A new ship has just joined the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Plus category. And it is unlike any of its predecessors, as it has a gross weight of 168,082 tons. According to Forbes, the third of four ships in the said category, the Norwegian Bliss is meant to beat the competition out of Carnival and Royal Caribbean.
Interestingly, the ship will be bringing along a race track. It is loaded with features designed to keep guests entertained while cruising the ocean to their intended destination. Considering its size and features, the Norwegian Bliss definitely comes at a huge price – and it is around $1 billion.
Frank del Rio, the CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, said that the cruise industry is massively growing. And it continues to do so “like a weed,” with every ship expected to get a “full to the hilt.” Frank continued that it is no longer a feat for a cruise line company to hit every possible profit record.
Based on a report from the Cruise Line International Association, there have been over 25 million people who boarded cruise liners in the entirety of 2017. Apparently, this number is poised to increase and that it should hit more than 27 million this year. In order to accommodate the never-ending arrival of new and returning guests, cruise lines are not satisfied by settling with whatever ships they have. They are looking to build newer and bigger ones – and they are building more of these like no other. Statistics say that at least 80 new ships – albeit most are still in development – are expected to be built this year. And 27 of these ships are nearing its full development, and thus will likely to hit the seas soon.
On Thursday, the Norwegian Bliss just docked in New York City. It made its way from the Meyer Werft shipyard, which is located in Germany (where it was also built). Its size is so huge it dwarfed all surrounding ships, including the company’s very own Norwegian Gem (93,500 gross tons). Judging by its look and features, the Bliss may have just reflected the industry’s initiative to bypass the stigma that all cruise vacations are simply suited for grandfathers and grandmothers.
The Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. reportedly led the race by way of installing ice skating rinks and even surfing machines, though they have originally built all of these a decade ago. The Norwegian Bliss, on the other hand, wants to redefine the cruising experience by introducing a 1,000-foot go-kart race track. From there, guests can easily test their driving skills as they navigate eight hairpin turns at around 35 miles per hours. The race track is believed to be 20 stories above the ocean waters.
The ship is even packed with several gaming parks, such as the laser tag game. Here, guests will have to find the human colonizers while searching an abandoned spaceship. And as per the promotional copy displayed on the official NCL site, “The fate of the world is in your hands.” If this is still not enough for guests, they can go and challenge a friend. They will race down the ship’s twin multi-story free fall waterslides. It even has waterparks built specifically for guests with kids or youngsters.
The Norwegian Bliss is not the first ship in the company to offer such recreation. The Haven, which has been a staple on NCL vessels, is basically a 5-star hotel erected within a floating megaresort. The latter can be likened to the Great Floridian found at the Disney World or perhaps the Sky Suites at the Aria in Las Vegas.