July 15--More mega cruise ships are on tap for Norwegian Cruise Line.
The Miami-based cruise operator said this week it's signed an agreement with German shipyard Meyer Werft to build two more Breakaway-Plus class ships for delivery in spring 2018 and fall 2019.
The 4,200-passenger cruise ships will be similar in design to Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Breakaway, which debuted in January 2014 and May 2013 respectively.
The new ships will be 164,600 gross tons each and will be among the largest vessels in its fleet.
"Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway have proven themselves as industry game-changers and are extremely popular with our guests," Norwegian CEO Kevin Sheehan said. "It was only natural that we build on their success with this new ship order that further solidifies our long-term growth strategy."
Breakaway is based in New York for cruises to the Caribbean, while Getaway sails from Miami for similar itineraries. Both ships incorporate groundbreaking design, including The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place, Norwegian said. Those concepts offer an oceanfront boardwalk with shops, eateries and bars, as well as several decks of food and beverage, entertainment and gaming options.
The contract price for the two new ships announced Monday is about euro 1.6 billion, or $2.17 billion at Tuesday's exchange rate. Norwegian said export credit financing is in place for each vessel.
Last year, Norwegian ordered its second Breakaway-Plus ship -- Norwegian Bliss -- which is set for delivery in spring 2017. The first of the new Breakaway-Plus vessels -- Norwegian Escape -- was ordered in 2012 and is scheduled for delivery in October 2015.
The cost for the first two ships was more than $1.8 billion. Meyer Werft is building all four of Breakaway-Plus ships.
Escape will join Getaway in Miami and will sail year-round on seven-day itineraries to the eastern Caribbean starting Nov. 14, 2015.
In March, Norwegian announced marine artist and conservationist Guy Harvey had been commissioned to design Escape's signature hull artwork. The hull design prominently features a sailfish -- the iconic gamefish of South Florida -- as well as Caribbean favorites such as turtles and stingrays.
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