Norwegian Cruise Line

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Norwegian Cruise Line
TypePublicly traded
HeadquartersMiami-Dade County, Florida
United States
Key peopleKevin Sheehan, CEO
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Norwegian Cruise Line
TypePublicly traded
HeadquartersMiami-Dade County, Florida
United States
Key peopleKevin Sheehan, CEO

Norwegian Cruise Line Corporation Ltd. (Norwegian), a wholly owned subsidiary of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.,[1] is an American company operating cruise ships, headquartered in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida.[2] It began operations in 1966 under the name Norwegian Caribbean Line. The company is best known for its Freestyle Cruising concept, which means that there are no set times or seating arrangements for meals, nor is formal attire required. Norwegian is a publicly traded company with 44.1% publicly listed on NASDAQ, with major shareholders including Genting Group (28.0%), Apollo Management (20.0%), and TPG Capital (7.9%) as of 30 June 2014.[3] Norwegian Cruise Line controls approximately 8% of the total worldwide share of the cruise market.[4]


Norwegian headquarters in Miami-Dade County

The cruise line was founded as Norwegian Caribbean Line in 1966 by Knut Kloster and Ted Arison, with just one 830-ton cruise ship/car ferry, the Sunward, offering low-cost Caribbean cruises. Arison soon left to form Carnival Cruise Lines, while Kloster acquired additional ships for Caribbean service. Norwegian pioneered many firsts in the cruise industry like: the first Out Island Cruise, the first combined air-sea program (marketed as "Cloud 9 Cruises") which combined low cost air fares with the cruise, first shipline to develop new ports in the Caribbean, like Ocho Rios in Jamaica. Like the original Sunward of 1966, Norwegians's second ship, the Starward had the capability to carry automobiles through a well concealed stern door. Later, this area was turned into cabins and a two deck movie theater, which is now a casino. Norwegian was responsible for many of the cruise innovations that have now become standard throughout the industry.

Norwegian made headlines with the acquisition of the France in 1979, rebuilding the liner as a cruise ship and renaming her Norway. The conversion cost more than $100 million USD. The Norway was at the time significantly larger than any existing cruise ship, and exploited the extra space available by adding a greater than usual variety of onboard entertainment. Her success paved the way for a new era of giant cruise ships. A boiler explosion in May 2003 forced Norwegian to withdraw the Norway from service, later being laid up in Bremerhaven, Germany until 2005 when she was towed to Port Klang Malaysia with the claimed intent to use her as an anchored casino or slow overnight casino cruises on her remaining boilers. Instead, she was sold for scrap and renamed the SS Blue Lady[5] and later beached at Alang, Gujurat, India in August 2006 with claims that she had not been cleaned of toxic materials.[6] On September 11, 2007, the India Supreme Court issued an order permitting her to be broken-up at Alang, despite the presence of large amounts of hazardous asbestos remaining on board.[7][8]

Norwegian has expanded to other parts of the world, including Alaska, Europe, Bermuda, and Hawaii. Between 1997 and 2001 the company also operated cruises out of Australia under the name Norwegian Capricorn Line.

Its subsidiary Orient Lines, founded in 1991 to run the Marco Polo, was acquired in 1998. Norwegian itself was acquired by the Star Cruises, subsidiary of Malaysia-based Genting Group, in 2000. In 2007 Star Cruises sold the Marco Polo to Transocean Tours, to be delivered in early 2008. Orient Lines will cease trading when the ship is delivered to its new owners.

In 2002, Norwegian purchased the half-complete hull of the first Project America ship, at the time under construction at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, USA, which was towed to Germany to be completed at the Lloyd Werft shipyard. Subsequently Norwegian acquired the rights to move two ships built entirely outside the United States under the US flag, making it possible to start a US-flagged operation under the brand name NCL America.[9][10] In 2003 the company announced the purchase of the famed American-flagged liners SS United States and SS Independence. Although it has promised to restore the United States to service, the future of the ship remains uncertain to this day. In their July 2007 fiscal report, Norwegian noted the sale of the Independence, renamed SS Oceanic some time before. On July 1, 2010, the SS United States Conservancy struck a deal to buy the SS United States for $3 million. On February 1, 2011, the ownership was officially transferred to the SS United States Conservancy.

In August 2007, Star Cruises sold 50% of Norwegian for $1 billion to US-based Apollo Management (owners of Oceania Cruises) in order to strengthen Norwegian's financial position.[11] Subsequently Norwegian reported in February 2008 that the Pride of Aloha, one of the two remaining NCL America ships, would be withdrawn from service in May of the same year. Initial reports suggested she would be transferred to the fleet of Star Cruises,[12] but it was later announced that she would return to the Norwegian international fleet as the Norwegian Sky,[13] while the Norwegian Majesty and Norwegian Dream would be sold to Louis Cruise Lines.[14] The sale of the Norwegian Dream was subsequently cancelled.[15] It was announced in September 2012 that the Norwegian Dream will become the Superstar Gemini for Star Cruises, she will start service in January 2013.

In January 2013, Norwegian Cruise Lines filed for an IPO.[16] As of 30 June 2014, Apollo Management only has a 20% stake and the Genting-Group-owned Star Cruises only had a 28% stake in the cruise line.[17][18] In September 2014, Norwegian Cruise Line announced that it had purchased Prestige Cruise Holdings, the parent company of both Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises in cash and stock for a total transaction consideration of $3.025 billion, including the assumption of debt.[19]

On 11 March 2014, Norwegian announced that it was cancelling all future port calls at Tunisia following an incident where the country forbade Israeli nationals from disembarking.[20]


Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian's CEO, was featured on the January 2, 2011 episode of Undercover Boss. He was also the first boss to be nearly "outed" by a co-worker (Silvia, a waitress in the Manhattan Room aboard the Norwegian Epic, recognized him as she had served him previously).

On June 1, 2012 Norwegian announced the signing of a memorandum of agreement to exercise its option to purchase Norwegian Sky. The transaction is expected to close shortly. The purchase price is approximately $260 million, financing is being provided by the seller.[21]

On October 17, 2012, Meyer Werft and Norwegian reached a second agreement for the construction of one, possibly two new vessels. slated for delivery in October 2015 and 2017, respectively. The project is under the code name "Breakaway Plus Class" and it is expected for the vessels to be 163,000 tons and hold 4,200 passengers. Norwegian is expected to confirm its option for the 2017 vessel soon.[22] Two more vessels were ordered on July 14, 2014, they will enter service in 2018 and 2019 and will be slightly bigger at 164,000 GT.[23]

Norwegian Cruise Line ships[edit]

Sun Class[edit]

ShipBuiltEntered service
for Norwegian
Norwegian Sky19991999/2008200977,104 tonsSun Class BahamasPreviously Pride of Aloha, constructed as Costa Olympia, but sold to NCL during construction
Norwegian Sun200120012011[24]78,309 tonsSun Class Bahamas

Spirit Class[edit]

ShipBuiltEntered service
for Norwegian
Norwegian Spirit199820042011[24]75,338 tonsSpirit Class BahamasPreviously SuperStar Leo
Norwegian Spirit.jpg

Dawn Class[edit]

ShipBuiltEntered service
for Norwegian
Norwegian Star20012001201091,740 tonsDawn Class BahamasOriginally ordered as Superstar Libra(Libra Class)
Norwegian Star - Cabo San Lucas - 2006.jpg
Norwegian Dawn200220022011[25]92,250 tonsDawn Class BahamasOriginally ordered as SuperStar Scorpio(Libra Class)
NCL Dawn at Kings Wharf.jpg

Jewel Class[edit]

ShipBuiltEntered service
for Norwegian
Norwegian Jewel20052005May 2014[26]93,502 tonsJewel Class Bahamas
Norwegian Jewel Newport September 2010.jpg
Norwegian Pearl20062006N/A93,530 tonsJewel Class Bahamas
Nowegian Pearl.jpg
Norwegian Gem20072007Nov 201493,530 tonsJewel Class Bahamas
Norwegian gem in Sicily 2008.jpg
Norwegian Jade200620062011[24]93,558 tonsJewel Class BahamasPreviously named The Pride of Hawaii
Norwegian jadesouthhampton water.jpg

Norwegian Epic[edit]

ShipBuiltEntered service
for Norwegian
Norwegian Epic20102010N/A155,873 tonsF3 Class BahamasThird largest cruise ship in the world after Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas home-porting in Barcelona year-round in April 2015
Norwegian Epic 1.JPG

Breakaway Class[edit]

ShipBuiltEntered service
for Norwegian
Norwegian Breakaway20132013N/A144,017 GTBreakaway Class BahamasThis ship was delivered on April 25, 2013 and is homeported in New York City.[27] Largest ship to be based year-round out of New York City.
Norwegian Breakaway 10.JPG
Norwegian Getaway[28]20142014N/A144,017 GTBreakaway Class BahamasThis ship was delivered on January 10, 2014 and will be homeported in Miami, FL year-round[29]
Norwegian Getaway 18.JPG

Pride Of America[edit]

ShipBuiltEntered service
for NCL America
Pride of America20052005March 23 - April 5, 201380,439 GRT United States of AmericaFirst large, newly built US-flagged cruise ship in nearly 50 years; the only ship in its class
Pride of America in Honolulu.jpg

Future ships[edit]

ShipClassInaugural RunGross TonnageFlagNotes
Norwegian EscapeBreakaway Plus Class2015163,000 GT[28] BahamasThis ship is schedule for delivery in October 2015 and will be bigger than the Breakaway Class, more details to come[22]
Norwegian BlissBreakaway Plus Class2017163,000 GT[28] Bahamas
unnamedBreakaway Plus Class2018164,000 GT[28] Bahamas[30]
unnamedBreakaway Plus Class2019164,000 GT[28] Bahamas[31]

Former ships[edit]

ShipBuiltIn service for NCLTonnageStatus as of 2014.
Sunward (1966)19661966–19768,666 GRTScrapped in 2004 at Chittagong, Bangladesh.
Starward19681968–199512,948 GRTSince 2006 Orient Queen for Louis Cruise Lines.
Skyward19691969–199116,254 GRTSince 2000 Leisure World for New Century Cruise Lines.
Seaward1970Never entered service
owned 1970 – 1972
17,042 GTHull sold to P&O Cruises in 1972
Southward19711971–199416,607 GRTSince 2008 Aegean Pearl for Golden Star Cruises. Scrapped in 2013 at Aliaga, Turkey.
Sunward II19711977–199114,151 GRTSince 2005 Coral for Louis Cruise Lines.
Norway19611979–200370,702 GRT
76,049 GRT
Sold after 2003 boiler explosion, scrapped in 2008 at Alang, India.
Norwegian Sea
42,276 GRTSince 2005 SuperStar Libra for Star Cruises.
Westward19721991–199328,221 GRTSince 1996 Black Watch for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.
Sunward (1991)19731991–1992, 1992–199328,078 GRTSince 2005 Boudicca for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.
Norwegian Dream
39,172 GT
50,764 GT
Since 28 Dec 2012 SuperStar Gemini for Star Cruises.
Norwegian Wind
39,127 GT
50,760 GT
Since 2007 SuperStar Aquarius for Star Cruises.
Leeward19801995–199925,611 GTSince 2007 Cristal for Louis Cruise Lines.
Norwegian Crown19881996–2000, 2003–200734,242 GRTSince 2008 Balmoral for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.
Norwegian Dynasty19931997–199919,089 GRTSince 2001 Braemar for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.
Norwegian Majesty19921997–200940,876 GTOriginally 32,396 GT, lengthened 1999. Is now known as the Thompson Majesty and owned by Louis Cruise Lines.[32]
Independence1951Never entered service
owned 2003–2006
20,221 GRTWrecked while being towed to Alang for scrapping.
SS United States1952Never entered service
owned 2003 – 2011
53,330 GTSold to SS United States Conservancy on 7/1/10, Ownership transferred on 2/1/11


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  2. ^ "Contact Us." Norwegian Cruise Line. Retrieved on January 9, 2010.
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  4. ^ "Cruise Market Watch Announces 2011 Cruise Line Market Share and Revenue Projections". Cruise Market Watch. 2010-12-11. 
  5. ^ SS Norway ex France. Retrieved on October 17, 2011.
  6. ^ "'Toxic ship' cleared for breaking". BBC. 2006-08-02. 
  7. ^ Maritime Matters: France, Norway[dead link]
  8. ^ "Indian court says ‘Blue Lady’ can be broken up". Khaleej Times Online. 2007-09-11. 
  9. ^ "Star buys Project America". Bnet. November–December 2002. Retrieved 2008-04-14. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Project America rides again". 2003-01-18. Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  11. ^ "Apollo invests $1billion in NCL Corp to take 50% stake". Cruise Business Review. 2007-08-17. Retrieved 2007-08-17. [dead link]
  12. ^ "NCL Corporation Announces Adjustments to Hawai'i Fleet". NCL press release. Norwegian Cruise Line. 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  13. ^ "It's official: Pride of Aloha re-joins NCL international fleet as Norwegian Sky". Cruise Business Review. Cruise Media Oy Ltd. 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2008-05-07. [dead link]
  14. ^ Joshi, Rajesh; Lowry, Nigel (2008-04-14). "NCL close to offloading cruiseship trio". Lloyd's List. Archived from the original on 2008-04-26. Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
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  22. ^ a b "Norwegian Cruise Line to Build Third New Ship - Norwegian Cruise Line". 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2013-04-27. 
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  25. ^ "Norwegian Dawn Receives Major Enhancements". Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "Overhaul brings new features to Norwegian Jewel". Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  27. ^ Sloan, Gene (May 8, 2013). "Rockettes christen largest ship to call New York home". USA Today. 
  28. ^ a b c d e "Project Breakaway Ships". Archived from the original on October 16, 2011. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  29. ^ "Norwegian Getaway to Sail to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami Year-Round - Cruise Industry News | Cruise News". Cruise Industry News. Retrieved 2013-04-27. 
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