The first piece of steel has been cut at none other than the MEYER WERFT shipyard in Papenburg, Germany for the construction of Norwegian Escape, the first of two new “Breakaway Plus” Class ships for Norwegian Cruise Line.
Norwegian Cruise Line and MEYER WERFT executives watched Thursday as the first plate of steel was cut by a plasma torch in the yard’s state of the art facility. The plate will become part of Block 46 in the new vessel, which is set for delivery in fall of 2015.
“Norwegian Escape will be the largest ship in our fleet and will continue our legacy of innovation,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer. “Cutting the first piece of steel for Norwegian Escape marks the official start of construction for this remarkable ship. We are eagerly anticipating her delivery in October of 2015.”
Norwegian’s two Breakaway Plus class ships, Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss, will be approximately 163,000 gross tons and offer 4,200 passenger berths.
“Norwegian Escape will be 10th ship that MEYER WERFT has built for Norwegian Cruise Line within the last 15 years and this one is very special, because of the dimensions of approximately 163,000 gross tons and the many new innovations onboard,” said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft.
NCL and Meyer previously partnered on the 146,600 ton Breakaway class, with the first vessel, Norwegian Breakaway, delivered to the company in April 2013 followed by the second vessel, Norwegian Getaway, in January 2014.
Norwegian Escape will homeport year-round in Miami following her delivery in late 2015 and 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.
The vessel’s hull art, an NCL staple, will be designed by famed marine wildlife artist and ocean conservationist, Guy Harvey, and will feature an underwater scene of marine wildlife, NCL said.