Norwegian Cruise Line has revealed further details of its next ship Norwegian Prima – including dining and public spaces – with bosses teasing plans for a trade-exclusive inaugural sailing next year.
Prima is the first in a series of six new vessels for NCL and is set to launch in August 2022.
Slightly smaller than the Breakaway Plus-class of vessels, it will carry 3,215 guests at double occupancy, with NCL promising “more wide-open spaces, elevated service and stunning design”.
According to NCL, Prima will also boast the highest staffing levels and space ratio “of any new cruise ship in the contemporary and premium market”.
NCL’s The Haven suite area will see an expansion onboard Prima to offer its “most exclusive and centralised suite complex” consisting of 107 suites spanning seven decks relocated to the aft of the ship for the first time.
Another change for Prima comes in the form of NCL’s The Waterfront area, which has been “reimagined” with a doubling of space and more dining venues in its new guise as Ocean Boulevard.
Located on deck eight, Ocean Boulevard measures 44,000 sq ft and wraps around the entire deck.
Ocean Boulevard brings a new dining addition for NCL – Indulge Food Hall – an “upscale open-air marketplace” offering a mix of self-service, order and delivery, and full-service options, as well as a choice of indoor and outdoor seating.
Ocean Boulevard will also host three additional indoor and outdoor dining venues – Onda By Scarpetta, Los Lobos and The Local Bar & Grill.
Among more firsts for NCL onboard Prima is The Concourse, an outdoor sculpture garden and Infinity Beach featuring two infinity pools, one located on each side of the ship and close to the ocean surface.
The ship will also feature two Oceanwalk glass bridges, making guests “feel as if they are walking on air or water”.
Speaking to TTG, NCL president and chief executive Harry Sommer said he believed newly released renderings “don’t do justice” to the ship’s outdoor areas.
“This ship is going to be by far the most beautiful ship we have put on the water… we are elevating the beauty to a new level,” he said.
Sommer added that offering more outdoor spaces was “incredibly important” for NCL as he believed “cruising is about seeing the water and not just focusing inwards”.
He said Prima’s design had not been influenced by the pandemic and consumer demands for greater outdoor access – calling NCL’s focus on the outdoors “a happy coincidence”.
Turning to discuss Prima’s launch next summer, Eamonn Ferrin, vice-president and managing director for the UK, Ireland, Middle East and Africa, said he wanted to get “as many British agents onboard as possible” during inaugurals before starting a season of northern Europe itineraries from Amsterdam.
“We’re going to have a cruise just for UK travel agents,” added Sommer.
“I’ve always felt experiencing our product is the best way to sell it – there’s so much to see and feel, and we’re super-keen on getting agents onboard and understanding the product,” added Ferrin.
In late September 2022, Prima will depart from Southampton on a transatlantic crossing to New York before sailing the Caribbean.
The ship will return to Northern Europe in May 2023 and sail a mix of 10- and 11-day Norway and Iceland sailings from Reykjavik and Southampton until September.
Sommer said Prima’s Southampton-based season would be the “first instalment” of NCL’s expanded presence, homeporting from the UK after its recent partnership with the Southampton port on its new Horizon cruise terminal.
“We anticipate [Prima] being the best-selling ship we’ve ever put on sale... Prima is the future of our company," he added.