Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL
) announced the early introduction of the new Pride of Aloha. The ship will take over the Pride of America's published program of seven-day inter-island Hawai`i cruises, commencing July 4th of this year.
According to NCL, it is still too early to know the new delivery date of Pride of America following the January 14th incident at Lloyd Werft in Germany; however, after two days of investigation it is now clear that there will be a substantial delay - months rather than weeks.
"This unfortunate event has certainly challenged us and there is a great deal to be done to ensure our passengers receive the vacation they have planned in spite of what has happened," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL. "While this is certainly a hurdle in the process, we will not be deterred from launching our U.S. Flag operation this year and ensuring the continued employment of the 1,000 plus U.S. seafarers who have already been hired. Reversing the order of the two ships allows us to do this.
"We have been working closely with Senator Inouye since the incident and have been greatly encouraged by his strong support for this realignment of our plans. We are also grateful to Congressman Abercrombie for his active engagement, as well as to the other members of the Hawai`i delegation, Senator Akaka and Congressman Case. And the statement of support from Governor Lingle's office reinforces for us the importance to Hawai`i of introducing our U.S. Flag operations on schedule - albeit with a different ship than we had first announced," Veitch added
Pride of Aloha, currently sailing as Norwegian Sky, will undergo a multi-million dollar remodeling in May and be reflagged into the U.S. registry to assume Pride of America's itinerary. The 2,000-passenger state-of-the-art ship begins in early June in California and culminates with an inaugural celebration and ship christening on July 4th in Hawai`i when she will then begin seven-day inter-island Hawai`i cruises.