MIAMI -- Norwegian Cruise Line will launch 10- and 11-day cruises from Seattle by adding the Norwegian Dream to Alaska in 2005, removing the ship from its usual station in northern Europe.

The addition of the Dream to Alaska means NCL will have four ships there.

The Dream will be the first vessel offering long cruises from Seattle. Colin Veitch, the line's CEO, said it was difficult to add another seven-day ship.

"The berth availability just isn't there," he said. "We thought [10- and 11-day itineraries are] an interesting variation, as well . . . to do a cruise up to Anchorage and back."

The line said it does not plan to position a ship in northern Europe next year, citing "rapid expansion in North American ports and key destinations."

The Dream will reposition to Houston after the 2005 summer Alaska season to replace the Norwegian Sea, which will transfer to the Star Cruises brand; the Norwegian Sun will move into the Dream's winter slot in New Orleans.

Other deployments were relatively untouched: The Norwegian Dawn, for example, is to remain on its schedule from New York, and the Norwegian Star will sail to Alaska and Mexico.

Hawaii deployment, meanwhile, will be increased from two vessels to three. Veitch said he was "still hopeful" that the Pride of America would be completed in time for a summer 2005 debut.

Itinerary details were not announced for the as-yet unnamed ship under construction at Meyer Werft in Germany. The vessel is slated for a fall 2005 debut.

To contact reporter Rebecca Tobin, send e-mail to [email protected].

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