by Kevin Griffin of The Cruise People writing for cybercruises.com
Last Thursday saw the announcement on New York’s Pier 88, in the presence of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Norwegian Cruise Line president Kevin Sheehan, that Norwegian Breakaway will be based on New York year-round. The first of two Project Breakaway vessels now building at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, will sail week-long cruises to Bermuda in the summer time.
New York pop artist Peter Max, whose omnipresent work has appeared on everything from postage stamps to Grammy Award posters, will paint the ship’s hull art. Max will create four designs, from which NCL will make a final selection. Max has painted for various Heads of State, including six US presidents.
From art that appeared on the first US 10-cent stamp bearing the title “Preserve the Environment,” to 235 US border murals greeting millions of people entering America each year, Peter Max seeks to capture themes of America at its finest in his very colourful art.
NCL has for some time now been a regular New York line, operating two ships from Manhattan for a number of years. In 2013, Norwegian Breakaway will join Norwegian Gem in serving the New York market, becoming the largest ship to offer year-round service from the Port of New York (although Cunard Line’s 148,528–ton RMS Queen Mary 2 is 3% larger in terms of tonnage, she goes off on a World Cruise each winter).
Currently under construction at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Breakaway will be 144,017 gross tons and have 4,000 passenger berths. Norwegian Breakaway and sister ship Norwegian Getaway, scheduled for delivery in April 2014, will take the best of the best from all of Norwegian’s existing ships, NCL having launched ten ships in the past ten years, starting with Norwegian Star and Sun in 2001 and culminating with Norwegian Epic in 2010.
Norwegian Breakaway’s New York to Bermuda cruises are scheduled to go on sale to Latitudes members, Norwegian’s frequent guests this Friday and to the public at large next Monday. She will replace the present Norwegian Star and will perform twenty-two Bermuda cruises during the 2013 season.
In Bermuda, the Norwegian Breakaway announcement led to the government and shopkeepers in Hamilton discussing the possibility of being able to remain open on Sundays to accommodate the cruise ship tourists. For the winter season of 2013/14, the Breakaway will operate to the Caribbean.