Norwegian Bliss, the first cruise ship custom-built with features and amenities for the ultimate Alaska cruise experience, departed Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany March 13 for its conveyance along the Ems River, and arrived to Eemshaven, Netherlands last night.
Norwegian Bliss completed another key milestone with only two months until its highly anticipated arrival to Seattle, Washington where it will offer seven-day Alaska cruises throughout the summer.
“Today marks another historical moment for Norwegian Bliss, the most highly anticipated ship of the Norwegian Breakaway Plus class, the most successful class of our company’s history,” said Norwegian Cruise Line president Andy Stuart. “When she arrives into Seattle in June, guests will be excited to experience many new first-at-sea activities, including the largest two-level race track at sea, new dining experiences, such as Q Texas Smokehouse and Coco’s a chocolate and treat shop, the Tony Award-winning Broadway Show Jersey Boys and much more for guests to explore.”
Measuring 994 feet long, 136 feet wide, and at a gross registered tonnage of 168,028, Bliss embarked on its journey down the Ems River and up to the North Sea in reverse, making the narrow passage through Meyer Werft’s sea lock, with less than four feet clearance. This very careful maneuver took about two hours at a speed of only 0.2 knots. The precise navigation included a team of experienced Ems River pilots, navigation officers, the yard captain and the local German waterway authorities.
After passing through the sea lock, Bliss continued along the river stern first, which helps with the maneuverability of the ship and is a key component when navigating her through such narrow passages. Its journey to Eemshaven included cruising through the narrow passages of the Friesenbrücke Bridge in Weener; Jann Berghaus Bridge in Leer; and Ems-Barrier in Gandersum.
At Eemshaven, the ship will take on additional provisions and crew members, before heading toward the North Sea for technical and nautical sea trials. This will be one of the final phases, before NCL takes delivery of its 16th ship on April 19 in Bremerhaven, Germany.
Norwegian Bliss will then begin its passage across the Atlantic Ocean on April 21 and will arrive in the US on May 3, where it will begin an inaugural tour, the most extensive of any ship in Norwegian Cruise Line history. Events will take place in New York City, Miami and Los Angeles and will conclude with a christening ceremony on May 30 at the new Pier 66 at the Port of Seattle in Washington State, followed by its inaugural cruise.