NCL (and Katy Perry) Christen New Norwegian Prima in Iceland

After years of anticipation, one of the most intriguing new ships in cruising is officially christened… and in a big way.

Norwegian Prima marks the first of the new Prima-class ships and was officially christened on Saturday. Image courtesy of NCL.

Norwegian Cruise Line christened its newest ship — Norwegian Prima — in a way that’s bigger and better than anything the industry has seen before.

The new ship, which marks the first of six ships (one each year into 2027) in the completely new Prima class, had a christening ceremony in Reykjavik, Iceland. That marks the first major cruise liner to ever be christened in the city.

“We wanted to launch Norwegian Prima in a location just as special and unique as she is, and Reykjavik’s striking landscape is the perfect setting for such a milestone occasion,” said Frank Del Rio, the CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “We thank the Reykjavik community for welcoming us with open arms.”

But beyond that, NCL also welcomed Prima with major star power, with pop singer Katy Perry — who serves as Prima’s godmother — breaking the champagne on the ship’s hull. In addition, she performed several of her big hits for the gathered guests. 

Norwegian executives and pop-star Katy Perry welcomed the ship. Image courtesy of NCL.

Norwegian Prima is not just another new ship in NCL’s fleet. It marks a new step for the cruise line, as it looks to focus more on luxury while also having the large ship experience.

Prima is 965 feet long and 143,000 tons, holding about 3,100 passengers at double occupancy. That’s actually smaller than previous builds like Norwegian Encore. For a cruise line to decide to reduce the size of ships breaks with trends seen over the past decades of larger and larger vessels.

Still, NCL says the new ship has the “highest staffing levels and space ratio of any contemporary or premium cruise ship.” As well, the ship seems focused more on luxury than other large ships in other fleets. Prima includes a multi-million dollar sculpture garden, infinity pools, and striking modern design — in addition to the largest mix of suites in exclusive “Haven” area of the ship.

Still, the ship is still designed to appeal to a broad audience, including families. It includes a three-story racetrack, extreme slides (The Rush and The Drop), escape rooms, and Galaxy Pavilion (virtual reality arcade) for kids. Entertainment planned includes live onboard versions of The Price Is Right, Supermarket Sweep and Press Your Luck.

In other words, there should be something for everyone.

If you can’t make it to Iceland just yet, don’t worry. The ship will start sailing Europe in September, but quickly make her way stateside, including a planned celebration in Galveston, Texas, in late October. She will then sail from New York, Galveston, and Miami in October and November before sailing a more regular schedule from both Port Canaveral and Galveston in the coming two years.

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