Following the successful launch of Norwegian Epic, the Company’s largest and most innovative ship to date, Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that it has reached an agreement with MEYER WERFT GMBH of Germany to build two new next generation Freestyle Cruising ships for delivery in spring 2013 and spring 2014, respectively. Each of the 143,500 gross ton vessels, the largest passenger/cruise ships to be built in Germany, will have approximately 4,000 passenger berths and a rich cabin mix. Additional details about each ship’s new and exciting features will be released as construction progresses. The contract price for the two vessels is approximately €1.2 billion. The Company has committed financing in place from a syndicate of banks for export credit financing in connection with this project.
“We have always been focused on a disciplined approach to capacity growth. Our decision to add two new ships reflects the significant progress we have made in improving our operating performance and repositioning the Company over the last several years, as well as the strong market demand we are seeing for Norwegian Epic and our other ships,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “Building on the incredible success and popularity of Norwegian Epic, we are taking the best of what our newest ship has to offer, as well as drawing on our legacy of innovation in the cruise industry, in creating a new class of Freestyle Cruising vessel that is sure to provide our guests with the unparalleled freedom and flexibility they have come to expect on a Norwegian cruise.”
“We are excited to be returning to MEYER WERFT and are confident that their rich ship building history and expertise will bring our vision to fruition,” added Sheehan. MEYER WERFT, based in Papenburg, Germany, most recently built Norwegian’s four Jewel-class ships – Norwegian Gem delivered in 2007, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Jade delivered in 2006, and Norwegian Jewel delivered in 2005. These new vessels are the eighth and ninth that the Company will build with MEYER WERFT.
“Norwegian Cruise Line and MEYER WERFT have a long history of working together. We are thrilled to continue our partnership. Our teams work very well together and we are looking forward to building this new, exciting and innovative class of vessels,” said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of MEYER WERFT. “In addition, the 21,000 employees of the yard and its supplier companies* involved in the construction of the ships appreciate the new project from one of our longstanding customers.”
Norwegian Cruise Line pioneered the concept of Freestyle Cruising and currently offers guests the freedom and flexibility to enjoy their cruise vacation on their own terms, including multiple dining venues, relaxed attire, a variety of accommodations and world-class entertainment. The Company took Freestyle Cruising to the next level with the introduction of Norwegian Epic in June 2010. The 4,100 passenger vessel has been called the “entertainment ship” with a variety of shows and venues that trump land-based resorts like those found in Las Vegas. Headliners include Blue Man Group, Cirque Dreams™ & Dinner, Legends in Concert, The Second City® Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos and Slam Allen Blues Band. In addition, the ship features Nickelodeon™ at Sea as part of its wide-range of family offerings. Further innovations include the largest spa at sea, the first true ice bar at sea and The Studios, which are staterooms designed and priced for solo travelers, along with The Villas, the largest suite complex at sea.
“We are bringing this spirit of innovation to these two new build ships, as Norwegian continues to offer our guests new and exciting ways to enjoy their Freestyle Cruising vacation,” said Sheehan.