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Norwegian Epic

Rumors swirled about the cruise industry over the weekend that Norwegian Cruise Line has signaled its intention to build at least two,  and perhaps three, new ships.  NCL would take delivery of the first in 2013.  The contract is said to be with Meyer Werft, the German shipbuilding enterprise.  The new ships will represent a new class within NCL’s fleet, and are thought to be planned to come in a bit smaller than the Norwegian Epic.

If true, this would represent a bit of a twist in NCL’s recent history.  Norwegian Epic was constructed at STX Europe’s French facility, the first of what was envisioned to be two or three Epic class ships.  One of the proposed ships was cancelled early on in the process, and construction was halted altogether at one point while NCL and STX Europe ironed out a dispute.  Construction eventually resumed with a new agreement, but the second proposed ship was cancelled.  Ultimately Epic sailed out of the yard, her fire plagued construction completed, as the lone example of her class.

NCL has been quite conservative in their shipbuilding, taking delivery of only one new ship in the last three years.  They were willing to walk away from two others, when circumstances and the economy suggested they do so.  They’ve also proved themselves to be quite innovative with their ships.  Their success with Epic has raised the bar for them.  I’m anxious to see what they come up with next.

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