Norwegian Invests $400 Million in Upgrade Program

By ,   January 22, 2016 ,   Cruise Industry

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) launched a $400 mill cruise ship refurbishment program named "The Norwegian Edge." Aspects of the program include a revitalization of the fleet, which started in 2015 with the upgrade of Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Epic and continues this year with Pride of America, Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Sun.

Speaking to reporters in Miami, Andy Stuart, Norwegian president and chief operating office, said that dry docks for the NCL ships would be "longer than usual for the line", some for 3 weeks, and would result in "meaningful" changes to the mid-size fleet of Norwegian.

"This is not putting down a new piece of carpet, this is a major investment in the guest experience," he said.

All Norwegian  ships, except Norwegian Jewel are scheduled for upgrade by the end of 2017. Jewel will be rehabbed in 2018. The Norwegian Edge project covers 11 cruise ships and does not include the newest Norwegian Breakaway, Getaway and Escape.

Image: usatoday.com

As part of the program, NCL is also enhancing Great Stirrup Cay, its private Bahamas island, in "another major project." Stuart said among new facilities added would be bars and lounges, as well as The Haven experience for passengers in top accommodations.

On the culinary front, NCL will be expanding specialty dining menus introduced on the latest ship of the line, Norwegian Escape, to the rest of fleet, beginning with Norwegian Breakaway (January 31). All ships will feature the new menus by the end of June.

The line has partnered with the ACF (American Culinary Federation) for training and certification of fleet's dining and culinary teams.