NCL Corporation announced last week that its parent company, Star Cruises, has agreed to sell Norwegian Crown to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Pte. Ltd., Singapore effective August 2006. Star Cruises will concurrently charter the vessel back from Fred. Olsen and NCL will continue her announced deployment through to November 2007.
Norwegian Crown is presently owned by Star Cruises along with four other mid-sized vessels also operated by NCL and Orient Lines. These vessels are on inter-company charter between Star and NCL. Last week, NCL announced that Norwegian Wind will be transferred in late April 2007 to Star Cruises to become SuperStar Aquarius, based in Hong Kong.
“Although a beautiful and well-maintained vessel, Norwegian Crown’s smaller size is less suitable for Star Cruises’ ambitions in Asia,” said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL Corporation. “Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines specializes in operating smaller and mid-sized upscale vessels and this ship should fit perfectly in their fleet.”
This summer and fall, Norwegian Crown is sailing seven-day Bermuda cruises from Philadelphia and New York and will sail her popular 14-night South American cruises throughout the winter season of 2006/2007. In summer 2007, she will again offer a full season of Bermuda cruises from New York and Philadelphia and will end her deployment as an NCL ship at the close of the Bermuda season at the end of October 2007.
The 34,000 gross-ton Norwegian Crown, which entered service in 1988 for Royal Cruise Line, accommodates over 1,000 guests (double occupancy) and features six restaurants, six bars and lounges, the Crown Club casino, the Mandara Spa & Fitness Center, a Kid’s Center and an Internet Café. Norwegian Crown has also operated in both the Norwegian Cruise Line and Orient Lines brands as Crown Odyssey and Norwegian Crown.
The departures of Norwegian Wind and Norwegian Crown from the NCL fleet are designed to occur within the same period as the scheduled delivery and entry into service of two new purpose built NCL Freestyle
Cruising ships of approximately 2,380 lower berth capacity each, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Gem.