Meyer Werft’s Bernard Meyer joins Norwegian’s Andy Stuart and Christer Karlsson
PAPENBURG, Germany — Construction of Norwegian Bliss began here with the push of a large red button, sending automated plasma steel cutters into action on the first plates for the ship, due for completion in 2017.
Among the first items cut was a 2-foot outline of the ship, inscribed Norwegian Bliss. Executives from Norwegian Cruise Line and the Mayer Werft shipyard signed the commemorative plate, mounted on an easel outside the cutting room.
“To be cutting the steel for our next new ship is very exciting,” said Norwegian President Andy Stuart. “Norwegian has gone through a lot of changes over the last year and this will be the first ship delivered for the new Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.”
Meyer Werft managing director Bernard Meyer noted that Bliss will be the 10th ship built for Norwegian at Meyer Werft, which has become one of the most advanced cruise ship construction operations in Europe.
He said the yard expects to deliver the new ship, designated 694 at the yard, in the spring of 2017. “It will be a surprise for the market again,” Meyer predicted.
Norwegian’s latest ship, the 4,200-passenger Norwegian Escape, is scheduled to begin its conveyance from Papenburg down the Ems River to the North Sea on Friday. Plans call for the Escape to enter service in Miami in early November.
Earlier this week, Royal Caribbean’s third Quantum Class ship commenced construction at Meyer Werft’s Papenburg shipyard. In addition to celebrating the construction of the new ship, Royal Caribbean also announced the ship will join the fleet as Ovation of the Seas.
Ovation of the Seas, sister to both Quantum and Anthem of the Seas, will be constructed at Meyer Werft’s primary yard in Papenburg, Germany. The new ship will feature similar features and design to her earlier Quantum Class sisters, including North Star, RipCord, The Bionic Bar, SeaPlex, the Two70 entertainment complex, and virtual balconies.
Ovation of the Seas is scheduled to debut with Royal Caribbean in the fall of 2016. At this time, Royal Caribbean has made no indication of the new ship’s potential itineraries or homeport.