First block in the dock for Norwegian’s first Breakaway Plus-class ship; Marks start of construction on line’s largest ship.

Norwegian Escape keel laying held at Meyer Werft / Photo © Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Escape keel laying held at Meyer Werft / Photo © Norwegian Cruise Line

Photo: From left to right: Stephan Schmees (Project Manager Meyer Werft), Kevin Sheehan (President and Chief Executive Officer Norwegian Cruise Line), Christer Karlsson (Senior Vice President of New Build Norwegian Cruise Line), Bernard Meyer (Managing Partner of Meyer Werft)

Norwegian Cruise Line and Meyer Werft today celebrated the keel laying of Norwegian Escape at Meyer Werft’s state of the art facility in Papenburg, Germany. During the ceremony, block 35/41, the first of 86 blocks that will comprise the 164.600 gross ton vessel, was lifted into the covered building dock, officially marking the start of the ship’s construction. Norwegian Escape will be Norwegian’s largest ship to date, carrying 4.200 passengers, set for delivery in October 2015.

Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s President and Chief Executive Officer, was on hand in the dock and laid the traditional “lucky coin”, before the first block, weighing 400 tons, was placed by a massive crane. A special commemorative coin featuring the ship was created to celebrate the day’s activities.

“Norwegian Escape will be our largest and most innovative ship to date, building on the phenomenal success of Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway”, said Sheehan. “We are looking forward to seeing this ship take shape over the next year and welcoming her to our fleet in October 2015.”

Norwegian Escape is the first ship in her class, and is being built by Meyer Werft through a highly efficient construction process that will deliver the ship of 164.600 gross tons in just over 19 months from steel cutting to delivery.

“We are proud to begin the construction of Norwegian Cruise Line’s first Breakaway Plus vessel and continue our long-standing partnership,” said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft. “Norwegian Escape will be a spectacular ship and it is our honour to bring the dreams and innovations of the Norwegian team to life.”

Norwegian Escape will begin weekly 7-night cruises from her year-round homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean on November 14, 2015. The ship will be the largest to homeport year-round in Miami, carrying 4.200 guests to tropical Caribbean destinations including St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas.

The ship’s signature hull artwork is designed by marine wildlife artist and champion of ocean conservation, Guy Harvey, which features an underwater scene of marine wildlife. Norwegian’s newest ship is Harvey’s largest canvas to date, at 325 metres in length, with his artwork spanning from the hull to the aft featuring two undersea scenes that blend seamlessly. Norwegian Escape will boast all of the exciting and innovative features found on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, plus a number of new spaces and interactive experiences that are yet to be announced. Accommodations include the company’s signature luxury ship-within-a-ship complex: The Haven by Norwegian; along with Studios, designed and priced for solo travellers; and many options for families, multi-generational groups, spa enthusiasts and more.

Information source: Norwegian Cruise Line

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