via @NCLandy

NCL mentioned back in August that they were deploying the Norwegian Star to Asia. Now they are doubling down by placing a ‘new build’ direct from the yard to the Chinese market.

An interesting note here, the presser below makes no mention of the Norwegian Bliss. Just a 2017 newbuild, which obviously coincides with the Bliss’ launch date. Now according to our newbuild list, 2016 will see parent company Star Cruises launch the Genting world which is rumored to be based on the Escape’s layout; that being a Breakaway-plus size ship. 2017 will then see the Norwegian Bliss launched and also the second Genting World-class ship which isn’t named and even less is known about her than the World.

Since the below new ship will be delivered in 2017 it can be either the Bliss, or NCL and Star could be doing some shuffling. I.e. the Bliss becomes the 2017-Star newbuild slot and what was the Bliss will become a new ship for NCL, named something different for the Chinese market.

Or NCL could just rename the Bliss but that would be a bad idea for the North American market. Removing a ship that was destined for that market, rename her, and not replace her when they have the tonnage to do so doesn’t make a lot of sense.

from NCL:
Norwegian Cruise Line will introduce the first purpose-built ship customized for the China market in 2017, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. CEO Frank Del Rio announced today during the CruiseWorld China summit in Shanghai. Currently under construction, the new ship is designed specifically for the China market with accommodations, cuisine and onboard experiences that cater to the unique vacation preferences of Chinese guests.

“Our new purpose-built ship for China will have characteristics that are authentic to Norwegian Cruise Line and yet distinctively Chinese in all of its sensibility,” said Del Rio. “With this new ship, Norwegian will unquestionably offer our Chinese guests a superior product and introduce a new standard of innovation and excellence into the marketplace, with an unrivaled level of customization for the Chinese consumer. It will perfectly suit what modern Chinese travelers value from an upscale cruise experience.”


The new ship will be the second of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Plus class and features the line’s unique style of cruising known as Freestyle Cruising. Aboard NCL ships, Chinese guests will indulge in a resort-style vacation experience, with the freedom and flexibility to joyfully spend time doing whatever they wish, from enjoying world-class entertainment to fine Mandarin, Cantonese and Continental dining; from duty-free luxury shopping to participating in any number of incredible first-at-sea activities onboard; all on their own time schedule.


Norwegian Cruise Line is widely recognized as the leading innovator in the cruise industry. Not only will Norwegian Cruise Line’s new ship offer the highest-level of purpose-built customization, it will clearly be the most innovative ship ever built exclusively for the China market. With a capacity of 4,200 guests, this new Breakaway Plus-class vessel will provide the same sense of freedom and flexibility found on all Norwegian Cruise Line ships, but with experiences and amenities designed specifically with Chinese guest in mind. The level of customization will go beyond the physical design of the ship. Working with partners in China and local experts on the subtleties of Chinese culture, Chinese guests who sail on this new ship will be provided with an unmatched quality-level for service, cuisine, entertainment and overall experience that is simply not available in the China market today. Additional details, including the ship’s name, homeport, accommodations, dining and entertainment will be shared in the coming months.


To better support the company’s expansion efforts in China, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has opened offices in Beijing (Guomao CBD) and Hong Kong (Quarry Bay) and today opens its Shanghai office in Xintiandi. These China-based offices support all three brands in the company’s portfolio ? Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises which span the upper end of the contemporary, premium, and luxury cruise categories and relevant to each segment and each stage in the Chinese consumer life cycle.


“Our China offices house a dedicated leadership team uniquely focused on ensuring the success of our local travel agent partners, which is crucial to the success of our expansion in what will soon be the world’s second largest cruise market,” said Del Rio. “These offices will provide sales and marketing support to our travel partners whose customers not only wish to sail on our new China-based ship, but also on any of the incredible voyages around the world offered across our portfolio of brands.”