NCL Revises Stateroom Smoking Policy
Effective April 1, 2001, all staterooms on NCL vesels will become "smoking optional." Therefore, reservations for "non-smoking" and "smoking" staterooms will not be available on all voyages commencing after April 1.
This new policy will make the reservations process more efficient and provide passengers with a better selection of staterooms from which to choose. All staterooms wil be properly deodorized before embarkation, and ships' staff will make every effort to accommodate "non-smoking" passengers comfortably.
The cruise line's policy regarding smoking in public areas aboard its vessels has not changed. Smoking will continue to be restricted to the starboard side only.
Norwegian Cruise Line Announces
Global 2001 Itineraries
Exhilarating New Options, Including Cruises to Asia, Two- and Five-Day
Itineraries and a Brand-new Ship, Offer NCL Guests a World of Choice
Norwegian Cruise Line has announced its fleet deployment for the year 2001 and first quarter of 2002, featuring enhanced global itineraries to provide more unique and diverse cruises for NCL guests. As the NCL fleet cruises to destinations around the world, distinctive highlights include the launch of cruises to Asia -- for the first time ever in NCL history -- aboard the M/S Norwegian Wind; the debut of a brand-new ship, the M/S Norwegian Sun; and the addition of two- and five-day Bahamas and Western Caribbean itineraries on the S/S Norway. In addition, NCL will return to the Port of New York next spring to offer cruises to the Bahamas and Canada/New England aboard the M/S Norwegian Sea.
"The year 2001 will be an exciting one for NCL, as we set sail to dozens of new and exotic destinations for the first time ever in NCL's 35-year history. Additionally, we will be offering cruises that range in length from quick, two-day Bahamas getaways, to exotic, 21-day cruise/land packages to the Far East," stated Colin Veitch, President and Chief Executive Officer of NCL. "With our recently-announced Freestyle Cruising, we are breaking away from our competitors and the traditional mode of cruise vacations, by offering a more relaxed, resort-style approach to our cruises."
Crown Odyssey Sails Maiden Voyage
ISTANBUL, TURKEY Orient Lines' elegant, new liner, M/V Crown Odyssey, left the port of Istanbul on her inaugural voyage. At the ship's naming ceremony, Orient Lines president, Deborah Natansohn, said that the Crown Odyssey allows the line to satisfy the demand of past passengers for a greater choice of cruising areas. With the addition of the Crown, the award-winning company now offers destination-oriented cruises to all seven continents.
Lady June Hillary, wife of Mount Everest conqueror Sir Edmund Hillary, who officiated as godmother of the Crown Odyssey, christened the vessel as inaugural cruise passengers, the mayor of Istanbul, other local dignitaries and crewmembers looked on. The Ottoman Janissary Band was on hand to herald the day with traditional Turkish pageantry and the ceremony began with a blessing by Rev. Denys Goodman of Englands Wells Cathedral, a Crown Odyssey passenger. Local officials presented Captain Erik Bjurstedt with a plaque commemorating the occasion.
In her opening remarks, Orient Lines president told those gathered that the decision to revert to the name Crown Odyssey was a natural one. "The word odyssey means journey filled with adventure," Natansohn explained. "The Crown will be deployed on some of the most adventurous itineraries in the cruise industry."
The 34,250-ton liner was launched as the Crown Odyssey for the former Royal Cruise Line in June 1988 at Meyer Werft in Germany. For the past four years, she has sailed as the Norwegian Crown.
The Crowns inaugural voyage will include Kusadasi, Delos, Mykonos, Santorini, Sorrento, Rome, Livorno, Cannes and Palma de Mallorca before terminating in Barcelona. Following her inaugural, the ship will be deployed on Orient Lines popular Greek Isles and Mediterranean itineraries through October. During the winter months, the Crown Odyssey will expand the lines presence in the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia and South Pacific, as well as introduce new destinations, such as Tahiti and Hawaii.
Todays Crown Odyssey sports Orient Lines signature navy blue hull and white stack with a wide blue and narrow orange horizontal stripe. Staterooms and suites are decorated in warm pastel tones, including some with four-pane bay windows and others with sliding glass doors and balconies.
Public rooms have undergone some major changes. The Yacht Club, formerly an eatery, bar and dance club, has been transformed into an alternative restaurant, with both indoor and outdoor seating. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style, and in the evening, the Yacht Club becomes a festive brasserie serving regional specialties from Orient Lines destinations.
High atop the ship on Penthouse Deck, the former snack bar now serves as a new lunchtime dining venue: Café Italia. This all-new al fresco restaurant serves pizza, pasta and grilled specialties. Complementing this open-air café is a new gazebo bar.
The Lido Deck, aft, has also been renovated. A new portside lounge, the Palm Court, serves afternoon tea. Starboard, the library and card room have been redesigned to feature a separate reading room with comfortable, leather club chairs, and net.center, the Crowns all-new passenger internet and E-mail facility.
The main lobby, casino, Seven Continents Dining Room and Top of the Crown lounge have been redecorated and on the ships top-most deck, a new mosaic wall conceals two outdoor showers installed for the convenience of sunbathers. Other facilities include a health club with an indoor pool, two whirlpools, saunas and juice bar; an outdoor pool and two Jacuzzis; a show lounge, and a two-level theater with Dolby® sound.
Orient Lines Named "Best Cruise
for Fifth Consecutive Year
For the fifth straight year, Orient Lines, a leading provider of cruise-tour vacations to exotic destinations, has won the designation "Best Cruise Value" in the Superior 4-Star category, an award presented annually by the World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society. The winners were announced in the November 1999 issue of Ocean & Cruise News, the organization's publication.
As in previous years, the Society praised Orient Lines for its extensive, far-reaching itineraries, excellent service and affordable prices. However, the organization points out that the primary reason for this fifth consecutive award is the line's comprehensive cruise-tour packaging. "Orient Line's packaging of cruises in combination with land and hotel stays is unmatched for value in the industry."
Virtually all of Orient Line's cruise vacations feature first-class or deluxe hotel stays and city sightseeing tours in embarkation and/or disembarkation cities. The line also includes all transfers, baggage handling and the services of an Orient Lines hospitality desk during pre- and post-cruise hotel stays. Low air add-ons are available from 48 U.S. gateways. "Prices are extremely affordable for all that's included," noted the Society.
Flagship Marco Polo will be joined by the 1,050-passenger Crown Odyssey next May to offer 11- to 25-day itineraries to the Greek Isles, Mediterranean and Scandinavia between May and October. The ships will visit exotic destinations such as Australia, New Zealand, Africa, India, Egypt, Southeast Asia, South America and Antarctica in the balance of the year.
Norwegian Cruise Line Bestows
of Christening M/S Norwegian Sky
To Its Greatest Asset: NCL Employees
In honor of its greatest asset, Norwegian Cruise Line bestowed the privilege of christening the $300-million M/S Norwegian Sky, the company's first new vessel in six years, to its employees. All shoreside employees in Miami, along with officers and department managers of the Norwegian Sky, participated simultaneously in the world's first, all- employee christening of a cruise ship which took place this evening at a dockside ceremony at the Port of Miami. Through the participation of more than 1,200 employees who served collectively as "godparents" to the 77,104-ton new vessel, the christening is attempting to set a Guinness World Record as the world's largest christening of a ship. This unforgettable visual spectacle included skydiving, fireworks, stiltwalkers and 50 musicians and performers.
"The delivery and christening of the Norwegian Sky is the final element in the turnaround of Norwegian Cruise Line and the company is now re-established as one of the four major cruise lines," said Geir Aune, NCL's President and CEO. "We mark this achievement and pay tribute to all the hard-working employees at Norwegian Cruise Line who have enabled us to do so by bestowing upon them the honor and privilege of christening the Norwegian Sky. Together we all have much to celebrate at Norwegian Cruise Line."
Following the christening ceremony, NCL employees were invited to attend a gala celebration aboard the Norwegian Sky. In honor of all the employees at the event, a corporate donation to the Starlight Children's Foundation was made. The Starlight Children's Foundation is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of seriously ill children and their families through a variety of both in-patient and out-patient programs and services. Accepting the donation from NCL on their behalf was special celebrity guest Don Shula, former Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins and "Hometown Hero."
The Norwegian Sky will operate a winter schedule of alternating eastern and western seven-day Caribbean cruises from the Port of Miami beginning November 14, 1999. In summer of 2000, Norwegian Sky will offer round-trip Alaska cruises sailing from the vessel's summer homeport of Seattle.
Norwegian Cruise Line Finalizes
Contract to build 80,000-ton Ship
Contract Includes Option for a Second New Build
Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that it has finalized a contract with the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany, to build a 2,000-guest, 80,000-ton ship to be delivered September 1, 2001. The new, yet unnamed vessel will be of similar design to NCL's brand new M/S Norwegian Sky. The contract includes an option for a second vessel of the same size and capacity.
"The Norwegian Sky has had a fantastic reception in the market and the Sky class vessels will be the core of the NCL fleet in the future," said Geir Aune, President and Chief Executive Officer. "It is our objective to get a fleet of four to six Sky class vessels," he added.
The new build will incorporate many of the hallmarks of Norwegian Sky's contemporary design, including multiple dining choices, an Internet Café, Broadway entertainment, sports and fitness facilities and an abundance of public spaces.
NCL Inaugurates the Cruise Industry's
First Internet Café
During Maiden Voyage of the M/S Norwegian Sky
Guests Can Go On-Line in the Internet Café or From Their Own Stateroom
In conjunction with the maiden voyage of the M/S Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Cruise Line has inaugurated service of the cruise industry's first Internet Café, for those guests wishing to go on-line while at sea. Located within the ship's Coffee Bar, the Internet Café is equipped with nine computer terminals, available for use on a 24 hour-a-day basis. Guests can send and receive e-mail messages, check the stock market, get news updates, play computer games, and more. Additionally, Norwegian Sky becomes the first NCL ship to offer in-stateroom connections to the Internet.
"We recognize that in this age of advanced communications technology, many people desire the ability to go on-line daily, even while on vacation," said Art Sbarsky, Executive Vice President of NCL. "The Norwegian Sky offers two choices to our guests -- via the Internet Café or using a laptop computer in the privacy of their own stateroom. We believe this feature will be instantly and immensely popular."
Pricing for the Norwegian Sky's Internet Café or in-stateroom usage is $19.95 per hour or 33 cents per minute. Other key features offered include a 30-second video e-mail message, computer games, computerized photographic imaging, MS Word, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint applications and printing. Guests may purchase a lasting, high tech souvenir of their cruise -- a Norwegian Sky customized screen saver. By mid-September, NCL will also offer laptop rentals aboard the Sky.
Providing the satellite connection and internet services for the Internet Café aboard the Norwegian Sky, is Maritime Telecommunications Network (MTN), a subsidiary of ICG Satellite Services, Inc., and Digital Seas International, Inc. (DSI). NCL has signed a multi-year contract with these two companies that provides for the outfitting of the NCL fleet. Work has already begun aboard NCL's S/S Norway to install an Internet Café.
The Norwegian Sky is the also the first NCL vessel to be equipped with a "Bridge Cam," a camera mounted on the ship's bridge which offers a daylight view of the bow and beyond. The image, updated every 15 minutes, is broadcast on the Norwegian Sky section of the NCL's web site (http://www.ncl.com).
Among the Norwegian Sky's many features are a glass-domed, mid-ship atrium, eight decks high; a two-story main show lounge with a proscenium stage, and a cabaret lounge equipped with the longest bar at sea. Several intimate gathering spots include a wine bar, champagne bar, coffee bar, Sports Bar, Le Bistro restaurant, cigar club, schooner bar, and an observation lounge.
The Sky will begin a winter season of alternating seven-day, Eastern/Western Caribbean sailings on November 14, 1999.
Marco Polo to Cruise
Scandinavia in Summer 2000
Copenhagen to be Home Port for Unique Cruise-Tour Program
Making their first foray into the land of the Vikings, the destination cruise specialists at Orient Lines will kick off summer 2000 with a comprehensive selection of cruise vacations to Scandinavia -- a total of 21 departures.
From May through September, the company will home port the 800-passenger Marco Polo in Copenhagen -- at the heart of the region -- for a series of seven-day cruises to the Norwegian fjords and Baltic capitals. Complete 11-day cruise-tour packages, which include the cruise and a two-night hotel stay and sightseeing in Copenhagen before the voyage, are priced from $1,795 per person, double occupancy, including advance purchase discounts. Roundtrip air add-ons start from just $595 from New York.
The seven-day voyages are unique in the realm of Scandinavian cruise offerings. "Most lines offer 10- to 12-day cruises from ports in Western Europe such as Dover and Harwich, mandating extra sea days at the beginning and end of the cruise," explained Deborah Natansohn, president of Orient Lines. "Our seven-day itinerary offers the same highlights of the longer trips, plus passengers have a chance to enjoy two full days in Copenhagen, Scandinavia's liveliest city."
Combination cruises blend the scenic grandeur of the fjords with the excitement of Scandinavian and Russian capital cities. Longer voyages feature the rugged splendor of Iceland and the summer solstice at Norway's North Cape. Cruises of 11, 16, and 18 days are available. As with all of Orient Lines' worldwide itineraries, each new Scandinavian cruise-tour was designed to provide passengers with an in-depth "destinational" experience.
NCL Signs Letter of Intent to Build
Two, 80,000-Ton Ships
Expansion Program Signals Continued Growth for NCL in the Marketplace
Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that it has signed a letter of intent with the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany, to build a 2,000-guest ship which will be of similar design to NCL's M/S Norwegian Sky, now nearing completion at the same yard. The letter of intent includes an option for a second vessel of the same size and capacity. The contract price for the first new build, to be delivered June 1, 2001, is USD $351 million. The contract price for the second vessel, to be delivered to NCL April 1, 2002, is USD $334 million. The letter of intent is subject to final documentation and financing.
The announcement follows record first quarter results for the company and signals NCL's continued strength and growth in the cruise marketplace. "Delivery of Norwegian Sky this summer is the final step in a turnaround that has significantly increased the potential for Norwegian Cruise Line through a larger fleet of modern vessels and improved product quality," said Geir Aune, president and chief executive officer. "The new expansion program signals a strong commitment for this company to continue as one of the major players in the industry."
During the past 15 months, NCL has experienced record growth through the successful lengthening of three ships, M/S Norwegian Wind, M/S Norwegian Dream, and M/S Norwegian Majesty, increasing each vessel's capacity by 40 percent and adding over 1,400 berths to the fleet; and the 100 percent acquisition of Orient Lines, a premium line offering cruises to exotic destinations.
Significantly, the number of projected capacity days will grow 37 percent from 4.1MM in 1999 to 5.6MM in 2002, with the addition of the new tonnage. NCL will enter the new millennium with one brand new ship, two more on order, three which have been stretched and completely refurbished, and two which have undergone extensive refurbishment, S/S Norway and M/S Norwegian Sea.
The first, yet unnamed new build, will incorporate many of the hallmarks of Norwegian Sky's contemporary design, including multiple dining choices, an Internet Cafe, Broadway entertainment, and an abundance of public spaces, inside and outside, for the enjoyment of all.
"At this stage in the process, we will have the opportunity to make some alterations to the ship's design," said Art Sbarsky, NCL executive vice president, "so we can keep what we consider to be the very best features of Norwegian Sky and make evolutionary improvements as we go along. All three signify a new generation of NCL vessels dedicated to the quality and comfort of a sophisticated cruise ship environment."
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Last Update: 09/23/00