Norwegian Aqua Cruise Ship Reaches Major Construction Milestone

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Norwegian Cruise Line’s first Prima Plus-class ship, Norwegian Aqua, touched water for the first time when she was floated out of her construction dock at the Fincantieri shipyard on April 23, 2024. The milestone event signals the completion of the ship’s exterior hull as the vessel moves closer to its debut.

Traditional Maritime Ceremony Held at Shipyard

Officials of Norwegian Cruise Line and Fincantieri celebrated the float out of Norwegian Aqua at the Marghera, Italy, shipyard, where the vessel is under construction. A traditional maritime ceremony featured the welding of two ceremonial coins into the ship as an offering in exchange for the future safety and good fortune of the ship.

A local chaplain blessed the ship and a bottle of champagne was smashed against Norwegian Aqua’s hull. The ship will be a sister vessel to Norwegian Prima, which launched in 2022, and Norwegian Viva, which debuted in 2023, although she will be slightly larger, at 156,300-gross tons.

We are excited to celebrate another milestone with our partners at Fincantieri, who are integral to the Prima Class journey and supporting us in evolving the amazing experience we design and deliver for our guests,said David J. Herrera, president of Norwegian Cruise Line

Building upon the guest-favorite features of the award-winning vessels of this class, the 10% increase in space provides us with more flexibility to deliver more offerings and more beautifully designed venues for our guests to relax and explore on board Norwegian Aqua,” added Herrera.

Norwegian Aqua Floats Out at Shipyard
Norwegian Aqua Floats Out at Shipyard

The additional space will enable the 3,500-guest ship to offer more activities, such as the industry’s first hybrid rollercoaster/waterslide, called the Aqua Slidecoaster, revealed in November 2023, along with a digital sports complex, and the cruise line’s largest outdoor promenade, named Ocean Boulevard.

Fincantieri executives attending the maritime ceremony cited the ship’s innovations as the line pushes existing boundaries and elevates industry standards.

We are excited to mark this significant moment with Norwegian Cruise Line as we witness the float out of Norwegian Aqua, which represents a new chapter in our long-lasting partnership,stated Luigi Matarazzo, general manager of the Fincantieri Merchant Ships Division.

Norwegian Aqua Floats Out at Shipyard
Norwegian Aqua Floats Out at Shipyard

Now that the exterior of the ship is completed, construction will shift to the interior design of public spaces, staterooms, suites and other areas. Before delivery to the cruise line in 2025, Norwegian Aqua will undergo a series of sea trials, when navigational, propulsion, safety, and other operational systems will be tested.

Design Details Include New Dining Venues

With the launch of Norwegian Aqua just a year away, the cruise line is revealing more details about the spaces, amenities, and services it will offer. In early April 2024, the line disclosed some exciting plans for dining venues the ship will feature.

They include the introduction of a Thai specialty restaurant called Sukhothai — the first to be offered on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. Situated on Deck 17, the eatery will serve dishes such as Thai Cashew Chicken, Salt and Pepper Prawns, and Thai Grilled Steak Salad.

It was also revealed that the ship’s Indulge Food Hall will showcase a new station called Planterie, offering plant-based food bowls with healthy options such as spiced vegetables, tabbouleh, and honey-roasted carrots.

Norwegian Aqua Floats Out at Shipyard
Norwegian Aqua Floats Out at Shipyard

The Commodore Room, the ship’s main dining room that also is featured onboard sister ships Norwegian Prima and Norwegian Viva, will be reimagined, with a new nautical motif, and Cagney’s, the cruise line’s signature steakhouse, will be expanded on the new ship to enable more seating.

Read Also: Norwegian Prima Cruise Ship – Overview and Things to Do

We hear from our guests following every cruise, and they appreciate the intimate nature and greater variety of elevated spaces throughout the ship for them to relax in or explore while on vacation,commented Mark Kansley, senior vice president of hotel operations of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Once launched in April 2025, Norwegian Aqua will homeport at Port Canaveral, Florida, and sail 7-day itineraries to the Caribbean and Bahamas before repositioning to New York for a series of cruises from August to October 2025. After that, she will be based in Miami until April 2026.

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