Following the launch of Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that it has reached an agreement with Meyer Werft to build two new next generation Freestyle Cruising ships for delivery in spring 2013 and spring 2014.
Each of the 143,500 gross ton vessels, the largest passenger ships to be built in Germany, will have approximately 4,000 passenger berths and a rich cabin mix.
Norwegian has decided not to build sister ships to the Epic at STX France after cancelling plans to build two more ships in the F3 (Epic) class. Instead, the company has placed a newbuilding order with Meyer Werft in Germany for two ships of a slightly smaller size.
Additional details about each ship's new and exciting features will be released as construction progresses. The contract price for the two vessels is approximately 1.2 billion euro. Norwegian has committed financing in place from a syndicate of banks for export credit financing in connection with this project.
"We have always been focused on a disciplined approach to capacity growth. Our decision to add two new ships reflects the significant progress we have made in improving our operating performance and repositioning the Company over the last several years, as well as the strong market demand we are seeing for Norwegian Epic and our other ships," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer.
"Building on the incredible success and popularity of Norwegian Epic, we are taking the best of what our newest ship has to offer, as well as drawing on our legacy of innovation in the cruise industry, in creating a new class of Freestyle Cruising vessel that is sure to provide our guests with the unparalleled freedom and flexibility they have come to expect on a Norwegian cruise."
"We are excited to be returning to Meyer Werft and are confident that their rich ship building history and expertise will bring our vision to fruition," added Sheehan. Meyer Werft, based in Papenburg, Germany, most recently built Norwegian's four Jewel-class ships Norwegian Gem delivered in 2007, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Jade delivered in 2006, and Norwegian Jewel delivered in 2005. These new vessels are the eighth and ninth that Norwegian will build with Meyer Werft.
"Norwegian Cruise Line and Meyer Werft have a long history of working together. We are thrilled to continue our partnership. Our teams work very well together and we are looking forward to building this new, exciting and innovative class of vessels," said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft. "In addition, the 21,000 employees of the yard and its supplier companies involved in the construction of the ships appreciate the new project from one of our longstanding customers."
"We are bringing this spirit of innovation to these two new build ships, as Norwegian continues to offer our guests new and exciting ways to enjoy their Freestyle Cruising vacation," said Sheehan.