This Week in Cruise: Three New Ships Move Forward

norwegian cruise line steel cutting ceremonyCruise lines from Norwegian to Seabourn moved forward with plans for new additions to their fleets in cruise news this week.

Norwegian Cruise Line cut steel on the second ship in its new Breakaway Plus class during a ceremony at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. The new vessel is set for delivery in spring 2017. 

Andy Stuart, president of Norwegian Cruise Line, pushed the button to start the plasma torch during the steel cutting ceremony in the laser center.

The new ship will carry 4,200 guests. 

In a ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, Seabourn celebrated a milestone of its own with the keel-laying ceremony for the upcoming Seabourn Encore, which is set to launch in late 2016. 

The ceremony was attended, among others, by Holland America Group Executive Vice President Fleet Operations Keith Taylor and Antonio Quintano, director of Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard. Seabourn Encore is the first of two new ships that Fincantieri will build for Seabourn over the next three years.

Modeled after Seabourn's Odyssey-class ships and designed by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, the all-suite ship will be configured with one additional deck, new expanded public areas and is expected to carry 600 guests. In addition, every suite will have a private veranda.

Finally, Celestyal Cruises announced that it would add a new ship of its own, the Celestyal Nefeli, as part of a two-year extension to the line's homeporting program in Turkey.

The new ship will replace the Celestyal Odyssey on the homeporting program, which began in 2015 with embarkation from Istanbul, Izmir and Kusadasi. The Celestyal Odyssey's charter agreement concludes at the end of October. 

Formerly the Gemini, the Celestyal Nefeli was originally built in 1992 by Union Naval de Levante SA in Valencia, Spain. It will be delivered to Celestyal in February and refurbished prior to the commencement of the 2016 cruise season. Of its 400 cabins (277 outside and 123 inside), 12 are executive suites and 31 are junior suites. Most of the executive suites have private balconies.

The name, “Nefeli,” comes from Greek mythology – Nefeli was a goddess of hospitality and a nymph of the clouds. The ship will perform Crystal's itinerary for the next two years, with embarkation from Turkey. Celestyal said it plans to use the ship to visit smaller harbors in the Eastern Mediterranean as part of a strategy to open new destinations in the area. Since 2014, Celestyal has added 15 new destinations, which include Milos, Ios, Kos, Samos, Symi, Chios, Cesme and Syros.

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