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
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Norwegian Cruise Line Announces New Terminal at PortMiami

Norwegian Cruise Line PortMiami

Cruising from Miami is about to become even more stylish. Norwegian Cruise Line has announced plans for a new and exclusive terminal at PortMiami slated for completion by fall 2019, just in time to welcome Norwegian Encore to her homeport where she will offer seasonal cruises to The Caribbean. Pending final approval by the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners, the project will begin May 2018.

“Norwegian has been sailing from Miami for over fifty years, longer than any other cruise line, and we are honored to be partnering with PortMiami and Miami-Dade County to construct an iconic terminal that will contribute to Miami’s world-famous skyline and strengthen its position as the Cruise Capital of the World,” said Frank Del Rio, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.  “We look forward to welcoming Norwegian Encore and the thousands of guests sailing on Norwegian Cruise Line and her sister brands to this state-of-the-art terminal.”

So if you’re cruising from Miami, what can you expect? At nearly 166,500 square feet, the new Norwegian Cruise Line Terminal, designed by Miami-based global architecture firm Bermello Ajamil & Partners, will accommodate ships of up to 5,000 passengers, and feature new technology to support faster and more efficient embarkation and disembarkation processes, as well as expedited security screening and luggage check-in.

Groups and charters will also feel a warm welcome arriving at a dedicated lounge and service area.  A new parking garage and valet parking area with direct access to the terminal and lounge are also scheduled to be completed. The project will be constructed to LEED Silver standards, focusing on innovation in design and terminal operation to create a platform that will optimize energy performance, indoor air quality, water efficiencies and maximize the use of local materials and resources.

The modern terminal design draws inspiration from a nautilus, with a spiralled and multi-level façade opening up to grand ocean views. Innovative lighting, inviting indoor and outdoor waiting areas, and other guest-centric elements will enhance the overall passenger experience in what will surely be a gem in Miami’s skyline. Take a look at renderings of PortMiami’s upcoming Norwegian Cruise Line Terminal below.

PortMiami Norwegian Cruise Line Terminal
PortMiami Norwegian Cruise Line Terminal
PortMiami Norwegian Cruise Line Terminal
PortMiami Norwegian Cruise Line Terminal
PortMiami Norwegian Cruise Line Terminal

The Freedom of Cruise Ship Redeployment

The Freedom of Cruise Ship Redeployment
PHOTO: The wake behind Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Vista. (photo by Mark Leppert)

When it was uncertain that Cuba would remain open to roundtrip cruises from the United States, it was never a worry that the ships on the route would be incapable of redeployment.

Executives like Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., repeat that in troubled times, cruise ships can go anywhere.

It’s true. A ship originally slated for the Caribbean can easily end up in Alaska or Europe seasonally, but often that’s the plan all along.

What may not be anticipated are geopolitical tensions or fears of terrorism that warrant ships go elsewhere. The latter has been the reason cruise lines have shied away from Turkey in the Mediterranean, for example.

More recently, cruise itineraries from China have stayed clear of South Korea due to heated relations between the two countries.

It was looking for awhile like the Trump administration would cease permissions for cruises to Cuba, but thankfully Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International were allowed to continue and Carnival Cruise Line has since been able to make its inaugural run as well.

If not, the Norwegian Sky, Empress of the Seas and Carnival Paradise, respectively, would just have had to cruise to lands beyond, likely still in the Caribbean.


Photo Credit Dave Jones~Norwegian Sky leaving Miami

In the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, there are plenty of alternative ports to go to when some become off limits, but such is not always the case. For the Chinese cruise market, the loss of South Korea as a destination has limited where local ships can head, particularly on itineraries with short durations.

In those cases, Japan is an option, but port capacity saturation is then a concern.

Once a booming market, cruise lines may have to rethink their long-term Chinese potential. Princess Cruises’ Majestic Princess—partially for this reason, as well as consideration of other growth markets—has opted to no longer dedicate itself to China year-round as originally planned. It also now has intentions for Australia-based cruising in 2018 and 2019.

When a cruise ship is built generically for any market, it is easy to deploy anywhere in the world, but when it is purpose-built like the Majestic, it is more challenging to take away.

Whether or not the ship will see any sort of redesign prior to its Australian deployment is still to be determined.

Still, the vast majority of cruise ships are geared towards the American market and can go pretty much anywhere in the world, catering to our sensibilities just fine.

As ships have aged out of their original brands, they have often gone on to later service international clients for different companies. However, now foreign markets are demanding new-builds as much as the American one, leaving older ships somewhat in limbo.

It’s easiest for the most popular fleets to deploy wherever they need to and still have a following, but mature vessels have a harder time of either competing in high-traffic regions or being handed down to other markets.

That’s why it’s always crucial for the cruise industry to be developing new port and destination options for the wide variety of international vessels to service. As long as they exist, there are plenty of places to go around for them all.

Having movable assets is a freedom that most shoreside industries don’t have. Even with its occasional challenges, including tracking complex global conditions, the international cruise fleet has it good compared to, say, a fixed retail shop with poor sales in a failing regional neighborhood.