While the cruise industry continues the challenge of returning from the health crisis, there are hopeful signs that one day cruising will be back to what it was before the pandemic.
One such sign is that Norwegian Cruise Line has completed the “float out” of its newest ship — Norwegian Prima. The ship is the first of NCL’s new Prima class, and a departure from other vessels in the fleet.
Float out marks a point where the ship’s hull work is complete and she can be floated for the first time. At this point of the build process, the ship “looks” like a cruise ship, but still has significant work ahead — especially inside the vessel — to be completed.
“A ship’s float out is always a significant milestone, but this one is particularly special,” said Harry Sommer, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Our 18th ship, Norwegian Prima represents an exciting new chapter for our Brand and the first vessel to be delivered in our groundbreaking new Prima Class.
In total the cruise line plans to build six “Prima” class ships. At 965 feet long and roughly 142,000 gross tons, this ship will carry 3,215 guests at double capacity. That’s noticeably smaller than Norwegian’s previous ships, such as Encore. That ship is part of the “Breakaway-Plus” class and is 1,094 feet long, 169,000 gross tons, and carries roughly 4,000 passengers.
We’ve covered Norwegian Prima before and noted how the ship seems to be geared more toward luxury. For instance, the renderings of cabins and public spaces seem more in line with lines like Celebrity than mass-market rivals such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival. Meanwhile, there are no kid-friendly attractions mentioned, like go-kart tracks found on some NCL ships.
The ship will have infinity pools and a renewed focus on The Haven — its luxurious “resort within a resort” with exclusive access. There’s also a greater emphasis on being outdoors.
“Norwegian Prima offers the most outdoor deck space and the most expansive accommodations of any new build,” the cruise line said in a press release.
“She boasts multiple company firsts, including Ocean Boulevard, wrapping around the entire deck over 44,000 square feet, allowing guests to connect to the ocean while enjoying alfresco dining and unique experiences such as Infinity Beach, where two stunning infinity pools are positioned to take in the vastness of the ocean with uninterrupted views, and Oceanwalk, where two glass bridges will make guests feel as though they are walking on air over the water.”
While Norwegian Prima isn’t slated to sail until summer 2022 (where she will sail from Europe before shifting to the U.S. in the fall), it represents more than just a new ship.
Ships like Prima and Royal Caribbean’s upcoming Wonder of the Seas show confidence that despite the current rocky landscape around travel and cruising, there are brighter days in the future.
“The float out of Norwegian Prima signifies a renewed confidence in cruise and a new era for shipbuilding,” said Luigi Matarazzo, general manager of the merchant ships division of Fincantieri, who is building the ship.
The vessel still has roughly a year before it welcomes its first passengers, and the hope is that the landscape will look vastly different by then. No matter what, the arrival of Prima — and her sister ships in future years — will certainly give Norwegian a different look well into the future.
You can learn more about the vessel here: Norwegian Prima: 9 Must-Know Things About the New Ship