The ship will remain in the shipyard port for the final phase of construction, until its trip down the River Ems towards the North Sea, scheduled for mid-March. During this time, the first crew members will move into their staterooms on board, begin their training, and familiarise 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 October 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 centrepiece 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 realising 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.