It has just been announced that Norwegian Cruise Line has planned to spend millions of pounds updating Norwegian Jade before she arrives in Southampton for the spring and summer season of 2017.
It is the first NCL ship to offer cruises from the UK since 2010, marking a significant change in attitude from the American-owned line which will have five ships based in Europe next year.
The cruise line have designed a $400 million Norwegian Edge programme with the aim to bring its older ships up to the same standard as the new Breakaway-class ships. It has been stated by Christian Boell, the cruise line’s Managing Director Europe, that $40 million could be spent on the upgrade for Norwegian Jade.
The Jewell-class ship that launched in 2006 is recognized for its current bright colours and Hawaiian-themed interiors, however the plan is to replace that with a contemporary palette of cream and neutrals and revitalize the ship with “cappuchino colours”, stated by Boell.
The upgrade will include predominantly purple, gold and red furniture and carpets, also changing the dark veneer panelling to lighter versions. Whole areas of the ship will also be reconfigured and the Cavern Club, a live music bar based on Liverpool’s famous venue, will be added to the ship, too.
Boell has stated: ‘We are not going into the shipyard for a week and repainting a little bit, we really are changing everything. Every ship will have its own look and style; it’s not just putting a new colour on everything, it s all new furniture and carpets and it’s getting all the American-Hawaii stuff out.’
All cabins will be updated, including the Haven suites with its private courtyard and facilities, and the line plan to invest $400 million into all of their ships and islands. This will include NCL’s private Caribbean island resorts: Great Stirrup Cay in the Eastern Caribbean and Harvest Cay, due to open in Southern Belize in November.
The restaurants will be modernized too, and the menus will be vastly improved by using more expensive ingredients and consulting Sister ‘foodie’ brand, Oceania. Boell says “interaction” with Oceania Cruises has led to changes in how they prepare things, recipes and creating better menus and he has stated: ‘It is one of our core policies to bring all the fleet to the same standard’.
Boell says this decision to improve the quality of NCL food was taken to make the cruise line more upmarket and the fleet’s chefs have had “dedicated training” from the American Culinary Federation.
The ship will have two home ports, Southampton and Hamburg, with embarking and disembarking allowed in both countries on some of the same ship’s itineraries.
Boell stated: ‘We are getting more internationally minded as a company and we decided last July that we would like to have a ship out of Southampton and Hamburg and that is how we created the Jade itineraries in the North.’
Norwegian Jade will mostly sail from the UK to Norway and Iceland with a round-Britain cruise and Northern European Cities cruise before crossing the Atlantic via Iceland to New York in September for winter in the Caribbean.
What are your thoughts on today’s news? Are you excited for Norwegian Jade’s debut in Southampton? Do you plan to sail with her? What do you think of NCL’s multi-million plan? Leave us your thoughts and comments!