Norwegian Escape, soon to be the largest ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, was floated out from its building dock at a German shipyard where it’s been under construction since September 2014. The 4,200-passenger cruise ship, with its signature hull artwork designed by marine wildlife artist and conservationist Guy Harvey, is the first ship in the line’s Breakaway Plus Class, measuring 1,098 feet in length and 136 feet wide. Now, the final phase of construction begins, with delivery to the cruise line set for Oct. 22.
“Meyer Werft (shipyard) has done an excellent job with the construction of Norwegian Escape,” Norwegian Cruise Line’s President and Chief Operating Officer Andy Stuart says. “The ship’s float out brings us one step closer to bringing the next evolution of Freestyle Cruising to the world and we couldn’t be more excited.”
Following the ship’s float out, the next milestones will be mounting the ship’s signature Norwegian Cruise Line funnel and adding a third story to Norwegian Escape’s ropes course—due to be the largest at sea. Norwegian Escape’s conveyance down the river Ems towards the North Sea is scheduled for Sept. 16, weather permitting. Following inaugural events in Europe and Miami, Norwegian Escape will sail seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises departing every Saturday from Miami beginning on Nov. 14, 2015. It will be the largest ever to home port year-round in Miami, and will call at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas.
Norwegian Escape’s dining and entertainment will include outposts of several popular land-based outlets, including the first-ever floating Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant and 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar, a music venue and outdoor bar on The Waterfront that will feature live nightly performances.
James Beard Award-Winning Iron Chef Jose Garces will have two concepts onboard, a Latin seafood specialty restaurant and Pincho Tapas Bar, while Miami-based The Pubbelly Restaurant Group will develop the menu for the Food Republic, an upscale food emporium. The District Brew House, a hip, urban craft beer hall featuring an exclusive partnership with Miami’s own Wynwood Brewing Company, will serve up more than 24 draft beers while The Cellars, A Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar, features an array of immersive wine experiences, focusing on tasting, education, and the enjoyment of wine. Norwegian Escape will also feature Miami’s oldest and most legendary bar, Tobacco Road.
The ship will feature two Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals headlining in the Escape Theater: “After Midnight,” the smash-hit musical that combines the big-band songs of Duke Ellington and the best dancing from Broadway; and “Million Dollar Quartet,” the musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. Accommodations include the company’s largest signature luxury ship–within-a-ship complex: The Haven by Norwegian; along with Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers.