Norwegian’s Next Cruise Ship Floated Out at Shipyard

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and shipbuilder Fincantieri celebrated Norwegian Aqua’s successful float-out on Tuesday. 

Colorful abstract mural on the bow of the norwegian aqua cruise ship, featuring whale designs, docked in a port with visible workers.
(Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

As its April 2025 debut countdown continues, top cruise line and shipyard executives attended Norwegian Aqua’s float-out in Marghera (Venice), Italy. In keeping with maritime traditions, two coins were ceremoniously welded onto the vessel before a chaplain and a champagne bottle blessed it was broken across its hull.

“We are excited to celebrate another milestone with our partners at Fincantieri, who are integral to the Prima Class journey and supporting us in evolving the amazing experience we design and deliver for our guests,” announced NCL President David J. Herrera. 

The Prima Plus-Class vessel has two sister ships, Norwegian Viva and Norwegian Prima, but it will be 10% bigger than its predecessors at 156,300 gross tons and 1,056 feet. Aside from its larger size, NCL shared that there will be new amenities to look forward to. 

One of the main attractions is the Aqua Slidecoaster, the first ride of its kind that combines the thrills of a rollercoaster with the wet and wild experience of a waterslide.

Norwegian Aqua float out
(Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

Dual slides three stories high will offer two different routes that wind around the ship’s funnel. The highly publicized ride will replace the go-karts found on the smaller Prima-Class vessels.

In addition to the Slidecoaster, the new ship will have a digital sports complex with an interactive LED floor (Glow Court), the biggest outdoor promenade with 360-degree views (Ocean Boulevard), new restaurants, and NCL’s first three-bedroom suites.

Norwegian Aqua will head to the Caribbean

Norwegian Aqua Float out
(Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

When it enters service in April 2025, Norwegian Aqua will sail to the Caribbean with a guest capacity of 3,571 people. It will begin its first cruise season with 7-day sailings from Port Canaveral, stopping at destinations like Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and the NCL-owned Great Stirrup Cay in The Bahamas.

From August to October 2025, guests can sail on 5- and 7-day itineraries from New York to Bermuda. It will then homeport in PortMiami from October 2025 to April 2026.

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