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Fincantieri launches first ship of the “Prima Plus” class

Series production of cruise ships is continuing at Fincantieri despite a few isolated difficulties: the first ship in a new series for Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has been launched in Marghera.

The “Norwegian Aqua,” which marks the start of the new “Prima Plus” class, was launched at the Italian shipbuilding group’s shipyard near Venice [ds_preview].

The exterior work has been completed and the hull is already colorfully painted. Delivery is scheduled for April 2025, as the shipyard and shipping company have now announced. At the launch, two coins were welded onto the “Norwegian Aqua” in accordance with an old tradition, symbolising an offering to the ancient gods of the sea and intended to bring the ship luck and a safe journey.

New offers on the “Prima Plus” ship

With 156,300 gross register tons and a length of around 322 m, the new ship will be 10% larger than the first two ships in the Prima class, which were also built by Fincantieri. It will offer more space and more new features, including the Aqua Slidecoaster, the world’s first hybrid roller coaster and waterslide, the Glow Court, a new digital sports complex with an interactive LED floor, and the Ocean Boulevard, NCL’s largest 360-degree open-air promenade.

Luigi Matarazzo, General Manager of Fincantieri’s Merchant Ship Division, called the ship “a new chapter in our historic partnership”. The shipyard group is building a whole series of cruise ships, including for NCL. However, things do not always go according to plan: for example, there are delays in the construction process for the “Star Princess”, as with her slightly older sister, which leads to late deliveries and cancelled trips.

Work on the “Norwegian Aqua” is to continue until its planned debut in April 2025, when the ship will begin service on seven-day Caribbean routes from Port Canaveral, Florida. It will call at Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic), Tortola (British Virgin Islands), St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands) and Great Stirrup Cay, NCL’s private island in the Bahamas. Following the Caribbean season, Norwegian Aqua will offer five- and seven-day Bermuda itineraries from New York City from August 2025 through October 2025, followed by five- and seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises from Miami, the “Cruise Capital of the World,” from October 2025 through April 2026.

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Copyright: Fincantieri

Caption: Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Fincantieri today celebrated the launch of "Norwegian Aqua", the first ship in the Prima Plus class, at the shipyard in Marghera (Venice) (© Fincantieri)