Popular Cruise Ship Hull Artwork Explained

It seems to be a growing trend at the moment with cruise ships having these huge artworks on the side of the hull, usually towards the bow. It also seems to be a trend which has started from one cruise line and that’s Norwegian Cruise Lines. All ships in the fleet showcase a creative artwork on the hull which are usually related to the ship itself. We’ll have a more in-depth look at some popular ships featuring these amazing arts at sea!

Norwegian Breakaway, Peter Max

Lets start with one of the newest cruise ships in the world which also had one of the most successful ship launches ever in our opinion. Yes you guessed it, Norwegian Breakaway!

Take a good look at the 144,000 ton ship with its well-known hull artwork:

The ship was launched in May 2013 along with its amazing colorful art work on the hull. The art was designed by popular artist and pop artist Peter Max. Norwegian Breakaways home port is in New York all year round which is also where Peter is based so was a perfect choice for the new ship.

The art itself is inspired by the bright colors of New York City and the ocean around it. Peter Max is famous for doing art with bright vivid colors so it also shows his unique style. Featured is the Statue of Liberty and a colorful New York skyline with a bright blue to remind everyone who looks at the large ship of the crystal blue oceans that the ship sails on.

Norwegian Breakaway is also the first ship to have its hull artwork designed specifically for its year-round homeport New York rather than being related to the ship its self. Not sure what the cruise will do if they ever end up re-positioning Breakaway to another home port!

Pride of America, Keith Allan

The Pride of America is another Norwegian cruise ship to have artwork on the hull but is more unique than the other vessels in the fleet due to its American design. The ship is in fact American flagged and the first to do that for more than fifty years!

The artwork was designed by graphic designer Keith Allan and has been designed around an American theme. The most striking part of the hull is the red stripes and stars flowing across from the bow. The patriotic design also matches lunges and decor inside the vessel.

Keith Allan is actually from South Africa and he worked as a designer for the SMC & Tillberg Design Group which designed Pride of America. Keith also designed the hull artwork of the Norwegian Dawn. Pride of America sails from Hawaii all year round so the patriotic design fits in well the military history of the Pacific Island.

P&O Britannia

While we are on the topic of “Patriotic” with Pride of America there is now another large cruise ship P&O Britannia which is also going down a similar hull design. But Britannia’s patriotic Union Jack flag on the bow will the largest ever at sea and will showcase British cruising around the world.

It will be the first time the British-based cruise line has ever had any kind of hull artwork and it won’t just be on Britannia but also on all ships in the fleet by the end of 2015. This could possibly be a new trend in future cruise ships!

Take a look at some images of the upcoming new look for P&O Britannia:

Norwegian Getaway, David “Lebo” Le Batard

Norwegian Getaway is the sister ship to Norwegian Breakaway and continues the trend of having its hull artwork designed for the ships home port which is Miami, Florida. Miami is the home of cruising and local artist David Le Batard was picked by NCL to design it.

The hull artwork is totally inspired by the bright vibrant colors of the Sunshine state, Florida. Just by looking at the artwork it really makes you think of hot tropical beaches in the Caribbean and beyond. Featured along the bright blue and yellow colors is a mermaid holding a sun and plenty of palm trees which reminds people who are looking at the ship what they are missing out on.

Aida Cruise Ships, Feliks Büttner

Aida Cruises which is a German cruise company and owned by Carnival also have hull artwork on all ships in the fleet. The first ship with artwork is the Aidacara in 1996 all the way to the latest new-generation ship, Aidaprima being built in Japan.

The artwork are large vivid eyes with a bright red mouth which Aida ships are famous for.  Just above the eyes is eye shadow which flows across the side of the ships. It was Feliks Buttner who designed it and started a new trend for future ships in the fleet. He is also based in Rostock in Germany which is also where the cruise line is based.

The artwork was inspired by an Egyptian opera named Aida of Verdi which started in Cairo back in 1871. The opera featured an Ethiopian Princess who was called Aida. The artwork was also inspired the Egyptian hieroglyphic writing.

A Future Trend?

Hull artworks seem to be a growing trend especially since Norwegian Breakaway and thanks to NCL for starting it. The artwork brings character to the ship and if implemented well can help remind us all what cruising is all about. Do any of you have any favorite hull artworks or and ideas for the future? Let us know in the comments below.

Emrys Thakkar
Emrys Thakkar
The founder of Cruise Hive which was established in 2008 as one of the earliest cruise blogs in the industry. Emrys has been reporting on the latest cruise industry news since the site first launched. Expert insights and tips featured on a number of publications including The Express, Business Insider, and more. Worked for Carnival Cruise Line for 8 years and is well and truly dedicated to cruising! Has also been on a number of cruises so can offer an insight into the industry that many will not be able to do. What's even more impressive is that Emrys has traveled the world by visiting more than 34 countries, lived in China for 8 years, and cruised the Caribbean, Baltic, Mediterranean, Asia, and Europe. Find out more about us here.


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