Norwegian Cruise Line and Meyer Werft Friday laid the keel laying for Norwegian Escape at Meyer’s facility in Papenburg, Germany. During the ceremony, block 35/41, the first of 86 blocks that will comprise the 164,600-ton vessel, was lifted into the covered building dock, officially marking the start of the ship’s construction. Norwegian Escape will be Norwegian’s largest ship to date, carrying 4,200 passengers, set for delivery in October 2015.
Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s CEO, was on hand in the dock and laid the traditional “lucky coin,” before the first block, weighing 400 tons, was placed by a crane. A commemorative coin featuring the ship was created to celebrate the day’s activities.
Norwegian Escape is the first ship in her class, and is being built by Meyer Werft through a construction process that will deliver the ship in just over 19 months, from steel cutting to delivery.
Norwegian Escape will begin weekly seven-day cruises from her year-round homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean on Nov. 14, 2015. The ship will be the largest to home port year-round in Miami, carrying 4,200 guests to tropical Caribbean destinations including St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas.
The ship’s hull artwork is designed by marine wildlife artist and champion of ocean conservation, Guy Harvey, and includes an underwater scene of marine wildlife. Norwegian’s newest ship is Harvey’s largest canvas to date, at 1065 feet in length, with his artwork spanning from the hull to the aft with two undersea scenes that blend seamlessly.
For more information, visit www.ncl.com.