An Epic “Breakaway” For NCL

Rendering of NCL's "Project Breakaway", courtesy of NCL.

In the first of what promises to be a series of gradual reveals, NCL provided a look at balcony and mini suite staterooms aboard its upcoming Project Breakaway, a pair of as- yet-unnamed 144,017 gross ton vessels under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.  The ships will have 4,000 passenger berths and are scheduled for completion in April 2013 and 2014.

NCL CEO Kevin Sheehan stated during today’s live “webinair” reveal, “Project Breakaway ships represent an opportunity for the Norwegian guest to ‘break away’ from the routine of work, school, and daily stress, and find a true respite at sea. These new ships will take the best of the best from all of Norwegian’s existing ships drawing on the line’s experience of having launched 10 ships in the past 10 years – starting with Norwegian Star and Sun in 2001 and culminating with the launch of Norwegian Epic in 2010.

Norwegian commissioned design group Priestmangoode of the United Kingdom, working in conjunction with Tillberg Design of Sweden, to design the staterooms for Project Breakaway.  Priestmangoode won accolades and awards for designing the Studios, the first staterooms designed specifically for solo travelers, on Norwegian Epic.  Project Breakaway staterooms combine the form and function of the line’s Jewel class ships’ staterooms with the modern and contemporary design touches of Norwegian Epic.

Project Breakaway ships will each have 1,024 balcony staterooms and 238 mini-suites set in rich paneling with warm tones and accent colors.  Each balcony stateroom has a king-size bed (that can be separated) with a pillow top mattress set against a chestnut leather headboard cushioned and tufted to make reading and sitting up in bed more comfortable.  There is a convenient lighted recess above the bed to hold books, magazines, tablet computers or electronic reading devices.   Each room has a sofa bed with additional storage. A built-in 26-inch flat screen television is mounted on the wall and tilts so it can be seen from the sofa or the bed. Underneath the television is another recessed nook to hold cruise information, books and magazines. There is also a built-in vanity area with shelving and lots of storage space. LED lighting surrounds the perimeter of the ceiling to give the room warmth. There is also a full-size closet that is easily accessible with sliding doors. The staterooms are energy efficient, utilizing key card access to control lighting in the room.”

Project Breakaway Balcony Stateroom, courtesy of NCL.

“The overall design theme for Project Breakaway’s staterooms is ‘modern boutique hotel meets the sea.’  We strongly considered the overall needs of our guests when designing these staterooms and wanted them to be greeted with an ambiance that is warm and inviting and has a very contemporary feel with clean, modern lines,” said Sheehan.  “We also wanted to maximize the use of space within the staterooms, so that our guests are as comfortable as possible and storage space is well planned throughout.  Ultimately, our goal is to achieve a really good balance of form and function – well designed, beautiful, comfortable and sensible living space.”

Project Breakaway Balcony Cabin Bathroom, courtesy of NCL.

Acknowledging critical fallout from the “open” bathrooms on board the NORWEGIAN EPIC, Sheehan joked that the new bathrooms will be fully enclosed and that mock-ups were tested by up to five executives at a time “like a scene in a Marx Brothers movie” during a recent walk-through in the shipyard.

Sheehan elaborated further, “The balcony bathroom features a contemporary, clean design, ensuring more generous and comfortable space.  There are multiple rich-wood shelving areas to help reduce clutter and keep everything within easy reach for guests. There is an enclosed vanity underneath the sink that hides the trash bin, along with more storage. The built-in sink is generous in size and has an easy to use faucet.  A private shower with a shaving bar for ladies completes the room.”

Project Breakaway Mini Suite, courtesy of NCL.
Breakaway Mini Suite Bathroom, courtesy of NCL.

“The mini-suites are a roomier version of the balcony stateroom with a larger, more luxurious bathroom that incorporates a large, modern double sink with two faucets complete with a mosaic glass tile backsplash. There are open and enclosed storage spaces under the sink.  The bathroom also features an oversized spa-like shower with a rain shower head and multiple body spray jets, along with a separate handheld shower head”, Sheehan concluded.

According to NCL, more reveals will happen throughout the summer, fall and beyond with the first ship scheduled to open for reservations this October.


Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego

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