March 14.
Norwegian Bliss will offer seven-day Alaska cruises from Seattle throughout the summer.
The ship will feature many first-at-sea activities, including the largest two-level race track at sea, Q Texas Smokehouse, Coco’s chocolate and treat shop, and the Tony Award-winning Broadway show “Jersey Boys.”
Measuring 994 feet long, 136 feet wide, and at a gross tonnage of 168,028, the Norwegian Bliss made the narrow passage through Meyer Werft’s sea lock with less than four feet clearance. This very careful manoeuvre took about two hours at a speed of only 0.2 knots.
After passing through the sea lock, Norwegian Bliss continued along the river stern first, which helps with the manoeuvrability of the ship and is a key component when navigating through such narrow passages. The journey to Eemshaven included cruising through the narrow passages of the Friesenbrücke Bridge in Weener; Jann Berghaus Bridge in Leer; and Ems-Barrier in Gandersum.
Norwegian Bliss as seen on AIS in Eemshaven
Upon arrival in Eemshaven, the ship will take on additional provisions and crew members, before heading toward the North Sea for technical and nautical sea trials. This will be one of the final phases before Norwegian Cruise Line takes delivery of its 16th ship on April 19 in Bremerhaven, Germany.
Norwegian Bliss will then begin passage across the Atlantic Ocean on April 21 and will arrive in the U.S. on May 3 for an inaugural tour. Events will take place in New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles, and will conclude with a christening ceremony on May 30 at the new Pier 66 at the Port of Seattle.
Norwegian Bliss will begin seven-day Alaska cruises June 2. In the fall, it will cruise to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles. In winter of 2018, it will sail to the Caribbean from Miami, and in the 2019 fall/winter season, she will cruise from New York City to Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean.