New Ships

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Onboard accommodations on Norwegian Cruise Line.

Stay up-to-date on the cruise vacation industry’s newest ships and new projects.

Norwegian Cruise Line Last month Norwegian Cruise Line unveiled the first look at its new balcony and mini-suite stateroom designs for Project Breakaway, the project name for the company’s two new 4,000-passenger next-generation ships scheduled for delivery in April 2013 and April 2014.

“The overall design theme for Project Breakaway’s staterooms is ‘modern boutique hotel meets the sea,’” says Kevin Sheehan, NCL’s CEO.  “We strongly considered the overall needs of our guests when designing these staterooms and wanted them to be greeted with an ambiance that is warm and inviting. We also wanted to maximize the use of space within the staterooms, so that our guests are as comfortable as possible and storage space is well planned throughout.”

According to the cruise line, the goal of Project Breakaway ships is to present an opportunity for the NCL  guest to “break away” from their daily routines and find a true respite at sea. The new ships will take the best features of existing NCL ships and combine them with new features. Project Breakaway ships will each have 1,024 balcony staterooms and 238 mini-suites featuring pillowtop mattresses, 26-inch flat-screen TVs, built-in vanities with added shelving and storage space and larger closets. There is a convenient lighted recess above the bed to hold books, magazines, tablet computers or electronic reading devices. The staterooms are energy efficient, utilizing key card access to control lighting in the room.

For more information, visit ncl.com/breakaway.

Orion Expedition Cruises Orion Expedition Cruises has increased the size of its fleet with the addition of the Orion II, a second expedition ship joining the line’s existing 106-passenger Orion. The 100-passenger, 50-suite luxury Orion II commenced expedition voyages under the Orion Expedition Cruises banner on Friday, June 10.

Orion II’s inaugural 24-night voyage from Vancouver to Otaru will be followed by expeditions to the Russian Far East, Inland Sea of Japan, the Ryukyu Islands, and then a series of varying 10-night itineraries around Borneo. Later voyages in 2011 include Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Orion II represents another step on a journey that has included many fascinating destinations since Orion’s first expeditionary voyage from Tahiti to Australia in March 2005,” says Orion’s founder and managing director, Sarina Bratton. “Despite difficult global financial conditions, our growth has been solid and this has been enhanced by the support of our loyal guests.”

For more information, e-mail inquiry@orionexpeditions.com or visit orionexpeditions.com.

Celebrity Cruises Last month, Celebrity Cruises’ new Celebrity Silhouette emerged from Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, where numerous spectators lined up to be among the first to see the fourth in Celebrity’s five-ship Solstice Class fleet. The Celebrity Silhouette sets sail this month.

The new ship features a host of new venues and experiences within The Lawn Club, including the interactive Lawn Club Grill, where guests can select and grill their own meats side-by-side with Celebrity’s expert chefs, or have them cooked to order; the private WiFi-equipped cabanas called The Alcoves; The Porch—a casual dining spot offering sandwiches and coffees; and The Art Studio. The ship will also present another entirely new venue, “The Hideaway,” an intimate, quiet space reminiscent of a childhood tree house.

For more information, visit celebritycruises.com.