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Norwegian Cruise Line has announced more details regarding its two 4,000-passenger ships scheduled for delivery in spring 2013 and 2014, which are currently titled Project Breakaway. At a July press event co-sponsored by Conde Nast Traveler in New York, CEO Kevin Sheehan said the line has not been able to effectively convey the fact that Norwegian offers the best of both large and small ships: the entertainment, dining and shopping options of a large ship and the exclusivity and private elegance of a small, luxury vessel. However, some new features of the Project Breakaway ships will help hammer in the point.
The company is extending its ship-within-a-ship concept with an exclusive all-suite area called The Haven. The name will also apply to the Courtyard suites on Jewel-class ships and on last year’s debut ship, Norwegian Epic. On the Jewel-class vessels, the area includes an exclusive concierge area, pool and sundeck. On Epic, a private restaurant was added to the mix.
Although the Project Breakaway ships will have 18 fewer suites than Epic, the ships will include a private restaurant, a cocktail bar and a concierge desk where Haven passengers can make dining, entertainment or spa reservations. The area’s overall design is similar to Epic’s, with a two-story courtyard surrounding a pool, sundeck and two Jacuzzis. There will also be two massage rooms and a sauna, and guests staying in The Haven will have direct access to the spa and fitness area.
Guests of The Haven will have 24-hour butler service and poolside valets. Furthermore, all of Norwegian’s Haven’s butlers will be certified by the International Institutes of Modern Butlers, whose chairman, Steven Ferry, wrote “The British Butlers Bible.” Haven guests can have their butler serve them an elegant meal in their suites, and they receive priority reservations for the ship’s specialty restaurants, spa and entertainment. Norwegian’s current fleet has already renamed the Courtyard as The Haven, and the fleet will also offer the services of 24-hour butlers and poolside valets. There will be no structural changes to the current fleet, however.
The Haven will consist of 76 suites, 42 of which are located on Decks 15 and 16. The remaining suites are located elsewhere but have access to the exclusive space. On the new ships, there will be two Deluxe Owner’s Suites with wraparound balconies and very large bathrooms, which Sheehan described as the most luxurious. These suites can be connected to Owner’s Suites to create a space that can sleep up to eight guests.
The two-bedroom, two-bath Courtyard Villa design continues on the Breakaway ships with Family Villas. The square footage has not been released, but the Epic’s Courtyard Villas measure 506 square feet. Project Breakaway ships will also feature 17 of the Courtyard Penthouses that appeared on Epic, sleeping up to three guests.
There will also be eight aft-facing penthouses, sleeping up to four guests, and 10 forward-facing penthouses, sleeping up to three guests. All penthouses offer separate living and dining areas.
Although the Jewel-class accommodations include 5,000-square-foot Garden Villas, that aspect of the design was dropped with Epic and will not reappear on the Breakaway ships (neither will the controversial bathrooms and sinks on Epic or the two-deck area capping Epic’s bow).
However, the Spa Suites introduced on Epic will continue on the Project Breakaway vessels, with 16 suites offering special decor, private Jacuzzis and spa showers, king-size beds and complimentary access to the thermal spa. Sheehan said they will feature a different design than the Epic’s spa staterooms.
And Epic’s new ship-within-a-ship, the Studio, will also be featured on the newbuilds. Norwegian does not plan to have any new themed areas within the Breakaway ships, according to Sheehan.
Although the new ships will offer a broad range of entertainment, they will not duplicate the live entertainment acts Epic has onboard. Sheehan also said that the company would announce later where the Breakaway ships will homeport, adding that it would be “somewhere different.”