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Archive for the ‘new ships’ Category


Follow ExpertCruiser on Viking Ocean’s Viking Sea

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On December - 3 - 2016

ExpertCruiser is off to check out Viking Ocean’s newest ship, Viking Sea.  Follow ExpertCruiser at @ExpertCruiser on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for the next 12 days with updates from Greece, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and Italy.  You can also follow the hashtag #MyVikingStory.  Updates may be sporadic due to the connectivity issues, thanks!

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.


MSC Cruises celebrates new ship MSC Seaside float out

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 26 - 2016

MSC Cruises celebrated the float out of MSC Seaside, one of two new groundbreaking mega-ships that MSC Cruises is bringing into service between June and December 2017. The ceremony took place this weekend at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, where the ship is being built.

MSC Seaside will homeport in PortMiami as of December 2017 and will sail year round in the Caribbean — further enriching the company’s offering in the region with MSC Cruises having a total of five of the most modern cruise ships serving the Caribbean once MSC Seaside debuts.

“This is another exciting milestone in our ambitious expansion plans as we see the second of our 11 next-generation cruise ships entering the final stages of her construction,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman. “MSC Seaside has been specifically designed to provide our guests with a unique onboard experience in warmer regions and boasts one the highest ratios of outdoor space in the industry so that guests can enjoy a range of open-air activities such as dining and drinking al fresco, strolling along the promenade or simply taking in the beautiful sea views from the privacy of one of the many balcony staterooms.”

“We are delighted with the strength of sales for MSC Seaside so far, from both American and European guests alike,” said Vago. “The Caribbean continues to be an ever popular destination for travelers. With the addition of MSC Seaside, we are further strengthening our ability to serve this demand in this key region with five cruise ships for the winter 2017/18 season, each bringing our own, distinctive Mediterranean flair and elegance to the Caribbean vacation experience.”

 “Seeing this ship taking shape has a value which is not only symbolic for the group that I lead, but also for me personally,” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. “We acquired the order for the construction of it, along with a sister ship, in 2014, at the turn of an unprecedented crisis and an equally extraordinary explosion of the market. We placed such great ambitions for this order, undertaking to give the owner a state-of-the-art product, able to meet its vision of modern cruising. Being successful with a prototype and such a recognizable design, which confirms our commercial and technology leadership in this sector, makes us doubly proud of the result.”

 MSC Seaside is the first of a completely new and innovative generation of cruise ships being built by MSC Cruises leading Italian shipyard FINCANTIERI. With this new prototype inspired by an elegant beach condo, MSC Cruises is pushing the boundaries with its bold design concept and demonstrates the Company’s continued commitment to put the guest experience at the center of all innovation and product development. Every element of the ship is designed to bring guests closer to the sea with special design features such as a unique 360° ocean level promenade, panoramic glass elevators, and a breathtaking 98 foot bridge on the top deck. In addition, with 73 percent of the staterooms featuring balconies, guests will never be far from a view of the ocean.

MSC Seaside brings to life the key distinguishing elements of an MSC Cruises’ experience. An extensive range of comfortable accommodations will meet the various needs of a wide range of cruise guests, including chic aft corner suites as part of the unique beach condo design, clever modular connected staterooms designed for families and groups of up to ten people, and a collection of balcony staterooms with a private terrace overlooking the promenade.

In addition, MSC Cruises has taken its MSC Yacht Club — a unique ship-within-a-ship concept first introduced by MSC Cruises — to the next level. Located on the prestigious foredecks of the ship and offering a private sun deck, a private lounge and private restaurant, the MSC Yacht Club has been expanded on MSC Seaside to now be over five decks. The MSC Yacht Club will also feature two coveted apartment suites that include a living room and a large balcony with a dining area and private whirlpool.

On board MSC Seaside, the dining experience has been designed to inspire and delight with a huge choice of Mediterranean and international cuisines served in 11 different dining venues, including five specialty restaurants. Of these, one is a Pan-Asian specialty restaurant created in partnership with world renowned chef Roy Yamaguchi and two are buffets serving food 20 hours a day, with one designed specifically for families.

The onboard entertainment, another award-winning feature of the MSC Cruises offering, will cater to all age groups and includes a stunning 934 seat theater offering four performances every night. Meanwhile, the interactive aqua park with its four exhilarating slides will provide hours of fun for the entire family, the 394 foot long zip line will appeal to thrill-seekers, and the aft pool will be the perfect spot for those looking for complete relaxation.

In addition to all of the fun that will be had while on board, MSC Seaside will enable guests to experience the Caribbean Sea like never before, while calling at exotic and stunning ports such as George Town in the Cayman Islands, Cozumel in Mexico and Nassau in the Bahamas. From October 2018, MSC Seaside will also call at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, the stunning marine reserve private island in the Bahamas, exclusively available for MSC Cruises guests.

The float out is an important milestone in the construction of a cruise ship as it is the moment where the ship first floats on water when the dry dock is flooded and the ship is moved to a wet dock for the final phase of her construction. The exterior of the ship is complete and work moves to complete interiors, fixtures and fittings.

At 1059 feet long with a GRT of 160,000 tons, the ship will feature a maximum capacity of 5,179 guests (4,140 guests at double occupancy). MSC Seaside is the first of two identical ships in the Seaside generation. Her sister ship — MSC Seaview — is set to enter service in the Spring 2018 and will be based in the Western Mediterranean, while a third one — reflecting an existing option for one additional Seaside generation ship — would be delivered by 2021.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Filled Under Blog, cruisenews, gallery, new ships, News

Norwegian Joy gets Chinese pop icon Wang Leehom as Godfather

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 21 - 2016

Norwegian Cruise Line announced today the naming of iconic Mandopop artist, Wang Leehom, as Godfather of its soon to-be-unveiled 3,850 passenger vessel, Norwegian Joy.

Arriving in Summer 2017 with home ports in Shanghai and Beijing (Tianjin), Norwegian Joy will be Norwegian Cruise Line’s first purpose-built ship for the Chinese market and designed to deliver on the promise that guests will enjoy ‘First Class at Sea’ experiences.

Along with serving as Godfather of Norwegian Joy, Leehom will also represent NCL China as its brand ambassador, introducing Norwegian Cruise Line’s unparalleled cruise experience to Chinese consumers through a variety of platforms, including television and radio commercial campaigns, as well as on social media. Wang Leehom will become the first Chinese Godfather of any cruise ship brand, joining the likes of renowned hip hop artist, Pitbull, Godfather of Norwegian’s most recent ship, the Miami-based Norwegian Escape. Leehom’s role will include a number of special appearances including the traditional role of christening Norwegian Joy at the ship’s inauguration ceremony in Summer 2017, as well as other exciting roles at the launch event and beyond.

A Chinese-American singer songwriter, music producer, actor, and film director, Wang Leehom is known as the “King of Chinese Pop” for his wide range of musical styles blending pop, rock, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, classical and traditional Chinese music. His musical collaborations have included work with international stars including Tony Bennett, Avicii, Usher, Lang Lang, and JJ Lin. He has performed in over 100 cities worldwide in his career. Leehom’s film career includes a starring role in Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution.

As a bridge between Eastern and Western worlds, Wang Leehom is a worldwide cultural ambassador, with a platform of more than 60 million social media followers.

Leehom’s appointment as Godfather displays Norwegian Joy’s vision of delivering the best of the Norwegian Cruise Line brand to China, while also being customized to the Chinese traveler.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to share the cruising lifestyle with Chinese guests as Godfather of Norwegian Joy. Cruising is an exciting way of experiencing travel and leisure that I’m thrilled to be sharing with China.” said Wang Leehom.

“As a Chinese star with a high international profile, connecting East and West through his music and movies, Leehom is the perfect Godfather for Norwegian Joy, a ship custom designed for our Chinese guests that also brings the best of the East and West together. We are thrilled to be working with him as a partner to introduce the NCL ‘First Class at Sea’ cruising experience to China next summer,” said Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings President and Chief Executive Officer Frank J. Del Rio.

“We are honored and excited to have Wang Leehom as the Godfather of our spectacular new premium vessel Norwegian Joy, and as a brand ambassador for NCL in China. Leehom is a highly accomplished artist and family man that we are proud to partner with in China and beyond.” said Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings China President, David J. Herrera.

About Norwegian Joy

Currently being built at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Joy is Norwegian Cruise Line’s first purpose-built ship customized for China. The name Norwegian Joy emphasizes the experience that the ship will offer, a promise that guests will ‘Experience Paradise on the Sea.’ Accommodating 3,850 guests with luxurious suites in the exclusive ship-within-a-ship complex, the new Breakaway-Plus Class Ship will debut in China in summer 2017.

Designed to provide First Class at Sea experiences with onboard amenities that cater to the unique vacation desires of Chinese guests, Norwegian Joy will provide a multitude of VIP accommodations including The Haven by Norwegian®, the line’s exclusive, ship-within-a-ship suite luxury complex, which will also include an all-new Observation Deck that features 180 degree views, and a Concierge level, an all-new accommodations category which will provide a VIP experience and feature larger balcony staterooms. Accommodation offerings will also include staterooms designed specifically for families and a multitude of connecting staterooms, for extended families traveling together, as well as a wide array of mini-suite, balcony, ocean view and interior staterooms, many with virtual balconies.

Norwegian Joy will offer engaging and innovative activities including a first at sea two-level competitive racetrack, an open-air laser tag course, thrilling simulator rides and interactive video walls at the Galaxy Pavilion as well as hover craft bumper cars, a state-of-the-art racing simulator and two multi-story waterslides. In addition, Norwegian Joy will house a tranquil open space park as well as the line’s largest upscale shopping district, complete with everything from exceptional duty-free shops to world-renowned global luxury brands.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.


Richard Branson introduces Virgin Voyages sailing in 2020

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On October - 18 - 2016

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson today revealed Virgin Voyages as the inspiring new identity for the company’s cruise line. Joined by the company’s President and CEO Tom McAlpin, they announced the name, and shared that Virgin Voyages has officially signed a ship building contract for three vessels with Italian master shipbuilder Fincantieri, and that the company will be the first cruise line to adopt the clean energy system, Climeon Ocean.

The revealing event held at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach featured a stunning theatrical performance where Sir Richard appeared with two performers who danced on deck chairs in front of an audience of international news media, Miami politicos and business leaders.

virgincruisesSir Richard expressed Virgin Voyages’ commitment to changing cruising for good. “Thousands of future sailors and travel professionals shared their thoughts with us and tasked us with delivering the most irresistible vacation at sea and that our name alone should leave them dizzy with anticipation,” said Sir Richard. “I’m excited to reveal we are now Virgin Voyages, and while we have lots of work ahead to build our three ships, we can’t wait to welcome you aboard the ship of things to come.”

Virgin Voyages, backed by lead investors Bain Capital Private Equity and Virgin Group, expects the multi-billion dollar financing package for the purchase of its three ships to be finalized shortly. The lead lending partners will be Cassa depositi e prestiti (Cdp) and UniCredit, and the loan will be fully backed by Italian export credit agency SACE and supported by SIMEST, both subsidiaries of Cdp. McAlpin outlined a ship building schedule including steel cutting in early 2017, followed by the keel laying in Genoa in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“Our world class partners like Bain Capital Private Equity, Virgin Group and Fincantieri as well as financial powerhouses like Cdp, UniCredit, SACE and SIMEST, showcase Virgin Voyages’ strong backing and commitment to developing an incredible product. This is anything but just another cruise or holiday, it will be a transformational experience delivering a very ‘Virgin style’ of adventure,” said McAlpin.

Virgin Voyages is the first major cruise line to partner with Climeon, a world-renowned clean energy innovator. Virgin will install Climeon Ocean, a system that will transform low-grade energy into clean electricity, on all three of its ships. The resulting environmental impact will be an estimated 5,400 tons of carbon dioxide savings annually per ship—an amount that would take 180,000 trees 30 years to absorb.

“The Climeon heat power system is an environmental breakthrough, and working with Virgin is of major importance to us. We are excited that Sir Richard Branson and Virgin, with their focus on sustainability, have decided to become a pioneer of this technology. Transforming hot water to electricity will be a major source of energy production going forward,” said founder and CEO of Climeon, Thomas Öström.

Virgin Voyages’ first ship will arrive at PortMiami in 2020, hosting more than 2,700 sailors and 1,150 spirited crew members. For the first ship, Virgin Voyages will offer a range of Caribbean itineraries to ports that deliver unique and very social experiences. Future sailors are invited to check out Virgin Voyages by visiting www.virginvoyages.com or following @virginvoyages on Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter or, of course, Facebook.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.


Norwegian Cruise Line to debut new ship designed for Alaska Cruising in 2018

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On October - 13 - 2016

Norwegian Cruise Line will once again pioneer a new era of Alaska cruising beginning June 2018, as the company announced today that its next new vessel, named Norwegian Bliss, will be the first cruise ship custom-built with features and amenities for the ultimate Alaska cruise experience. Norwegian Bliss will cruise to America’s Last Frontier from Seattle and will be the first Norwegian Cruise Line ship to make its debut in the Emerald City.

At a ceremony held at Port of Seattle’s Pier 66, Norwegian President and CEO Andy Stuart shared the exciting news, alongside Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick and Port of Seattle Commission President John Creighton.

“Norwegian was the first cruise line to begin cruising to Alaska from Seattle in 2000 and it’s only fitting that we bring our newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, directly to this incredible location,” said Andy Stuart, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Alaska is one of the top destinations for our guests to explore and we are thrilled to be the first cruise line to offer our guests the opportunity to experience this coveted destination aboard a brand new, state-of-the-art cruise ship custom designed for Alaska, the first of its kind to ever debut in Seattle.”

The third ship in the line’s Breakaway-Plus class, Norwegian Bliss is designed with features and amenities to offer guests the ultimate Alaska cruising experience.  At approximately 167,800 gross tons and accommodating 4,000 guests, the ship will be constructed at MEYER WERFT in Papenburg, Germany and scheduled for delivery in Spring 2018.

After a transatlantic cruise and a Panama Canal transit through the new locks, the ship will sail north along the West Coast, reaching Seattle for the start of the summer cruising season.  Norwegian Bliss will sail weekly seven-day Alaska cruises each Saturday from Pier 66 in Seattle, offering guests the premier way to see America’s last frontier, while also providing all of the innovative features, entertainment, signature dining and onboard experiences that Norwegian Cruise Line is known for around the globe. The ship’s itinerary will feature calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, British Columbia, along with scenic glacier cruising.

Continuing Norwegian’s tradition of decorating each ship’s hull with signature art, Norwegian has also announced that the world’s premier marine life artist, Wyland, has been commissioned to design the hull artwork for Norwegian Bliss.  Known for his iconic whale murals, marine life paintings and sculptures, Wyland has inspired generations to be passionate about the importance of marine life conservation. The enormous extent of Wyland’s public artworks, his award-winning art galleries and his non-profit foundation’s community service projects have made him one of the world’s most recognized and beloved artists. His engaging and beautiful design for Norwegian Bliss’ hull art will be revealed later this month.

To further enhance the overall guest experience for cruisers from Seattle, Norwegian’s parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, has entered into a groundbreaking 15-year agreement with the Port of Seattle to collectively invest $30 million to upgrade the Pier 66 facilities. From expanding the guest check-in space by 300% to more than 150,000 square feet to a new VIP lounge with expansive views of Elliott Bay and the addition of two new elevated passenger boarding bridges to provide easy and comfortable passenger boarding, the new amenities will provide guests with the perfect send-off to start their Alaskan adventure.

“The Port of Seattle is proud to partner with Norwegian Cruise Line as we work to bring people from around the world to see the great Pacific Northwest from Seattle to Alaska,” said Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick.  “Our long relationship together is evident in this historic and unprecedented 15-year lease here at Pier 66.”

Norwegian Bliss will feature amenities and interactive experiences that will excite and inspire, and more details on the ship’s accommodations, dining and onboard offerings will be shared in the coming months. The ship will be available for reservations in January 2017.

For more information on Norwegian Bliss, please visit bliss.ncl.com. To book a cruise aboard one of Norwegian’s newest ships, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Filled Under Blog, cruisenews, new ships, News

Amazing culinary offerings planned for Norwegian Joy

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On September - 6 - 2016

One word best sums up the culinary offerings that will be available to guests on board the luxurious brand new cruise ship Norwegian Joy when she starts sailing in June 2017: everything!

From Chinese hot pot, to sophisticated French haute cuisine, the freshest Japanese sushi to the highest quality American steaks and burgers, Norwegian Joy promises no less than 28 different food and beverage outlets on board – the widest array of dining experiences yet on any new ship that has been purpose built for China.

Every aspect of Norwegian’s new Breakaway-Plus Class vessel, which will start sailing from Shanghai  on June 28, 2017, promises to be a ‘First Class at Sea’ experience, and central to this – of course – is the culinary program.

Unlike other cruise lines, Norwegian offers guests the flexibility to dine when they want, where they want, from a wide range of restaurants. Only Norwegian offers the flexibility of Freestyle dining, which means no fixed dining times or pre-assigned seating. And with so many purpose built restaurants from bow to stern, guests can enjoy more dining options than days of their cruise, whenever they like.

Norwegian Joy guests will be able to enjoy a wide range of complimentary dining options, while a host of additional premium dining experiences are also available at nominal extra cost.

Among the inclusive options is the Garden Café, which will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here, guests can enjoy unlimited visits to a sumptuous buffet of international favorites. The diverse spread will feature classics of Chinese and Western cuisine as well as lively stations preparing dishes à-la-minute.

For a traditional dining experience Norwegian Joy’s elegant Manhattan Room will offer a vast selection of Chinese cuisine complemented by Western-style classics such as steaks and seafood.

The aptly named Savor and Taste restaurants will also serve a wide array of Chinese cuisine, from traditional to forward-thinking Chinese fusion cuisine with pronounced Korean and Japanese accents.

Among the premium offerings, Food Republic allows diners to take a culinary tour of the world without even entering a single port of call. An eclectic menu will draw inspiration from the flavors of Japan, and even such far-flung destinations as Peru. Here, guests can indulge in an extensive sushi selection and enjoy creative fusion dishes, like Food Republic’s signature hamachi taquitos.

Teppanyaki offers an authentic taste of East Asia. Here, guests can marvel at a Japanese hibachi cooking performance at their table. Diners also have the option of preparing their own meal with a selection of meats and fresh vegetables at Hot Pot restaurant Sakura & Hibiscus or Korean barbecue table. For fresh hand-pulled Chinese noodles and exquisitely crafted dim sum, there is the Noodle Bar.

The American dining options range from a sophisticated steakhouse to a classic and casual diner. Guests on Norwegian Joy will be able to experience both offerings onboard. Cagney’s Steakhouse will feature premium cuts, like tender filet mignon and succulent bone-in rib eyes, as well as other classic chops, like rack of lamb. All of which can be enjoyed with classic steakhouse sides, like asparagus with hollandaise sauce or truffled French fries. Meanwhile, American Diner promises the best in American comfort, from meatloaf and potpies, to burgers and fried chicken.

The azure Pacific waves that carry Norwegian Joy from port to port will no doubt induce in passengers’ craving for fresh fish, which can be satisfied at Neptune’s. This seafood specialty restaurant will feature a stunning buffet of fresh seafood, both chilled and raw, on ice. Guests can enjoy an expertly prepared catch from Neptune’s à la carte menu, too.

Italian and French are among the best cuisines that Europe has to offer, and Norwegian Joy will allow guests to indulge. La Cucina will specialize in a mix of contemporary Italian pastas and handmade gnocchi, along with meat and seafood dishes, while Le Bistro will serve the most refined French cuisine on the high seas.

For those with a sweet tooth, The Bake Shop is certain to quell those cravings. This boutique bakery will offer a tantalizing variety of handmade baked goods, like cupcakes, macarons, chocolate pralines, and Japanese mocha sweets, to name a few.

Finally, for liquid refreshments, Norwegian Joy will be flush with options. Venues like The Grand Tea Room will serve high-end loose leaf teas from China along with elegant snacks and high tea-style finger foods to savor on a leisurely afternoon.

Oenophiles on board can quench their thirst at La Cave. French for “The Cellar”, La Cave is Norwegian Joy’s source for fine wines and spirits. Guests can enjoy a glass of world-class wine or whiskey at the bar and, if they taste anything they like, they can make a retail purchase to take home with them after the cruise. After a leisurely drink or two, they may wish to retire to Humidor, Norwegian Joy’s exclusive cigar lounge to relax in style.

And for guests who wish to enjoy a handcrafted cocktail, options abound, from martinis and manhattans  at Mixx Bar, pre-dinner drinks at Prime Meridian, refreshing frozen poolside cocktails at Spice H20, and specialty coffees and teas at Atrium Bar.

For more information on Norwegian Joy, please contact an authorized Norwegian travel partner or visit www.goncl.cn (in China) or https://www.ncl.com/norwegian-joy (in US).

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Filled Under Blog, cruisenews, new ships, News