Add Norwegian Cruise Line to the list of cruise companies with a giant new ship.
Just three weeks after Royal Caribbean unveiled its biggest ship ever and two weeks after Carnival Cruise Line added a sizable new vessel of its own, Norwegian has taken delivery of its largest ship ever, the 168,028-ton Norwegian Bliss.
German shipbuilder Meyer Werft on Thursday handed over the 20-deck-high, 1,082-foot-long vessel to Norwegian during a ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany.
Capable of holding 4,004 passengers at double occupancy, Bliss has been under construction for more than a year at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. It’s the third ship in Norwegian’s Breakaway-Plus series, which also includes the 165,157-ton Norwegian Escape and 167,725-ton Norwegian Joy. The two earlier vessels debuted in 2015 and 2017, respectively.
Bliss isn’t nearly as big as Royal Caribbean’s new vessel, Symphony of the Seas — at 228,081 tons, the world’s biggest cruise ship. But it ranks among the 10 largest cruise vessels of all time and is significantly larger than Carnival’s new ship, the 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon.
Bliss will sail today from Germany to Southampton, England, where its maiden voyage with paying passengers is scheduled to begin Saturday. Twelve nights long, the maiden voyage is a trans-Atlantic sailing to New York that comes in advance of a series of voyages in the Americas.
Designed to have all the trappings of a major mega-resort, Bliss features such over-the-top amusements as a two-deck-high racing course where passengers compete against each other in electric go-carts — a first for a vessel based in North America.
Like Joy and Escape, Bliss also has a sprawling water park with multistory water slides; a restaurant-lined boardwalk; Tony Award-winning production shows, including Jersey Boys; and a giant spa. Dining options include a modern Texas barbecue eatery called Q that will feature live pop country music — a new concept for the line.
Bliss will spend the coming summer sailing to Alaska out of Seattle. It’s also scheduled to sail out of Miami and New York over the next two years.
The deployment to Alaska is notable in the cruise industry as Bliss will be the largest cruise ship ever to sail in the state….
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