The Norwegian Encore

1 December 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  6 minutes

Norwegian Encore at Meyer Werft © Ein Dahmer/cc-by-sa-4.0

Norwegian Encore at Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany © Ein Dahmer/cc-by-sa-4.0

Norwegian Encore is a Breakaway Plus-class cruise ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). She is the fourth Breakaway Plus-class ship in the fleet, following sister ships Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Escape, and Norwegian Joy, and debuted in November 2019.   read more…

Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas

26 November 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  11 minutes

Great Strirrup Cay © Armsoo/cc-by-3.0

Great Strirrup Cay © Armsoo/cc-by-3.0

Great Stirrup Cay is a 268-acre (108 ha) island that is part of the Berry Islands in the Bahamas. Norwegian Cruise Line purchased the island from the Belcher Oil Company in 1977 and developed it into a private island for their cruise ship passengers. The northern part of the island has a sandy beach surrounded by rocks with snorkeling areas. The southern part features a helicopter airfield (with a sign reading “Great Stirrup Cay International Airport”), a large area without vegetation, and numerous concrete blocks. These are all remnants of a previous U.S. military installation and satellite tracking station. The island’s lighthouse was originally constructed in 1863 by the Imperial Lighthouse Service. Great Stirrup Cay is adjacent to Little Stirrup Cay, Royal Caribbean Cruises’ private island.   read more…

The Norwegian Joy

1 September 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  5 minutes

© Spaceaero2/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Spaceaero2/cc-by-sa-4.0

Norwegian Joy is a cruise ship for Norwegian Cruise Line, which entered service in April 2017. She was built by Meyer Werft in Papenburg in Germany. Base ports are Shanghai and Tianjin. The ship exclusively serves Japanese ports.   read more…

The Pride of America

1 February 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  9 minutes

© Teh tennisman

© Teh tennisman

MS Pride of America is a cruise ship built in the United States and is operated by Norwegian Cruise Lines. Inaugurated during the 2005/2006 cruise season as the first new US-flagged cruise ship in nearly fifty years, Pride of America was designed to pay homage to the spirit of the United States of America, from the patriotic artwork on the hull to the American-themed public spaces. Pride of America is a one-off ship design. She was originally designed for United States Lines under the class name Project America. Project America was originally to have two ships in the class.   read more…

The Norwegian Sky

1 September 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  11 minutes

Norwegian Sky in Freeport, Bahamas © Blackfist/cc-by-sa-4.0

Norwegian Sky in Freeport, Bahamas © Blackfist/cc-by-sa-4.0

Norwegian Sky is a Sun-class cruise ship owned and operated by Norwegian Cruise Line. She was originally ordered by Costa Cruises as Costa Olympia from the Bremer Vulkan shipyard in Germany, but she was completed in 1999 by the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany for the Norwegian Cruise Line under the name Norwegian Sky. Between 2004 and 2008 she sailed as Pride of Aloha for NCL America. The ship that eventually became known as Norwegian Sky was originally ordered in December 1993 by Costa Cruises from the Bremer Vulkan shipyard in Bremen, Germany as the second in a pair of sister ships. The first sister, Costa Victoria, was delivered on July 10, 1996. Construction of the second sister, Costa Olympia, had started several months before, but by July 1996 Bremer Vulkan was experiencing severe financial difficulties, and work on Costa Olympia was suspended when only 35% of the ship was completed. On October 6, 1996, the incomplete hull was launched, floated out of drydock and subsequently laid up. Costa Cruises decided not to purchase the unfinished ship, and Costa Olympia remained laid up at Bremer Vulkan until December 1997, when Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) purchased her. Costa Olympia was redesigned as Norwegian Sky by Tillberg Design (who had also been responsible for her original planned design as Costa Olympia). On March 8, 1998, the ship was towed to Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven, Germany where her construction was completed. In 1998 NCL ordered two additional ships of Norwegian Sky design. The first of these was delivered in 2001 as Norwegian Sun while the order for the second one was cancelled. Norwegian Sky was launched in early June 1999, underwent her sea trials on June 17, 1999, and was delivered to NCL on June 28, 1999.   read more…

The Norwegian Gem

1 February 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Cruise Ships Reading Time:  6 minutes

Norwegian Gem in Sicily © Corgi5623/cc-by-sa-3.0

Norwegian Gem in Sicily © Corgi5623/cc-by-sa-3.0

Norwegian Gem is a Jewel class cruise ship of Norwegian Cruise Line. Norwegian Gem is the fourth of Norwegian’s Jewel-class. She was preceded by Norwegian Jewel in 2005, and both Norwegian Jade (originally Pride of Hawaii) and Norwegian Pearl in 2006. Each ship has unique amenities, but has a similar exterior and interior design. Norwegian Gem has a similar exterior appearance to Norwegian’s Dawn-class ships; Norwegian Star, which entered service in 2001, and Norwegian Dawn, which entered service in 2002. The interior design and amenities, however, are significantly different and merit Norwegian Gem a Jewel-class designation.   read more…

The Meyer Werft

12 August 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Cruise Ships Reading Time:  7 minutes

Disney Dream - Meyer Werft, Papenburg © Patrick Martini -

Disney Dream – Meyer Werft, Papenburg © Patrick Martini –

The Meyer Werft is one of the remaining large German shipyards, headquartered in Papenburg. Since 1997, it has been part of the Meyer Neptun Group together with Neptun Werft in Rostock. Founded in 1795 as a wharf for the construction of wooden ships, Josef Lambert Meyer started the construction of iron ships in 1874. Until 1920 there were more than 20 dockyards in the Papenburg area. Today, Meyer Werft is the only remaining shipyard in Papenburg. For more than six generations, it has been a privately held and family-owned company. It gained international recognition through the construction of roll on/roll off ferries, passenger ferries, gasoline tankers, container ships, livestock ferries and most recently luxury cruise ships. Meyer is one of the largest and most modern shipyards in the world with 2300 employees, and home to the by far largest roofed dry docks in the world. The first covered dock was inaugurated in 1987 and was 370 meters long, 101,5 meters wide and 60 meters high. In 1990/91 the dock was extended by an additional 100 meters. In 2000, a second covered dock was built, which is announced to be extended to a full length of 504 meters, a width of 125 meters and height of 75 meters in order to compete with Asian shipyards. Meyer Werft will as a result of this be able to build 3 cruise ships a year.   read more…

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