(NCL) has taken delivery of Pride of Hawai’i as the newest member to the NCL America fleet, with a handover ceremony in Eemshaven, Holland. At the onboard ceremony, Star Cruises Chairman Tan Sri LIM Kok Thay was joined by Colin Veitch, NCL President and CEO; and Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft, the shipyard that constructed the vessel.
Pride of Hawai`i is the ninth in a series of 11 such Freestyle Cruising ships delivered as part of a U.S. $5 billion cruise ship building program undertaken by Star Cruises and NCL since 1998.
Pride of Hawai`i is also the third in a series of U.S. flag cruise ships, built for the Hawai`i market. At just over 93,500 gross registered tons, carrying over 2,400 passengers, and costing over half a billion dollars, Pride of Hawai`i is by far the largest and most expensive U.S. flagged passenger ship ever built. Pride of Hawai`i will employ a crew of over 1000, bringing the total seagoing workforce of NCL’s U.S. flagged fleet to some 4000, including those on leave.
“We are thrilled to complete our ambitious plan of bringing three U.S.-flagged ships to Hawai`i by 2006,” Colin Veitch said
. “Pride of Hawai`i, along with Pride of America and Pride of Aloha, and our one international ship, will bring around half a million passengers a year to the Hawai`i Islands and not only offer an unparalleled Hawai`i cruise experience but will also help create more than 20,000 U.S. jobs and generate more than $800 million of expenditures in the U.S. economy by the end of 2007 including over a quarter of that impact occurring in other parts of the U.S. outside of Hawai’i.”
The ship will arrive in Baltimore at the end of the month and after a series of inaugural events in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Pride of Hawai`i begins sailing in Hawai`i on June 5. She departs every Monday from Honolulu and offers the line's extremely popular itinerary with a full day in Hilo, Hawai`i; two days in Kahului, Maui; a day in Kona, Hawai`i and two days in Nâwiliwili, Kaua`i.