Norwegian Cruise Line said it has ordered four ships of a new design that will collectively cost $3.41 billion

The ships will be scheduled for delivery in 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025. At 3,300 passengers and 140,000 gross tons, they will be smaller than the current Breakaway Plus class of ship that includes the Norwegian Escape.

Norwegian said their design would optimize fuel efficiency and environmental responsibility. It did not say whether they would be powered by liquid natural gas.

The ships will be built by the Italian yard Fincantieri, the first ever built for Norwegian by that shipyard.

"The significant value of the order will provide substantial economic benefits by extending the employment horizon of our shipyards, and we are honored to support the growth of our country's economy," said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri.

Norwegian said it has obtained export credit financing with favorable terms to fund 80% of the contract price of each ship delivered through 2025, subject to certain conditions.

There are options for two additional ships meant to be delivered in 2026 and 2027. If exercised, Norwegian's fleet would grow from 14 ships to 20 over the next decade.

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