Norwegian Cruise Line today accepted delivery of its largest and most innovative ship to date, Norwegian Epic, from STX FRANCE SA. Norwegian Epic at 153,000 gross tons is the largest ship ever constructed in St. Nazaire and therefore represents a major milestone for STX.
“Norwegian Epic represents the next level of Freestyle Cruising with branded entertainment, more than 20 dining options and a wide range of accommodations including the largest suite complex at sea,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s Chief Executive Officer. “Following more than four years of development and construction, we are pleased to take ownership of this beautiful ship and introduce her to the world. We are confident that Norwegian Epic will amaze our guests.”
Norwegian Epic will depart St. Nazaire this evening en route to Rotterdam, the first port the ship will visit. Once there, she will welcome on board her first guests who will set sail on a two-day inaugural cruise. On June 21, the ship will sail a one-night preview cruise to Southampton, arriving on June 22 for a two-day inaugural sailing. On June 24, the ship will depart Southampton on a sold-out seven-day transatlantic crossing to New York arriving on July 1.
Norwegian Epic will be christened by legendary entertainer Reba McEntire on July 2 followed by a two-day inaugural cruise. Norwegian Epic will be the host venue for the 34th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks event taking place on Sunday, July 4. The event includes a national, one-hour, live entertainment broadcast on NBC-TV beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Norwegian Epic arrives in Miami on Wednesday, July 7 where a welcome event will be held at Bicentennial Park from 2-4 pm. For more information on the event, head to http://epic.ncl.com/epicmiami. Inaugural festivities conclude with a two-day sailing on July 8.
Beginning July 10, Norwegian Epic will sail alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami through April 30, 2011. Ports of call on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary include Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. The Western Caribbean cruises visit Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico. The 2011 cruise season from May-October will have Norwegian Epic sailing a series of seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona. When she returns to Miami on November 5, 2011, she will sail a series of seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises through April 7, 2012.