Southampton set to open its 5th cruise terminal next year

The port of Southampton is set to cement its title as the UK’s busiest cruise port with the opening of a fifth terminal next year. Due for completion in late spring the new terminal will help Southampton handle the 2million passengers, which already pass through the South Coast port each year.

The opening follows the announcement by the port owners Associated British ports (ABP) of a strategic partnership with two of the world largest cruise lines MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

The terminal which is being constructed in the city’s Western Docks will be “next-generation-ready”, and able to accomodate world’s biggest ships, which currently carry 6,000 passengers or more.

The new terminal under construction November 2020  (Image Andrew McAlpine)
The new terminal under construction November 2020 (Image Andrew McAlpine)

Alastair Welch, director of ABP Southampton, said: “We’re very pleased to announce this major advance in our cruise infrastructure at the port, delivering further access to Southampton for the industry, whilst supporting our commitment to accelerate improvements in local air quality. This investment is a huge vote of confidence in the future of cruise in Southampton and we’re excited to be at the forefront of a growing industry.”

The upper storey of the new yet to be named terminal (Image ABP)
The upper storey of the new yet to be named terminal (Image ABP)

The new £55 million terminal will feature ultra-modern technology including roof-mounted solar power and ship to shore power connectivity. Also known as ‘cold ironing’, The technology allows for ships to shut down their own generators and obtain power by plugging into local shore based electricity grid.

It scheme has received support from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with an £8 million grant through the government’s Getting Building Fund.

Christopher Hammond, leader of Southampton City Council and Solent LEP director, said: “We are committed to ensuring we can emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic with the strongest foundations for future growth. I’m pleased that this investment joins a growing list of public and private commitments to making our city greener, fairer and healthier, whilst providing much needed jobs in our economic renewal.”

MSC Magnifica in Southampton from 2021 (Image Andrew McAlpine)
MSC Magnifica will homeport in Southampton from 2021 (Image Andrew McAlpine)

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO, said: “We are in a unique position that not only will we be committing to having an MSC Cruises’ ship home port from Southampton every year, but several of our ships will be visiting Southampton as a destination as part of our wider cruise.

Antonio Paradiso, managing director of MSC Cruises UK & Ireland, said: “Whilst we’ve always had loyal passengers from the UK & Ireland, over the last five years we’ve been on a real journey in the UK market.

“We were delighted to see such strong organic growth which lead to our first ever full season sailing from the UK in 2018, followed by the naming ceremony of MSC Bellissima in the port of Southampton bringing guests from around the world to the city to celebrate the milestone event in 2019. We ended 2019 with the most successful year of sales ever in the UK & Ireland, something we are incredibly proud of.”

He added: “MSC Cruises is serious about the UK market and now more than ever we believe in the potential here and making this long-term commitment to bringing even more passengers to Southampton is evidence of that.

Norwegian Encore seen in Southampton (Image Andrew McAlpine)
Norwegian Encore seen in Southampton (Image Andrew McAlpine)

Steve Moeller, senior vice president of commercial development at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, added: “This agreement marks the continuation of the strong partnership between Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and the Port of Southampton and demonstrates our commitment to the region.”

Six cruise ships seen in Southampton (Image Andrew McAlpine)
Six cruise ships in port is set to be a regualr sight in Southampton (Image Andrew McAlpine)

As always thank you for taking the time to read my latest post.

All images copyright Andrew McAlpine unless otherwise stated

Norwegian Cruise Line Partners with JUST® Goods, Inc. to Eliminate Single-Use Plastic Bottles Across Fleet

Norwegian will be the First Major Global Cruise Company to Become Plastic Bottle Free by January 1, 2020

Miami, FL, US – Sep 25, 2019

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Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel with a 52-year history of breaking boundaries, today announced another first as a result of its partnership with JUST® Goods, Inc., which will enable the Cruise Line to replace all single-use plastic bottles across its fleet by January 1, 2020, beginning with its newest innovative ship, Norwegian Encore. 

Over Six Million Plastic Bottles to Be Eliminated Each Year

The decision is the latest sustainable step forward for Norwegian Cruise Line. In 2018, the Company eliminated single-use plastic straws across its 16-ship fleet and private destinations, and as a result of this most recent initiative, it will replace over six million single-use plastic bottles every year. These efforts are driven by the Company’s Sail & Sustain Environmental Program which is its commitment to minimize waste to landfills, reduce its CO2 emissions rate, increase sustainable sourcing and invest in emerging technologies.

“We are a leading Company – one that is in the business of creating memorable experiences for our guests,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “It is imperative that we take meaningful steps to preserve our oceans and the destinations we visit. Partnering with JUST is one of my proudest moments as the head of our pioneering brand. This latest effort – the elimination of single-use plastic bottles across our fleet – is just the latest environmentally responsible action we are taking to reduce our footprint and encourage others to protect our natural resources. While we are aware that this is just the beginning of what we and others need to do to be good stewards of our environment, we are committed to our Sail & Sustain initiatives and will continue to innovate for the overall benefit of the planet and its future.”

Envisioned and founded by American rapper, songwriter, actor and activist Jaden Smith and family, JUST takes an innovative approach to sourcing and packaging the world’s most valued resource – water.  The revolutionary company focuses on an impact model, taking into consideration both how the water is sourced and packaged. JUST is 100% spring water in a plant-based carton. The carton is made of 82% renewable materials – the paper carton is made from trees grown in responsibly-managed forests and the cap and shoulder are made from a sugarcane-based plastic. It is refillable and recyclable. JUST has a global presence with bottling facilities in Glenn Falls, NY; Ballymena, Northern Ireland; and Ballarat, Australia, thus allowing the company to meet demand around the world without shipping water from a single production source. JUST takes care to use the most efficient shipping options available.

“It’s critical that businesses take a leading role in efforts to lighten the impact we have on our planet,” said JUST Goods, Inc. CEO Ira Laufer. “We created JUST to do just that – to be a better option in a category that has created a lot of the damage and continues to do so.  The JUST team couldn’t be happier to now share this goal with our partner, Norwegian Cruise Line. We’re deeply appreciative of Norwegian’s commitment that’s so similar to ours – the Company is pushing the boundaries of what’s always been done because it knows we all need to do better.  We’re thrilled to be taking steps in the right direction alongside NCL.”

For more information about Norwegian Cruise Line ships and their itineraries, visit www.ncl.com.

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Norwegian Encore Image Meyer Werft

I like to cover the environmental side of the cruise industry in my blog so am pleased to see this announcement from another big cruise line. I am especially please to see that the change will be debuted onboard Norwegian Encore as I will be onboard for her preview cruise in October so be sure to follow my social channels.

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog post

Meyer Werft due to float out Norwegian Encore – plus 5 things to love about the final Breakaway-plus ship

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Norwegian Encore Image: Meyer Werft

German shipbuilder Meyer Werft has announced that Norwegian Encore is due to leave  the covered building dock no.II on Saturday 17th August 2019 subject to weather conditions on the day.

Norwegian Encore is the latest breakaway-plus class ship being constructed for Norwegian Cruise Line.

Providing weather conditions on the day are good the operation will start around 8 a.m. Once Norwegian Encore has left the dock, it will berth at the shipyard’s out-fitting pier to be fitted with its funnel cladding. The ship will then remain in the shipyard port for further out-fitting work and on-board trials until its passage through the river Ems up to the North Sea, which is expected to take place end of September.

Norwegian Encore is the thirteenth ship built for NCL at Papenburg, and is the fourth and final ship in the Breakaway-Plus class which comprises of Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss.

Once delivered Encore will sail on a two night inaugural cruise from Bremerhaven to Southampton arriving on 2nd November. Later the same day same day she will head across the Atlantic for Miami with a stop at Ponta Degada in the Azores before arriving at her home port 13th November where she will offer week-long Caribbean cruises departing every Sunday.

 An Encore to Norwegian Bliss !

In 2018 I was invited on board the inaugural cruise of the previous ship Norwegian Bliss as she sailed from Bremerhaven to Southampton.And I am so excited to reveal that once again I will be one of the first to step on board and sample what Norwegian Encore has to offer as I have been invited on the inaugural cruise at the end of October. I hope to bring you everything new and exciting she has to offer.

So to wet your appetite………

5 Things to Love About Norwegian Encore

 

The biggest race track at sea

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Originally introduced on Norwegian Joy and improved on each of the following ships the racetrack on board Norwegian Encore will have a length of 1,150ft. The extended track will feature  10 turns including 4 that extend up to 13 feet over the side of the ship. There will also be a covered viewing area where fellow passengers can watch the race. In addition, the people watching can provide drivers with some extra speed using a laser system to tag go-karts with a temporary speed boost!

I was lucky enough to try out the go-karts on board Norwegian Bliss and they were such fun…. whats more I even won my race! so the enlarged track will be awesome!!

Immersive Galaxy Pavilion

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The Galaxy Pavilion on board Norwegian Encore is set to be one of the most interactive and technologically advanced spaces at sea. First debuted on Norwegian Joy, the pavilion is being re-envisioned by the cruise line. This 10,000 square foot family-friendly area will feature a variety of virtual reality experiences suitable for all and among the known attractions are a driving simulator, two dark ride simulators, and a virtual reality maze. With all of these new features, this indoor venue is sure to be very popular with cruisers of all ages.

Enhanced Laser Tag

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One of the popular on board activities on Norwegian Bliss is the laser tag. On board Norwegian Encore, the cruise line has taken this concept and enhanced it with digital technology, based around the resurrected lost city of Atlantis. The enlarged outdoor arena will see augmented reality as part of each game. Players will wear virtual reality headsets, and while avoiding being targeted by opponents, cruisers will also have to be wary of “digital” obstacles which adds a new element and makes this game unlike anything else at sea and an epic battle for the whole family to enjoy.

Your favorite venue’s

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The stunning observation lounge onboard Norwegian Bliss © Andrew McAlpine

Along with all these and more new features, Norwegian Encore will feature many of the popular venues and amenities found on earlier Breakaway-Plus ships. These include the  quarter-mile oceanfront promenade promenade where a number of bars and eateries can be found, the Observation Lounge on Deck 15 which was my favorite venue on board Norwegian Bliss. The “ship within a ship” Haven area, together with a variety of complimentary and specialty dining. plus a full-service Starbucks for those coffee lovers, although personally I prefer Costa Coffee!!

New Shows

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Winner of six Tony Awards, Kinky Boots is now exclusively on Norwegian Encore. Based on true events, This Broadway production will feature original music from Grammy winner Cyndi Lauper and will be a 90-minute show in the main theatre. Also featured will be the West End show choir of Man which debuted on Norwegian Escape.

Are you planning to cruise on board Norwegian Encore? What is your favorite new feature feel free to drop me a line and let me know.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog

 

 

 

New cruise ships still to enter service in 2019

With the first half of 2019, being busy with 12 new cruise ships delivered to various owners the second half of 2019 looks to be just as busy. According to the latest cruise ship order book there are a another 12 new ships set for delivery in the second half of the year, with an average of two ships being delivered each month..

The remaining order book is valued at around $5.5 billion with an estimated 24,190 new berths entering service. Of the ships yet to be delivered, five are expedition vessels and one is LNG-fuelled ship.

2019 New cruise ships

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Take a look at what new ships are due for delivery:

JUNE

Spirit of Discovery

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Image: Meyer Werft

$350,000,000
Capacity: 1,000 Guests

Constructed by Meyer Werft in Papenburg Saga’s first-ever new build, the Spirit of Discovery was delivered in mid-June ahead of her inaugural cruise from Dover in July. Departing from Dover on July 10th, the new ship’s first voyage is aptly named British First, circumnavigating the UK and adding calls to Ireland.

All Saga Discovery ship’s 540 staterooms have private balconies, which also means that the ship has no Inside cabins. Cabin categories include Standard Balcony, Deluxe Balcony, Mid-ship Suites and larger Panorama Suites. 100 single cabins are specifically designed for solo travellers (can be booked with single-occupancy rates and without single supplement), which is approx. 20% of ship’s total capacity.

https://travel.saga.co.uk/cruises/ocean/our-ships/spirit-of-adventure.aspx


Le Dumont-d’Urville

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Image: Ponant Cruises

$110,000,000
Capacity: 180 Guests

Le Dumont d’Urville will be the fourth in Ponant’s six-ship Explorer-class of expedition vessels. Named after the French explorer and naval officer who explored the south and western Pacific, Australia. The Dumont d’Urville scientific station in Antarctica is named after him.
Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience. the ship will have reinforced hulls for when sailing in polar regions and an aft marina for when it’s in tropical destinations.
Standout features on Le Dumont d’Urville will be an aft marina and the underwater Blue Eye Lounge. The marina, located at the back of Deck 3, gives cruisers easy access to the ship’s fleet of Zodiacs, as well as for entering the water (conditions permitting) for swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding.

https://en.ponant.com/le-dumont-d-urville-eu-2

August

Greg Mortimer

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Image: Sunstone Ships

Cost: $65,000,000
Capacity: 160 Guests

Named after the Australian mountaineer, the “Greg Mortimer” is a modern, purpose-built vessel designed specifically for expedition cruising, and is the first polar expedition  vessel in SunStone Ships’ INFINITY series. Being constructed the CMHI yard in Shenzhen China. Four firm contracts have so far been signed, and six options. The INFINITY Class vessels are 104.4 m long and 18.4 m wide. They have a passenger capacity of 130-200, and a crew capacity of 85-115, and are built to the ice standard PC5, Cat B. The  most striking feature is the X-BOW®, an inverted bow  which results in smoother sailing and increased efficiency. Rather than rising over and then dropping onto waves like a traditional ship, the X-BOW® pierces through them, splitting the wave’s energy.

https://www.polar-navigator.com/antarctica/greg-mortimer?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIoPj-0emD4wIVipXtCh23owPPEAAYAiAAEgKXe_D_BwE

Scenic Eclipse

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Image: Scenic Eclipse

Cost: $185,000,000
Capacity: 228 Guests

Constructed by the Uljanik Group in Croatia “Scenic Eclipse” is a six-star, ultra-luxury mega yacht developed by Australian river cruise operator Scenic. It is the first ocean cruise ship for the company, which specialises in luxury river cruises. The yacht will carry 228 guests (restricted to 200 in Polar Regions) in 114 all-veranda suites. It will carry a crew of 172 for normal regions and 182 for Polar Regions.

https://www.scenic.co.uk/our-offers/2019-20-scenic-eclipse-offers?_$ja=tsid:|cid:1668893272|agid:68275068127|tid:aud-324131906785:kwd-329353149497|crid:329359115984|nw:g|rnd:707794943279525039|dvc:c|adp:1t1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMItpWP3emD4wIVCLLtCh0qJgsCEAAYASAAEgL4pvD_BwE

September

Magellen Explorer

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Image: Antarctica XXI

$50,000,000
Capacity: 100 Guests (max)

The Magellan Explorer was constructed in Chile and will be primarily used for fly-in voyages, with a maximum of 100 passengers it will be sail with 73 passengers for the season, which is the exact number of seats the company has on its plane that flies to King George Island. The ship features comfortable and spacious cabins, with twin, queen or king-size beds. The ship also features dedicated single cabins. All cabins except the Porthole category feature a private balcony and separate sitting area.

https://antarctica21.com/ships-aircraft/mv-magellan-explorer/

October

Hanseatic Inspiration

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Image: Hapag Lloyd Cruises

$155,000,000
Capacity: 230 Guests

The 230-passenger cruise ship Hanseatic Inspiration is the second of three identical ships under construction by Norwegian company VARD Holdings Ltd (a subsidiary of Fincantieri) at Tulcea shipyard (Romania). The vessel has ice-class PC6 (highest for passenger ships) and offers 5-star premium hotel service and amenities, gourmet cuisine, large staterooms, and public spaces. The HANSEATIC inspiration will be an international ship, with all cruises conducted in both English and German.

https://www.hl-cruises.com/ships/hanseatic-nature-hanseatic-inspiration-hanseatic-spirit

Costa Smeralda

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Image: Costa Cruises

Cost: $950,000,000
Capacity: 5,224 Guests

The second of carnivals groups Excellence-Helios class ships is currently under construction at Meyer Werft, Turku shipyard in Finland. Costa Cruises will take delivery its new LNG powered flagship in October. Costa Smeralda’s itinerary program is based on 7-day Western Mediterranean cruises sailing round trip from the Italian homeports Rome-Civitavecchia, Savona, Barcelona, and Marseille. To be able to handle the large cruise liner, Port Savona’s terminal had to be modified. In 2020, two other Carnival brands will take delivery of the same class of ships as Carnival Mardi Gras & Iona enter service.

https://www.costacruises.co.uk/B2C/GB/Ships/Pages/costa-smeralda.aspx

Sky Princess

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Image: Sky Princess Official

Cost: $760,000,000
Capacity: 3,660

Sky Princess is the fourth Royal-class vessel all of which have been constructed by the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri at its Monfalcone Shipyard. The class offers a unique glass-enclosed walkway over the ocean known as the SeaWalk. There are 1539 staterooms in 38 categories. 36 are the wheelchair-accessible rooms. The ship will also debut the new and innovative Princess Sky Suites. After a three-day preview cruise from Port Everglades, the new ship launches alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale Dec. 7, 2019 – April 4, 2020.

https://www.princesscruises.de/en/ships/sky-princess

Norwegian Encore

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Image: Meyer Werft

$1,100,000,000
Capacity: 4,200 Guests

Norwegian Encore is the fourth and final ship in Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway plus Class. Currently under construction at the Meyer-Werft shipyard in Papenburg, and is the 13th ship built for NCL at Meyer Werft. Norwegian Encore will feature a two-level race track that is larger than the go-“karts at sea” tracks featured on Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy. After her debut in Miami, the Encore will head to Seattle in 2021, sailing seven-day cruises to Alaska.

https://www.ncl.com/uk/en/cruise/norwegian-encore/overview

November

MSC Grandiosa

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Image: MSC Fans

$900,000,000
Capacity: 4,888 Guests

The first of MSC’s MSC Meraviglia-plus class MSC Grandiosa is under currently construction at Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint Nazaire.  She is able to accommodate 6334 passengers with 75% of all staterooms featuring private balconies. MSC Grandiosa deck plans feature “cluster cabins” (up to 3 connecting staterooms for families) allowing up to three rooms to be interlinked for max capacity 10 guests. The vessel will spend her inaugural season in the Western Mediterranean. The ship will offer a seven-night sailing calling in Genoa, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Valletta, Barcelona and Marseille, with its first cruise sailing from Genoa on November 16, 2019.

 

Carnival Panorama

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Image: Fincantieri

Cost: $780,000,000
Capacity: 4,000 Guests

The third Vista class ship for Carnival Cruises was originally ordered for P&O Cruises Australia, but in December 2016 was changed to Carnival. She is being constructed by Fincantieri at its Marghera shipyard in Italy. As with the previous sister ships Carnival Panorama features 1965 cabins, of which 48 percent of the staterooms on board have balconies. For the first time in its history, the cruise line announced that the ship would feature a female cruise director with British-born Emma Nixon taking the role. The ship will sail from Long Beach, California, offering seven-day Mexican Riviera itineraries. She will be Carnival’s first new ship homeport on the West Coast in more than 20 years.

https://www.carnival.com/cruise-ships/carnival-panorama.aspx

TBA

Flying Clipper

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Image: Brodosplit Shipyard

 

Cost: $100,000,000
Capacity: 300 Guests

Currently under construction at the Brodosplit Shipyard in Croatia, the ‘Flying Clipper’, is 162 meters long and 18.5 meters wide with a deadweight of 2000 tons. The ship will have five masts and sails with an overall surface of 6.347 square meters, making it the largest sailing ship in the world.  Flying Clipper has five decks, with accommodation for 450 persons, of which 300 are passengers in 150 luxury cabins, and 74 crew cabins for 150 crewmembers.

https://www.starclippers.co.uk/flying-clipper-launch-moved-to-2018.html

Are you booked on any of these new ships?

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
 

Norwegian Star to sail from Southampton in 2020

 

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© Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that from May 2020 Norwegian Star will sail a range of 12 to 14-day cruise itineraries from Southampton. The itineraries will include cruises around the British Isles, to Iceland and Norway. With the ship sailing from the port during the summer season through until October.

A 14-day Scotland, England and Ireland heritage cruise will depart Southampton on 3rd May 2020 and includes ports of call such as Le Havre, Zeebrugge, Amsterdam, Invergordon,  Newhaven, Kirkwall, Greenock, Belfast, Dun Laoghaire, Holyhead, Cobh and Portland.

A Majestic Fjords 14-day cruise will visit Iimuiden, Bergen, Alesund, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Akureyri, Reykjavik (overnight), Belfast and Dublin. The cruise departs Southampton on 28 June 2020.

Launched in 2001 the 91,740 gross tonne ship ship can accommodate 2,348-passengers and offers a wide array of dining and entertainment venues. In 2018 the ship underwent a three week dry docking period in Barcelona as part of The Norwegian Edge programme. and underwent extensive enhancements to her staterooms, public spaces, restaurants, bars and lounges, and also unveiled three new venues: Sky High Bar, Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spice H2O.

Replacing Bier Garten, the outdoor bar and lounge Sky High Bar showcases a new design complete with an updated bar and seating for close to 120 guests. Bliss Ultra Lounge replaces Spinnaker Lounge for late-night entertainment and now has a light, neutral colour palette and a fresh carpet, custom loungers, seating, an renovated bar and artwork.

For the first time, Norwegian Star offers an adults-only area, Spice H2O, which features a private pool, hot tubs, full bar and ocean views. During the day, which can be used for sunbathing, while at night, it becomes an open-air lounge with live entertainment, DJs and themed nights.

All 1,174 staterooms and suites were outfitted with USB ports, enhanced with over 1,500 works of art and revitalised with new carpet, headboards and select furniture. The three-bedroom garden villas, which feature private deck areas and can accommodate up to seven people, were also remodelled.

Ship Data

Name: Launched as Superstar Libra (2000), renamed Norwegian Star (2001)

Shipyard: Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany

Yard No.: 648

Flag: Bahamas

Class: Dawn Class

Cost: $400 million

Length; 294.13m

Decks: 15 (Passenger)

Passenger Capacity: 2,348

Crew: 1,031

Speed: 24 knots

Gross Tonnage: 91,740

As always thank you for taking the time to read my blog