Norwegian Encore has touched water for the first time as she was floated out of building-dock II at the Meyer-Werft shipyard in Germany, ready to receive the final touches and finishing at her wet dock before being floated down the Ems River to Bremerhaven for sea trials.
Norwegian Encore’s drydock was flooded during the night on Friday and on Saturday morning she was towed out. Norwegian Cruise Line posted a video of the float out on Twitter, showing the immense 169,145-gross ton cruise ship on the water for the first time.
— Cruise Norwegian (@CruiseNorwegian) August 17, 2019
The 4,004-passenger capacity ship is now alongside at the outfitting pier, where work on fitting out her interior spaces and installing the cladding on her funnel will continue.
P&O Cruises’ new ship Iona is also being built by Meyer-Werft and the engine section block for her had to be moved from the pier to building dock II to make room for Encore.
At the end of September, Norwegian Encore will be moved again to begin her conveyance down the Ems River to Bremerhaven to depart on her sea trials in the North Sea.
The river conveyance is an extremely tense time for the cruise line and shipyard as it involves many tight locks, turns and canals along the journey to the sea. It typically takes two to three days depending on weather conditions.
After sea trials, Norwegian Cruise Line will formally accept delivery of the vessel and get her ready for her inaugural cruise from Bremerhaven to Southampton, where she will depart on her first revenue-generating voyage, a week-long trans-Atlantic to New York.
Norwegian Encore will homeport in Miami, cruising roundtrip 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruises until mid-April when she will reposition to New York, cruising 5 to 9-night roundtrip itineraries to Bermuda.
Norwegian Encore is the last in the Breakaway-Plus class for Norwegian Cruise Line. She is a sister ship to Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Escape – but only Bliss and Joy have the super-popular go kart race track on-board.
Norwegian Encore will also feature a race track, but it will be even larger according to NCL.
The ship will also offer more than a dozen restaurants, several dozen cafes and bars, as well as a huge spa and fitness centre, theatre, casino, waterpark, and all the other bells and whistles of the Breakaway-Plus class (including a Lost City of Atlantic laser tag park!).
Like Norwegian Bliss, she’ll also feature a huge forward-looking observation lounge that can be used by everyone, not just the Haven guests (who’ll have their own).