Just as Meyer Werft was closing the deal to take over the former STX shipyard at Turku in Finland, in a joint venture with the Finnish Government, NCL ordered a further two ships in the so-called Breakaway Plus class. Currently Meyer has two of these 165,000gt, 4,200-passenger vessels under construction at the Papenburg shipyard, the first of which, to be named Norwegian Escape, will debut in October 2015. Sistership Norwegian Bliss will follow her in spring 2017.

The two new orders are expected to be built at Papenburg and are scheduled for delivery in the spring of 2018 and the autumn of 2019. The contract price for the new ships is estimated at €800 million each. No names have yet been announced. TheNCL fleet currently comprises 13 ships, of which nine have come from the Papenburg yard.If the deal that allows Meyer Werft to take a significant stake in the Turku yard goes ahead, it will free the ship-builder from the constraints imposed by the long transit that ships have to make of the river Ems, and should keep the environmentalists happy as well if no further widening or deepening of the river takes place.


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