Norwegian Cruise Line’s first ship for China christened

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Norwegian Cruise Line’s first ship purpose built for Chinese passengers was officially named in Shanghai yesterday.

The 3,883-passenger Norwegian Joy is the first cruise ship to feature a two-level go-kart track.

Other elements of the ship include an open-air laser tag course, the Galaxy Pavilion featuring simulator rides, Oculus virtual reality technology, interactive video walls and two multi-story waterslides.

Norwegian Joy has 28 dining options ranging from traditional Chinese cuisine to French, Italian and steakhouse fine dining restaurants, an open space park, as well as the line’s largest shopping area.

The christening marked the end of a month-long grand inaugural tour where the 167,725–gross-ton ship was showcased in Singapore, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, as well as VIP partner cruises from Norwegian Joy’s homeports of Shanghai and Tianjin.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings president and chief executive Frank Del Rio said: “After years spent carefully designing this amazing vessel, my team and I are both proud and thrilled to finally christen the world’s first cruise ship custom-designed for the wonderful people of China.

“This is truly a special moment for the entire Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings family, our valued travel partners, honoured guests and dedicated officers and crew across our fleet.”

The naming ceremony featured a performance by the ship’s godfather, Chinese singer songwriter, music producer, actor and film director, Wang Leehom.


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.

Encore designer throws Seabourn guests a curve

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SINGAPORE — Guests boarding the new Seabourn Encore may notice that its lines and designs are softer and more curvaceous than the other Seabourn ships, said Adam Tihany, lead designer for the new ship.

The Seabourn Encore arrived here on Jan. 5 on a voyage from the shipyard in Italy where it was built. It is scheduled to depart on Jan. 7 on an inaugural cruise to Bali.

Tihany, president of New York-based Tihany Design, said one example is the Seabourn Square gathering spot on Deck 7 that serves as a library/guest services/coffee bar for the ship. “It’s literally not a square anymore,” he said.

This staircase bannister is an example of the more rounded, curvaceous design of the Seabourn Encore. Photo Credit: Tom Stieghorst
This staircase bannister is an example of the more rounded, curvaceous design of the Seabourn Encore. Photo Credit: Tom Stieghorst

On the Encore, the area has been opened up to guests by lowering partitions that once kept service personnel walled off. Now, the area is shaped in more of a circle. It has also been brightened with a lighter color scheme.

Another example is the bar in the Observation Lounge, which has been converted from a square shape to a circle. Tihany’s design also makes the lounge brighter by incorporating a skylight into the ceiling above the bar.

In addition to being more “sexy” and aesthetically pleasing, the reduction in the number of hard angles and sharp edges will reduce the wear and tear on crew members bumping into these obstacles, Tihany said.

“The ship is taking into consideration how passengers move in space,” Tihany said.

The Encore is the first new Seabourn ship since the 2011 delivery of the Seabourn Quest. It has an additional deck, raising the capacity at double occupancy from 450 to 600 guests.

Seabourn president Rick Meadows and ship designer Adam Tihany at a news conference aboard Seabourn Encore in Singapore. Photo Credit: Tom Stieghorst
Seabourn president Rick Meadows and ship designer Adam Tihany at a news conference aboard Seabourn Encore in Singapore. Photo Credit: Tom Stieghorst

The design of the previous three Seabourn ships, including Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn Sojourn, was more “Nordic,” Tihany said. Tthe Encore and its sister ship due in 2018, Seabourn Ovation, will look more like luxury yachts, he said.

Tihany spoke in a news conference on the ship with Seabourn president Rick Meadows. Tihany said his favorite space on the new ship is The Retreat, a relaxation area of 11 cabanas surrounding a whirlpool and covered by an arched canvas dome. Entrance is limited to guests who pay the rental fee for a cabana, which is $349 on sea days and $249 on port days.