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Norwegian Cruise Line just ordered four massive cruise ships


Norwegian Cruise Line has begun planning for the future, announcing four new ships scheduled to enter service between 2030 and 2036, as well as the construction of a multi-ship pier at their private island in The Bahamas. 

The new ships, which are part of a new and unnamed class, will be the largest, most efficient, and innovative within NCL's fleet. They'll be built in partnership with the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, who was responsible for the construction of Norwegian Prima and Viva. 

Set to be around 200,000 gross registered tons (GRT) with a passenger capacity of 5,000, the vessels will be bigger than Norwegian Encore, Norwegian's largest ship boasting a measurement of 169,116 GRT. 

Norwegian Viva

"This strategic new-ship order across all three of our award-winning brands provides for the steady introduction of cutting-edge vessels into our fleet and solidifies our long-term growth," said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. 

"It also allows us to significantly leverage our operating scale, strengthen our commitment to innovation and enhance our ability to offer our guests new products and experiences, all while providing opportunities to enhance the efficiency of our fleet."

The order for Norwegian Cruise Line is still being finalized and is subject to financing, which is currently underway. If all goes accordingly, the ships are scheduled to be delivered in 2030, 2032, 2034, and 2036. 

Additionally, Great Stirrup Cay will receive a multi-ship pier by late 2025


Those who are a fan of Great Stirrup Cay, NCL's private island in The Bahamas, won't have to deal with tendering for much longer. Rather than boarding a water taxi to be shuttled from the ship to the shore, guests will be able to disembark and walk straight on the island. This will make it easier for passengers to move about the ship and island at their leisure, as they won't have to wait on a taxi. 

The new pier, which will cost around $150 million, is slated to break ground in summer 2024, with an estimated completion date in late 2025. It will be able to accommodate two large ships from NCL's current and future ship classes. 

“We are likewise excited with the addition of a new pier at Great Stirrup Cay to support our increased capacity in the Caribbean and multiple ships to call on the island, enhancing our guest experience and bringing seamless and reliable access to our private island year-round," said Sommer. 

Read more: How to visit Norwegian Cruise Line's Great Stirrup Cay on zero dollars

Between 2025 and 2028, Norwegian's fleet will continue to expand with the addition of four Prima Plus Class ships

Norwegian Aqua Concept Art

The first, Norwegian Aqua, is scheduled to set sail in 2025. Though the ship will be about 10% larger than Norwegian Viva and Prima, it won't be the largest in the fleet. Measuring 156,300 GRT, Norwegian Aqua will be roughly 12,800 GRT smaller than Norwegian Encore. 

Norwegian Aqua will have some features and amenities not found on the first two Prima Class ships, too, such as a hybrid roller coaster and water slide, which will replace the go-kart track, and a brand-new Glow Court. This high-tech LED sports floor will be engineered for immersive play during the day before transforming into a nightclub in the evening. 

With 123 suites, The Haven on Norwegian Aqua will be the largest Haven complex in their fleet. Plus, it will feature four Three-Bedroom Duplex Haven Suites that are equipped with separate living and dining areas, as well as three bedrooms, bathrooms, and a large balcony. 

Norwegian Aqua Concept Art Aqua Slidecoaster

Following Norwegian Aqua, NCL will release three more Prima Plus Class ships. The latter two, scheduled for release in 2027 and 2028, will be 20% larger than Norwegian Prima and Viva and 10% larger than Norwegian Aqua. Specifics about the vessels, such as their amenities and itineraries, have yet to be revealed.

Read more: Norwegian Cruise Line: Pros and Cons

Norwegian isn't the only major mainstream cruise line announcing fleet expansions

Carnival Jubilee

The announcement regarding NCL's new ships follows cruise giants Carnival and Royal Caribbean, both of which recently placed an order for more Excel and Oasis Class ships. 

In February, Carnival revealed that they had placed an order for a fourth Excel Class ship to join Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration, and Carnival Jubilee. One month later, they announced that they had ordered a fifth. The two new ships will be similar in size, measuring roughly 180,000 GRT with the ability to host over 6,400 passengers and 1,800 crew members. 

"Carnival's Excel-class fleet will soon be a quintet of these very popular ships that provide outstanding guest amenities and tremendous operating efficiencies," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Read more: Carnival Cruise Line just ordered another giant new cruise ship


Utopia of the Seas isn't the last ship being built for Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class, either. In February, the company announced that they're planning on building a seventh ship, which is scheduled to be delivered in 2028. 

Royal's Oasis Class first debuted in 2009 with Oasis of the Seas. Since then, the class of ship has grown to include Allure, Harmony, Symphony, Wonder, and, in July 2024, Utopia of the Seas. Oasis Class ships were the largest in the world until the introduction of Icon of the Seas. 

"While we eagerly anticipate the debut of Royal Caribbean’s Utopia of the Seas this summer, we’re already dreaming up her sister ship and the next installation in the brand’s extremely popular Oasis Class," said Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty. 


The new Oasis Class vessel is in addition to the two Icon Class ships that have already been ordered by the cruise line. The first, Star of the Seas, will set sail in 2025, sailing from Port Canaveral to the Caribbean. 

Like the new NCL orders, the order for a seventh Oasis Class vessel is contingent upon financing, which is expected to be completed later this year.

Read more: Royal Caribbean ships by age — from oldest to newest (2024)

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