NCL Forges Ahead to Hawaii

Despite shipyard accident, cruise line continues major Hawaii expansion

Norwegian Cruise Line is forging ahead with its major Hawaii expansion, despite the shipyard accident that damaged the Pride of America on Jan. 14.

The Pride of America will be replaced by the Pride of Aloha, currently sailing as the Norwegian Sky. The 1999-built Sky will undergo a massive renovation in May before launching the NCL America program in Hawaii on July 4.

Hawaiian designer Mary Philpotts will oversee the new look of the Aloha. In addition, the hull will be wrapped in a lei, painting on a design by Hawaii artist Linda Umstead.

One new feature will be the first Bishop Museum Collection at Sea. NCL said more details will be released in coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the Norwegian Sky’s 2004 Alaska program out of Seattle will now be operated by the SuperStar Leo, a 77,000-ton vessel that is part of NCL parent Star Cruises. Built in 1999, the Leo was built to Freestyle Cruising standards with seven restaurants.

Passengers booked on the Sky’s Alaska cruises will be transferred to the SuperStar Leo. Likewise, those booked on the Pride of America will be switched to the Pride of Aloha or receive a refund.

The Pride of America took on water during a severe storm and listed at the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Germany. NCL is still evaluating the extent of the damage and when the ship might enter service. The Pride of America is built on the hull that was constructed in Mississippi as part of the ill-fated Project American program.