Norwegian Encore has successfully completed an always-tricky maneuver when it departed the shipyard in Germany and carefully sailed down the narrow Ems River, towards the North Sea.

Norwegian Encore on Ems River
Photo courtesy: Norwegian Cruise Line

This transit to the sea is also a training cruise for new crew members.  It gives them a chance to get acquainted and learn about Norwegian Encore before passengers embark next month.  Measuring nearly 1,100 feet long, a gross tonnage of almost 170,000 and able to accommodate up to 3,998 guests, the ship will be delivered to the cruise line on Oct. 30, 2019.  The christening ceremony will be hosted by American Idol alumni and singer Kelly Clarkson.  The event will take place in Miami on November 21, 2019.  Following the ceremony, Norwegian Encore will begin seven-day Caribbean cruises on November 24, 2019.

“Today we celebrate a huge milestone for our history-making ship,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Now is when the anticipation truly begins to build. Our partners at Meyer Werft have collaborated with us to bring the industry-leading experiences from the successful Breakaway Plus class ships to Norwegian Encore, making her truly the best in class.”

Watch as Norwegian Encore slips away from the shipyard and out into the Ems River.

Norwegian Encore will feature the world’s longest race track at sea with a length of 1,100 feet and designed with four high-speed curves that extend up to 13 feet over the side of the ship.  There will also be what’s being billed as the largest outdoor laser tag arena, measuring nearly 10,000 square feet.  Over at the Galaxy Pavilion there will be a new immersive escape room and interactive theatre experiences.

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As the fourth ship in Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Plus class, you’ll see some new ideas in dining.  Set to debut on Norwegian Encore is the Italian dining experience, Onda by Scarpetta, in collaboration with LDV Hospitality.  If you’re wondering what the ship’s big Broadway production will be, it’s “Kinky Boots!”  Other returning music-based shows are “The Choir of Man,” Happy Hour Prohibition: The Musical” and a Beatles cover band will play at The Cavern Club.

If you get thirsty after a day on a tropical beach, you’ll be happy to know that Norwegian Cruise Line has just partnered with JUST Goods, Inc. for their bottled water supplier.  The bottled water is called JUST Water and is sourced from the Glens Falls watershed at the base of New York state’s Adirondack Mountains.

Norwegian Encore will be the first ship in their fleet to be all-plastic water bottle free.  The goal is set for January 1, 2020 for Norwegian Cruise Line to be the first major cruise line to eliminate plastic water bottles across its entire fleet.

Following the transatlantic crossing and the inaugural events, Norwegian Encore will offer seven-day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami beginning Nov. 24, 2019.  In time for spring, on April 22 the ship will head out on Bermuda and Canada and New England itineraries from New York City.

For winter 2020, you’ll see a Caribbean itinerary change.  This time, Miami departures will cruise to the Western Caribbean, beginning on December 12, 2020.  Then, in spring of 2021, following a Panama Canal transit cruise, the ship makes its way to West Coast for a season of cruises to Alaska from Seattle.

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