This Week in Cruise – New Ships From Norwegian and Princess Near Completion

norwegian breakawayThis week saw two major new cruise ships from Norwegian Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises near completion.

The Norwegian Breakaway has returned from successful technical and nautical sea trials. The trials, which took place off the coast of Norway and Denmark on March 25, 2013, included tests of the ship’s speed, maneuverability and more. Norwegian’s nautical team reported that the conditions for Norwegian Breakaway’s sea trials were extraordinary, and that the ship successfully completed all of the very important tests and trials that were conducted. With the sea trials complete, the onboard operations team will continue to prepare to receive guests for a series of inaugural events and a transatlantic voyage. Following these events, the ship will sail seven-day cruises from New York to Bermuda in October 2013.

Princess Cruises marked a milestone of its own for its new ship this week. The company floated out the Regal Princess from its building dock at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy with a traditional ceremony to mark the occasion. Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor in chief of Cruise Critic, had the honor of serving as the ship’s “madrina,” or godmother, during the ceremony. Now that it’s afloat, the ship will be moved to the outfitting dock where final construction and interior outfitting will take place. Regal Princess, a sister ship to the soon-to-debut Royal Princess, will debut in June 2014 with a season of Mediterranean cruises.

For agents looking to get some firsthand knowledge of the latest cruise ships, has reported its second series of cruise ship inspections for member agents as part of its Vacation Vignettes program. The inspections will take place April 1 in Miami, FL, aboard the Regent Seven Seas Navigator. In addition to the spring ship inspections, agents attending’s 15th International Conference & Trade Show in Orlando, FL, will be offered the opportunity to embark from nearby Port Canaveral on a 3-night cruise onboard Royal Caribbean International’s Enchantment of the Seas. An inspection of the ship will also be offered for those who choose not to take the cruise. Post-conference, will offer a free ship inspection of Royal Caribbean International’s newly enhanced Freedom of the Seas.

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