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New Mega NCL Cruise Ship Will 'Home Port' In New York City

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NORWEGIAN CRUISES
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In New York you find the biggest buildings and most advanced technology so it makes sense that one of the world's biggest ships will sail year-round from the big apple.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Kevin Sheehan today announced that Norwegian Cruise Line's new state-of-the-art 4,000 passenger ship, Norwegian Breakaway, will make New York City her year-round home port. Beginning in May 2013, Norwegian Breakaway -- which will be the largest ship ever to home port in the City -- will replace Norwegian Star, and embark on a minimum of 88 cruises from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal through March 31, 2015.

Based on NCL's history of building innovative cruise ships, Norwegian Breakaway promises to be another cruise-industry game changer. When the Norwegian Epic attracted passengers who never thought they'd set foot on a cruise ship due to sophisticated line-up of entertainment ranging from Blue Man Group to Second City Comedy.

The ship calls will bring an estimated 140,000 additional embarking passengers into New York City over two years, resulting in an estimated $35 million in additional direct spending, officials say.

"Out-of-town visitors spent $31 billion last year, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs in our restaurants, shops, hotels and cultural institutions," said Mayor Bloomberg. "By making New York City home to its newest and largest ship, Norwegian Cruise Line is further confirming our standing as a top cruise destination and a place that tourists from around the world want to visit."

NCL was the first cruise line to home port year-round in New York City beginning in 2003. Since then, the company has been committed to bringing its newest and largest ships to the Big Apple, with two ships calling in New York City since 2005. In 2013 alone, Norwegian Breakaway is expected to make 34 calls at Manhattan Cruise Terminal (MCT).

In addition, Norwegian Gem will continue to call year-round at MCT, with an expected 47 calls, and Norwegian Star will make 15 calls in 2013 before being replaced. In total, Norwegian Cruise Line ships will bring approximately 285,000 embarking passengers into New York City in 2013, generating approximately $70 million in direct spending in the City -- a $13.5 million increase due to the additional passengers on Norwegian Breakaway.

Currently under construction at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Breakaway will be 144,017 gross tons and is scheduled for delivery in April 2013. Following inaugural events, the ship will sail a series of 22 seven-day cruises from New York to Bermuda beginning May 12, 2013 through Oct 6, 2013. Departing on Sundays, the ship will spend three full days in Bermuda, along with three days at sea.

Norwegian Breakaway's New York-to-Bermuda cruises are scheduled to go on sale to Latitudes members, Norwegian's frequent guests, on Friday, October 14, 2011 and to the public on Monday, October 17, 2011.

Journalist Anne Campbell is editor of ShipCritic Blog and Cruising From New York.