Norwegian Cruise Line executives and officials from Meyer Werft took part in the Keel Laying Ceremony of Norwegian Breakaway at the ship yard in Papenburg, Germany on Friday, May 4. During the official ceremony, the first of 73 blocks that will comprise the 144,000 gross ton vessel was lifted into the covered building dock, marking the start of the block assembly.
In the dock, Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer, laid the traditional "lucky coin," before the 350-ton first block was placed by the 800-ton crane. A special commemorative coin was created to celebrate the day's activities.
"The anticipation is building for this incredible ship," said Sheehan. "It's thrilling to mark the start of the block assembly and realize that in one year we will take delivery of Norwegian Breakaway. We can't wait."
Norwegian Breakaway is the first ship being built by Meyer Werft utilizing a more efficient construction process which will deliver a ship of more than 140,000 gross tons in less than 12 months.
"We are so proud to begin the process of constructing the ship out of 73 blocks that form the structure of the ship and are looking forward to seeing it take shape over the coming months," said Bernard Meyer, managing director of MEYER WERFT. "Norwegian Cruise Line has a reputation in the industry for innovation and we are very happy to continue that with this new ship."
The 4,000 passenger Norwegian Breakaway will arrive in her year-round homeport of New York City in early May 2013. The ship will begin weekly summer seven-day cruises to Bermuda on Sunday, May 12, 2013. From October 2013 through April 2014, the ship will offer voyages from the heart of Manhattan to the Bahamas & Florida and the Southern Caribbean.
To date, the company has revealed the ship's groundbreaking design, including The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place, a wide range of indoor and outdoor venues on three dynamic decks that will create a whole new complex at sea that enhances guests' connection with the ocean. The top decks of Norwegian Breakaway will feature the first Aqua Park at sea with five full-size water slides, including twin Free Fall slides, the first ever at sea, and a three-story sports complex that includes the largest ropes course at sea, a nine-hole miniature golf course, basketball court, rock climbing wall and more.
The ship will also feature a rich mix of stateroom options including The Haven by Norwegian, comprised of 42 Suites at the top of the ship and 18 additional Suites located throughout the ship; the innovative Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers; the re-introduction of Oceanview staterooms, Balcony and Mini-Suites; along with Spa Balcony, Mini-Suites and Suites in close proximity to the spa.