Norwegian Cruise Line and Meyer Werft have celebrated the keel laying of Norwegian Escape at Meyer’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 chief executive, was on hand in the dock and laid the traditional ‘lucky coin’, before the first block, weighing 400 tons, was placed by 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 seven-day cruises from her year-round homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean on November 14th 2015.