Norwegian Cruise Line
Cruise Like A Norwegian
Headquarters in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Miami, Florida, United States
Norwegian Cruise Line is a subsidiary of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, an American-Bermudian company operating cruise ships, headquartered in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida. NCL began operations in 1966 under the name Norwegian Caribbean Line. Norwegian is a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with major shareholders including Apollo Global Management (15.8%), Genting Group (11.1%), and TPG Capital (2.3%) as of 20 March 2017. Sister companies are Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
Norwegian Cruise Line controls approximately 8% of the total worldwide share of the cruise market. The company is known for its Freestyle Cruising concept, which means that there are no set times or seating arrangements for meals, nor is formal attire required.
The cruise line was founded as Norwegian Caribbean Line in 1966 by Knut Kloster and Ted Arison, with the 8,666-ton, 140m cruise ship/car ferry, Sunward, which in 1966 operated as a car-ferry between Southampton UK and Gibraltar, for that one, short season only. Arison soon left to form Carnival Cruise Lines, while Kloster acquired additional ships for Caribbean service. Norwegian pioneered many firsts in the cruise industry like: the first Out Island Cruise, the first combined air-sea program (marketed as "Cloud 9 Cruises") which combined low cost air fares with the cruise, first shipline to develop new ports in the Caribbean, like Ocho Rios in Jamaica. Like the original Sunward of 1966, Norwegians's second ship, the Starward had the capability to carry automobiles through a well concealed stern door. Later, this area was turned into cabins and a two deck movie theater, which is now a casino. Norwegian was responsible for many of the cruise innovations that have now become standard throughout the industry.
Norwegian made headlines with the acquisition of the France in 1979, rebuilding the liner as a cruise ship and renaming her Norway. The conversion cost more than $100 million USD. The Norway was at the time significantly larger than any existing cruise ship, and exploited the extra space available by adding a greater than usual variety of onboard entertainment. Her success paved the way for a new era of giant cruise ships. A boiler explosion in May 2003 forced Norwegian to withdraw the Norway from service, later being laid up in Bremerhaven, Germany until 2005 when she was towed to Port Klang Malaysia with the claimed intent to use her as an anchored casino or slow overnight casino cruises on her remaining boilers. Instead, she was sold for scrap and renamed the SS Blue Lady and later beached at Alang, Gujarat, India in August 2006 with claims that she had not been cleaned of toxic materials. On September 11, 2007, the India Supreme Court issued an order permitting her to be broken-up at Alang, despite the presence of large amounts of hazardous asbestos remaining on board.
Norwegian has expanded to other parts of the world, including Alaska, Europe, Bermuda, and Hawaii. Between 1997 and 2001 the company also operated cruises out of Australia under the name Norwegian Capricorn Line.
Its subsidiary Orient Lines, founded in 1991 to run the Marco Polo, was acquired in 1998. Norwegian itself was acquired by Star Cruises, a subsidiary of the Malaysia-based Genting Group, in 2000. In 2007 Star Cruises sold the Marco Polo to Transocean Tours. Orient Lines ceased trading when the ship was delivered to its new owners in early 2008.
In 2002, Norwegian purchased the half-complete hull of the first Project America ship, at the time under construction at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, US, which was towed to Germany to be completed at the Lloyd Werft shipyard. Subsequently Norwegian acquired the rights to move two ships built entirely outside the United States under the US flag, making it possible to start a US-flagged operation under the brand name NCL America. In 2003 the company announced the purchase of the American-flagged liners SS United States and SS Independence. In their July 2007 fiscal report, Norwegian noted the sale of the Independence, renamed SS Oceanic some time before. On July 1, 2010, the SS United States Conservancy struck a deal to buy the SS United States for $3 million. On February 1, 2011, the ownership was officially transferred to the SS United States Conservancy.
In August 2007, Star Cruises sold 50% of Norwegian for $1 billion to US-based Apollo Management (owners of Oceania Cruises) in order to strengthen Norwegian's financial position. Subsequently Norwegian reported in February 2008 that the Pride of Aloha, one of the two remaining NCL America ships, would be withdrawn from service in May of the same year. Initial reports suggested she would be transferred to the fleet of Star Cruises, but it was later announced that she would return to the Norwegian international fleet as the Norwegian Sky, while the Norwegian Majesty and Norwegian Dream would be sold to Louis Cruise Lines. The sale of the Norwegian Dream was subsequently canceled. It was announced in September 2012 that the Norwegian Dream would become the Superstar Gemini for Star Cruises, from January 2013.
On June 1, 2012, Norwegian announced the signing of a memorandum of agreement to exercise its option to purchase Norwegian Sky. The purchase price was approximately $260 million, financing being provided by the seller.
In January 2013, Norwegian Cruise Lines filed for an IPO. As of 30 June 2014, Apollo Management only has a 20% stake and the Genting-Group-owned Star Cruises only had a 28% stake in the cruise line. In September 2014, Norwegian Cruise Line announced that it had purchased Prestige Cruise Holdings, the parent company of both Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises in cash and stock for a total transaction consideration of $3.025 billion, including the assumption of debt.
On October 17, 2012, Meyer Werft and Norwegian reached a second agreement for the construction of two new vessels. Slated for delivery in October 2015 and 2017, respectively. The project was under the code name "Breakaway Plus Class" and it is expected for the vessels to be 163,000 tons and hold 4,200 passengers. The Norwegian Escape entered service in November 2015 and weighs 164,600 tons. Norwegian is expected to confirm its option for the 2017 vessel soon. Two more vessels were ordered on July 14, 2014, they will enter service in 2018 and 2019 and will be slightly bigger at 164,000 GT.
In December 2016, it was announced that Norwegian Cruise Line has reached an agreement with the Cuban government. In May 2017, the Norwegian Sky was the first Norwegian vessel to ever visit Cuba. The Norwegian Sky makes weekly trips from Miami to Havana, Cuba, making Norwegian the only line sailing that route weekly.
Between 2022 and 2025 Fincantieri will deliver four ships.
Norwegian Cruise Line ships
|Norwegian Sky||1999||1999-2004/2008||2013||77,104 tons||Miami, Florida||Sailed as NCL America Pride of Aloha from 2004 to 2008, originally constructed as Costa Olympia, but sold to NCL during construction. Sister to the Costa Victoria and the Norwegian Sun|
|Norwegian Sun||2001||2001||2018||78,309 tons||Seward, Alaska; Vancouver, British Columbia; San Francisco, California; Miami, Florida; Los Angeles, California; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; Seattle, Washington; Port Canaveral, Florida|
|Norwegian Spirit||1998||2004||2014||75,338 tons||Previously SuperStar Leo (Leo Class)|
Sister to the SuperStar Virgo
Dawn Class (Libra Class)
|Norwegian Star||2001||2001||2018||91,740 tons||Originally ordered as Superstar Libra (Libra Class)|
|Norwegian Dawn||2002||2002||June 2016||92,250 tons||Originally ordered as SuperStar Scorpio (Libra Class)|
|Norwegian Jewel||2005||2005||May 2014||93,502 tons||Will sail from Sydney, Australia in 2017.|
|Norwegian Jade||2006||2006||March 2017||93,558 tons||ex Pride Of Hawaii, reconstructed in 2008 as the Norwegian Jade|
|Norwegian Pearl||2006||2006||February 2017||93,530 tons|
|Norwegian Gem||2007||2007||November 2015||93,530 tons|
|Norwegian Epic||2010||2010||October 2015||155,873 tons||Port Canaveral, Florida; Rome, Italy; Barcelona, Spain;||11th largest cruise ship in the world after Royal Caribbean International's Liberty of the Seas.|
|Norwegian Breakaway||2013||2013||April 2018||146,600|
|New York City, New York; Copenhagen, Denmark; Berlin Germany||This ship was delivered on April 25, 2013.|
|Miami, Florida; Copenhagen, Denmark; New York City, New York; New Orleans, Louisiana||This ship was delivered on January 10, 2014.|
Breakaway Plus Class
|Norwegian Escape||2015||2015||N/A||164,600 tons||Miami, Florida until April 20, 2018 |
New York City, New York Beginning April 22, 2018
|Norwegian Joy||2017||2017||N/A||167,725 tons||Shanghai & Tianjin (Beijing)|
|Norwegian Bliss||2018||2018||N/A||167,800 tons||Seattle, Washington, Miami, Florida & New York City, New York||9th largest cruise ship in the world after Royal Caribbean International's Quantum Class|
Norwegian America Line
for NCL America
|Pride of America||2005||2005||March 2016||80,439 GRT||First large, newly built US-flagged cruise ship in nearly 50 years; the only ship in her class.|
|Ship||Class||Inaugural Voyage||Tonnage||Flag||Home Port||Notes|
|Norwegian Encore||Breakaway Plus Class||2019||167,800 GT||Miami, Florida|
|Project Leonardo||2022||140,000 GT|
|Project Leonardo||2023||140,000 GT|
|Project Leonardo||2024||140,000 GT|
|Project Leonardo||2025||140,000 GT|
|Project Leonardo||2026||140,000 GT|
|Project Leonardo||2027||140,000 GT|
|Ship||Built||In service for NCL||Tonnage||Status as of 2018.||Image|
|Sunward||1966||1966–1976||8,666 GRT||Scrapped in 2004 at Chittagong, Bangladesh.|
|Starward||1968||1968–1995||12,948 GRT||Louis Aura for Louis Cruise Lines.|
|Skyward||1969||1969–1991||16,254 GRT||Since 2000 Leisure World for New Century Cruise Lines.|
|Seaward||1970||Never entered service|
owned 1970 – 1972
|17,042 GT||Hull sold to P&O Cruises in 1972. Capsized and partially sunk on February 27, 2016 near the port of Laem Chabang,Sri Racha, Thailand.|
|Southward||1971||1971–1994||16,607 GRT||Since 2008 Aegean Pearl for Golden Star Cruises. Scrapped in 2013 at Aliaga, Turkey.|
|Sunward II||1971||1977–1991||14,151 GRT||Since 2005 Coral for Louis Cruise Lines. Scrapped in 2014 at Aliaga, Turkey.|
|Ex France Sold after 2003 boiler explosion, scrapped in 2008 at Alang, India.|
|42,276 GRT||Since 2005 SuperStar Libra for Star Cruises.|
|Westward||1972||1991–1993||28,221 GRT||Since 1996 Black Watch for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.|
|Sunward||1973||1991–1992, 1992–1993||28,078 GRT||Since 2005 Boudicca for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.|
|Norwegian Star||1973||1997–1998||28,518 GRT||Since 2004 MS Albatros for Phoenix Reisen.|
|Since 28 Dec 2012 SuperStar Gemini for Star Cruises.|
|Since 2007 SuperStar Aquarius for Star Cruises.|
|Leeward||1980||1995–1999||25,611 GT||Since 2007 Cristal for Louis Cruise Lines.|
|Norwegian Crown||1988||1996–2000, 2003–2007||34,242 GRT||Since 2008 Balmoral for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.|
|Norwegian Dynasty||1993||1997–1999||19,089 GRT||Since 2001 Braemar for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.|
|Norwegian Majesty||1992||1997–2009||40,876 GT||Originally 32,396 GT, lengthened 1999. Is now known as the Thompson Majesty and owned by Louis Cruise Lines.|
|Independence||1951||Never entered service|
|20,221 GRT||Wrecked while being towed to Alang for scrapping.|
|SS United States||1952||Never entered service|
|53,330 GT||Sold to SS United States Conservancy on 7/1/10, Ownership transferred on 2/1/11|
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