NCLH Confirms Next-Gen Cruise Ships #5, 6

Rendering of Norwegian Cruise Line's new Project Leonardo class of cruise ships

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) reports that it has confirmed previously announced options for the fifth and ships cruise ships in its next-gen “Project Leonardo” class. Fincantieri is scheduled to deliver the new vessels in 2026 and 2027.

In a written statement NCLH President and CEO Frank Del Rio said that the line’s Project Leonardo fleet would encompass six ships, which will allow the cruise company to broaden its deployment into strong performing and mature unserved and underserved markets.

NCLH announced plans for Project Leonardo at last year’s Seatrade Cruise Global conference. The first ship in the new class is scheduled for delivery in 2022, with an additional one per year through 2027. Other design tidbits shared at the conference: a large expanse on the lower decks with infinity pools, restaurants and beach-like elements, all with the aim of connecting guests with the sea.

The new ships will have a capacity of approximately 3,300 guests (slightly smaller than Norwegian Cruise Line’s current Breakaway Plus class) and a design that builds on the Breakaway Plus model. A priority of the prototype design is energy efficiency, with the aim of optimizing fuel consumption and reducing the impact on the environment, NCLH said. The smaller footprint will also broaden deployment opportunities around the world. Further details on guest-facing amenities will be announced at a later date.

The announcement brings NCLH’s fleet expansion to seven ships on order for Norwegian Cruise Line and one for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Most recently, Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the new Norwegian Bliss, the latest ship in the Breakaway Plus class with a number of amenities specifically designed for Alaska cruises. Travel agents who’ve sailed on the Norwegian Bliss shared their thoughts here.

The company will take delivery of its next ship, Norwegian Encore, in fall 2019. The fourth and final ship in the Breakaway Plus class, the ship will sail out of a new, dedicated cruise terminal in PortMiami, offering cruises to the eastern Caribbean through April 2020.

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