New Norwegian Epic cruise ship passes first Atlantic sea trials

New Norwegian Epic cruise ship passes first Atlantic sea trials

Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest ship, Norwegian Epic, has returned from four days of sea trials in the Atlantic Ocean.

The vessel, the largest in the Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet, carried 300 technicians and engineers from STX FRANCE as they checked 60 different aspects of the ship’s performance. Checks included running trials on the vessel’s speed, manoeuvrability, hydrodynamics and propulsion.

Up to 30 Norwegian Cruise Line representatives were also aboard.

“During her first time ever at sea, Norwegian Epic performed above expectations with excellent marine behavior,” explained Norwegian Cruise Line president Roberto Martinoli.

“All tests were conducted with positive results.

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“She is a beautiful ship with outstanding performance. Now that sea trials are completed, we can concentrate on finishing the ship and showing her to the world in June.”

Following the successful trials, a second round is scheduled for mid-April. These second trials will allow engineers to finalise tests, including a final speed measurement.

The 153,000-gross ton, 4,200-passenger ship – the largest ship ever built in Saint-Nazaire - is scheduled for delivery on June 15th 2010.

Norwegian Cruise Line recently announced that Norwegian Epic will be based in Barcelona from May to October 2011 from where she will sail a series of seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises.

On the other side of the Atlantic, however, Carnival Legend was experiencing a bumpier ride.

The 2,124-passenger passenger vessel was delayed by propulsion problems while returning to her home port of Tampa earlier this week.

Delays of several hours, combined with an existing propulsion problem aboard the vessel, will see the cruise skip its scheduled stop at Grand Cayman - instead visiting Cozumel in Mexico.

“The problem is only affecting the vessel’s speed and all other systems on board are operating normally,” explained Carnival in a statement in a statement.

The news comes only weeks after Carnival confirmed propulsion problems with the larger Carnival Destiny were forcing the cancellation of two voyages and the modification of three others.