Why Norwegian’s new ships are a class above the rest

Norwegian Cruise Line has launched two Prima-class ships in 12 months, bringing several industry and brand firsts to a wider range of guests. Gary Anslow tells Michele Witthaus more

Why Norwegian’s new ships are a class above the rest
The launch of Norwegian Prima was a game-changer, says Gary Anslow

Every so often a novel ship class drives major developments for a cruise operator. The launch of Norwegian Prima in August 2022 was just such a game-changer for Norwegian Cruise Line, says Gary Anslow, the brand’s director of sales in the UK and Ireland.  

“Norwegian Prima was the first vessel to debut in the Prima class and our most in-demand ship ever, with a record-breaking first day and first-week sales,” he explains. “It was the first major cruise ship to be christened in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, with world-famous pop icon Katy Perry serving as its godmother and performing at the christening ceremony.” 

The Prima class offers both industry and brand firsts, with bigger and better facilities available for guests, says Anslow. “The new Mandara Spa – previewed on Norwegian Prima – offers detoxifying saunas, pools and a two-storey waterfall, so guests can truly put relaxation front and centre of their sailing. Elsewhere, our Indulge Hall enables guests to dine around the world with cuisine from India to Italy to Latin America.” 

Given the buzz around the ship, the stakes were high for the brand to replicate its attractions and bring even more exciting features when sister vessel, Norwegian Viva, entered service on 10 August 2023.  

“We were very excited to launch the second vessel in the Prima class this year,” says Anslow, noting that the ship’s visual appeal will make it stand out for those who book cruises on it. “We can’t wait to see our guests’ reactions to Norwegian Cruise Line’s commission with British digital artist Dominic Harris, who has created an interactive work of art exclusively for Norwegian Viva.”  

The 52-foot piece, titled ‘Every Wing Has a Silver Lining’, is on display in Norwegian Viva’s Metropolitan Bar, the brand’s signature sustainable bar, and features Harris’s iconic butterfly motifs, which dynamically respond to passing movement throughout the day and night. 

“Elsewhere, Norwegian Viva continues our global reputation, offering guests exciting itineraries, more wide-open spaces, thoughtful and stunning design, a variety of new experiences as well as exceptional service,” says Anslow. “For example, we have reimagined our industry-pioneering outdoor promenade The Waterfront with Ocean Boulevard – not only does the space allow guests to walk around the entire ship, but they can also enjoy numerous outdoor activities, from dining to infinity pools and an open-air lounge.” 

In the next couple of years, the brand will be expanding the Prima class. “This has been our most innovative and advanced class of ships, where we’ve put the guest experience first and taken on feedback to enhance our offerings,” says Anslow. “We’ll also be paying particular attention to the relationship we have with our agents, ensuring that they have access to the very best offers and facilities to secure bookings and that they are rewarded by Norwegian Cruise Line.”  

Sustainability is integral to this growth, says Anslow. For instance, the brand continues to improve water production rates while at the same time focusing on efforts to decrease consumption. Across its fleet, 90 per cent of the freshwater used in 2022 was produced onboard.  

“As part of our Sail & Sustain initiative, we are ever striving to move towards a more sustainable cruising industry,” says Anslow. “Alongside our pledge to be net zero by 2025, we are also modifying the final two Prima-class ships, expected to be delivered in 2027 and 2028, to accommodate the use of green methanol as an alternative fuel source in the future.” 

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2023 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Review for FREE to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox or your door.

Michele Witthaus
By Michele Witthaus
21 September 2023