Norwegian Bliss, the third of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Plus class, emerged from the Meyer Werft building dock in Papenburg, Germany on Saturday, Feb. 17, representing a major milestone in the vessel’s construction.
The ship will remain in the shipyard port for the final phase of construction, until its conveyance down the River Ems towards the North Sea, scheduled for mid-March. During this time, the first crewmembers will move into their staterooms on board, begin their training, and familiarize themselves with the ship - readying her for the first guests to arrive after delivery in 60 days, on April 19.
The construction of the ship began in Oct. 2016 with the traditional steel cutting ceremony launching the 12th Norwegian Cruise Line ship to be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard. It is the third ship in the Breakaway Plus class, measuring 1,082 feet in length by 136 feet wide, with gross tonnage of 167,800 and accommodating approximately 4,000 guests.
Part of the excitement of this float out will be the public debut of the ship’s signature hull artwork designed by world-renowned marine life artist and conservationist, Wyland. Best known for his marine life paintings, sculptures and grand scale murals, or “Whaling Walls,” Norwegian Bliss’ hull design is named “Cruising with the Whales” and features a stunning image of a mother humpback whale and her calf as the centerpiece of the design, representing the beauty of Alaska’s wildlife.
Norwegian Bliss will be the first cruise ship custom-built with features and amenities for the ultimate Alaska cruise experience, including the 180-degree Observation Lounge where guests can enjoy Norwegian’s most expansive views at sea. She will also be the first Norwegian Cruise Line ship to make her debut in Seattle, with cruises beginning May 2018. Norwegian Bliss will offer weekly seven-day cruises to see America’s last frontier with ports-of-call including Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska, as well as Victoria, British Columbia, along with scenic glacier cruising.
“Our partners at Meyer Werft have done an excellent job realizing our vision for a ship designed to experience Alaska and the Caribbean like never before,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief executive officer. “We are counting down the days until her official debut in Seattle this summer, where guests will be able to race around the world’s largest two-level race track at sea against the backdrop of Alaska’s wild frontier, and enjoy other first-at-sea experiences.”
Following preview events in New York City, Miami and Los Angeles, Norwegian Bliss will sail into Seattle for her official christening on May 30, with summer cruises to Alaska beginning June 2. She will spend her summer seasons with seven-day cruises to Alaska, and fall seasons sailing to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles. In winter of 2018 she will sail to the Caribbean from Miami, and in the 2019 fall/winter season she will cruise from New York City to Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean.
Among the ship's features are:
- Following overwhelming popularity aboard Norwegian Bliss’ sister ship in China, Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Bliss will be the first North American-based cruise ship with a two level electric-car race track. The competitive track is the longest at sea, measuring at nearly 1,000 feet. The track features four speed settings accommodating novice, intermediate and advanced drivers, reaching up to 30 miles per hour - with a special “turbo boost” available on each lap.
- Guests can also test their agility at the open-air laser tag course. Themed as an abandoned space station, the course comes to life both day and night as guests go into stealth-mode and compete against family and friends with state-of-the art laser guns.
- Guests can then cool down at the ship’s expansive pool and sundeck featuring two spacious pools and six infinity hot tubs that scale the side of the ship. The ship’s Aqua Park also includes two multi-story waterslides, including the high-speed Ocean Loops free fall slide (which features one loop that extends out over the side of the ship and a second see-through loop that stretches down to the deck below) and the tandem Aqua Racer slide, which allows guests to race side-by-side on inner tubes for more than 360 feet.
- Norwegian Bliss will also feature a number of new dining concepts, including Texas Smokehouse and Los Lobos, as well as Coco’s, a completely new à la carte dessert venue located on deck 6 in the heart of the ship.
Full details are available at bliss.ncl.com.