Interior view: Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Prima

Eamonn Ferrin reveals the innovations onboard the cruise line’s new Prima-class vessel

Interior view: Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Prima
The Haven by Norwegian is a ship-within-a-ship concept with premium and spacious accommodations

By Alice Chambers |

The word ‘Prima’ means ‘first’ in Italian, making it a fitting name for Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)’s newest ship, Norwegian Prima, which will be the first vessel in the new innovative Prima class. The ship is set to debut in August, joining 17 vessels in NCL’s wider fleet. 

“The new class builds upon our long-standing legacy of offering freedom and flexibility, as well as a host of cutting-edge features and luxurious interiors, such as the Indulge Food Hall, Infinity Beach, Oceanwalk and The Concourse,” says Eamonn Ferrin, vice president of international business at NCL. 

Constructed by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, which will deliver the five additional vessels in the class, Norwegian Prima is the product of a series of collaborations between NCL, Italian designer Piero Lissoni and architectural firms Rockwell Group, SMC Design, Studio DADO, Tillberg Design of Sweden and YSA Design. Italian graffiti artist Manuel Di Rita, commonly known as Peeta, has designed the hull artwork, which extends to the forward superstructure of the ship and features abstract shapes and shading. 

Prima features spacious public areas such as Ocean Boulevard, which offers 360-degree views, a sculpture garden called The Concourse and the Vice Beach Club. Guest experience has been prioritised throughout the design process, from accommodation to entertainment venues. 

According to Ferrin, the highlight of the vessel is The Haven by Norwegian a ship-within-a-ship concept with premium and spacious accommodations. “It’s a truly impressive space, spanning eight decks of suites and public areas. For the first time, we’ve relocated all 107 Haven suites to the rear of the ship, with private elevators exclusively reserved for The Haven by Norwegian guests. 

“The exclusive enclave has walls adorned with calming artwork and muted colours. Cabins have been designed with peace and quiet in mind, whether that be enjoying a bubble bath with a view or a glass of wine while watching the waves.” 

The Haven Courtyard has also been transformed into an expansive Haven Sundeck, boasting an infinity pool overlooking the ship’s wake and an outdoor spa designed by Piero Lissoni, which has a glass-walled sauna and a cold room. The Haven also has a dedicated restaurant and a lounge and bar. 

“For me, The Haven by Norwegian on Prima is a beautiful and impressive space, offering incredible sea and destination views,” says Ferrin. “The Haven Courtyard with its infinity pool overlooking the ship’s wake is wonderful and gives guests the opportunity to explore the stunning public areas and suites, walk the Haven Sundeck, grab something delicious to eat from The Haven Restaurant, and of course, relax in the Haven Spa.” 

Guests who choose not to stay in The Haven will also have access to an excellent onboard experience too. 

“With Prima we’re elevating the experience even further with an Infinity Beach featuring two infinity pools, a charcoal sauna, two Oceanwalk glass bridges, an open-air lounge and more,” says Ferrin. Other onboard spa facilities include an ice room, experiential showers, a floatation salt pool and an infrared sauna. 

 “Another priority is to maintain and facilitate our Freestyle Cruising ethos – we revolutionised the industry by offering guests the freedom and flexibility to design their ideal vacation on their preferred schedule with no assigned dining and entertainment times and no formal dress codes.” 

Prima will offer nine new dining and beverage venues including NCL’s first sustainably focused bar, Metropolitan Bar, which will offer responsibly crafted zero-waste cocktails as well as a fully sustainable spirits menu and 20 biodynamic wines that have been produced using organic farming methods.  

The ship also features the Indulge Food Hall, which is the cruise line’s first-ever food hall, with 11 different restaurants and cafes on offer, including Italian eatery Onda by Scarpetta and Mexican kitchen Los Lobos. 

In terms of entertainment, Prima offers a three-storey theatre that can transform into a Las Vegas-style nightclub. “The three-storey venue is designed to seamlessly convert the space from a performance stage to expansive dance floor,” says Ferrin. “It will feature a customisable seating layout and a moving LED screen that lowers from the ceiling and is nearly half the size of the venue.”  

The venue is designed to provide guests with an ‘out-of-body’ experience where they can dance late into the night and enjoy a kaleidoscope of high-energy music and special effects. Acts scheduled to debut here include Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, which features more than 20 disco hits such as ‘Bad Girls’, ‘Last Dance’ and ‘Hot Stuff’, and a dance production by America’s Got Talent’s winner Light Balance. 

“For those looking for the most extreme adrenaline rush at sea, guests can experience a 10-storey freefall dry slide on The Drop,” says Ferrin. “Riders will reach the highest G-forces of any cruise line; it’ll be the thrill of a lifetime.” 

The Drop is one of Prima’s 14 attractions, which also include hyper-immersive simulator experiences, escape rooms, a Topgolf Swing Suite, an Aqua Park and main pool area, a Tidal Wave waterslide and a three-level Prima Speedway go-karting track. Prima has countless onboard highlights, many of which are first-time additions for the cruise line that Ferrin suspects will “have the wow factor that guests have been yearning for in a much-anticipated cruise vacation”.

This article was first published in the 2022 issue of Cruise & Ferry Interiors. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.   

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