Norwegian Cruise Line executives and officials from the MEYER WERFT shipyard in Papenburg, Germany took part in the Keel-Laying Ceremony of Norwegian Escape on Friday, marking the beginning of the block assembly phase for the lead ship in NCL’s new Breakaway Plus-class. During the ceremony, block number 35/41, one of 86 blocks that will comprise the 164,600 gross ton vessel, was lifted into the covered building dock.
Norwegian Escape will be Norwegian’s largest ship to date, carrying 4,200 passengers. Delivery is expected for October 2015.
In the dock, Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and chief executive officer, laid the traditional “lucky coin,” before the 400 ton block was placed by the 800 ton crane.
“We are pleased to start construction of Norwegian Escape”, says Sheehan. “The start of the block assembly is a significant milestone and we eagerly anticipate the delivery of Norwegian Escape in the autumn of 2015.” The Norwegian Escape is the first of four new Breakaway Plus-class ships with a length of 324.6 meters and a width of 41.4 meters. All four vessels will be built by MEYER WERFT with deliveries through 2019.
“Today we placed one of 86 blocks”, says Bernard Meyer, MEYER WERFT’s managing director. “We are proud to begin the construction of the new series and continue our partnership with one of the most innovative cruise lines in the world.”
Norwegian Escape will be homeported year-round in Miami and will sail a seven-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary starting November 14, 2015; visiting Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas.