Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship, the
Norwegian Gem, began sea trials in Europe this week, in preparation
for inaugural events and Mediterranean sailings in October and
November, NCL said.
The 93,530-ton ship
left the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, on Sept. 15
and transited the River Ems to Eemshaven, Netherlands, from where it began its
week-long sea trials.
The Norwegian Gem
is slated to arrive in Boston on Dec.13 and its christening
ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 18 in New York, NCL said.
Royal Caribbean International's next newbuild, the Independence of
the Seas, was floated out this week at Aker Yards shipyard in
The Independence of
the Seas, Royal Caribbean's third Freedom-class vessel, will debut
in Southampton, England, in May 2008, the cruise line said, adding
that the vessel will be the largest ship ever home-ported in
According to Royal
Caribbean, the 160,000-ton vessel's hull is complete and the ship
was moved from dry dock to wet dock in order to begin finishing
On hand during the
float-out ceremony to turn a valve releasing 87 million gallons of
water into the wet dock area were Royal Caribbean executives Harri
Kulovaara, executive vice president of maritime, Lisa Bauer, senior
vice president of sales, and Captain Hernan Zini. Also in
attendance were Juha Heikinheimo, president of Aker Yards Cruise
and Ferries, and Jykri Heinamaa, the Turku Yard
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