Norwegian Sky

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The Norwegian Sky in Cozumel, Mexico
Name: 1999—2004: Norwegian Sky
2004—2008: Pride of Aloha
2008—present: Norwegian Sky
Operator: 1999—2004: Norwegian Cruise Line
2004—2008: NCL America
2008—present: Norwegian Cruise Line
Port of registry: 1999—2004:  Bahamas
2004—2008:  United States
2008—present:  Bahamas
Ordered: December 1993
Builder: Bremer Vulkan, Bremen, Germany (hull)
Lloyd Werft, Bremerhaven, Germany
Yard number: 108
Launched: October 6, 1996
Acquired: July 29, 1999
Maiden voyage: August 9, 1999
In service: August 1999
Status: In service
General characteristics (Originally as Costa Olympia, Partially constructed at the Bremer Vulkan shipyard)
Tonnage: 77,104 GT (gross tonnage)
Length: 828 ft (252.4 m)
Beam: 105.5 ft (32.2 m)
Decks: 12
Speed: 23 kts
Capacity: 1,928 Passengers
Crew: 766
Notes: The construction was halted after Bremer Vulkan went bankrupt.
General characteristics (As Norwegian Sky, Completed At Lloyd Werft Shipyard)
Tonnage: 77,104 GT (gross tonnage)
Length: 853 ft (260.0 m)
Beam: 108 ft (32.9 m)
Draught: 26 ft (7.9 m)
Decks: 13
Capacity: 2,002 passengers (2,450 Max)
Crew: 800

Norwegian Sky is a Sky class cruise ship owned and operated by Norwegian Cruise Line. She was originally ordered by Costa Cruises as Costa Olympia from the Bremer Vulkan shipyard in Germany, but she was completed in 1999 by the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany for the Norwegian Cruise Line under the name Norwegian Sky. Between 2004 and 2008 she sailed as Pride of Aloha for NCL America.

Concept and construction

The ship that eventually became known as Norwegian Sky was originally ordered in December 1993 by Costa Cruises from the Bremer Vulkan shipyard in Bremen, Germany as the second in a pair of sister ships. The first sister, Costa Victoria, was delivered in July 1996. Construction of the second sister, Costa Olympia, had started several months before, but by July 1996 Bremer Vulkan was experiencing severe financial difficulties, and work on the Costa Olympia was suspended when only 35% of the ship was completed. On 1996-10-06 the incomplete hull was floated out of drydock and subsequently laid up.[1][2]

Costa Cruises decided not to purchase the unfinished ship, and the Costa Olympia remained laid up at Bremer Vulkan until December 1997, when Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) purchased her. The Costa Olympia was redesigned as the Norwegian Sky by Tillberg Design (who had also been responsible for her original planned design as Costa Olympia).[1] On 1998-03-08 the ship was towed to Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven, Germany where her construction was completed.[2] In 1998 NCL ordered two additional ships of the Norwegian Sky design. The first of these was delivered in 2001 as the Norwegian Sun while the order for the second one was cancelled.[1] The Norwegian Sky underwent her sea trials on 1999-06-17, and was delivered to NCL on 1999-06-28.[2]

Service history

The Norwegian Sky entered service for Norwegian Cruise Line on 1999-08-09 with a cruise from Dover, United Kingdom to Norway.[2] The ship's crew acted as her godparents at her christening.[citation needed] After a period of financial difficulties, she was the first new ship to enter service with NCL in six years.[1] On 1999-09-24 the Norwegian Sky ran aground at the juncture of the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Saguenay River. She was subsequently repaired in Quebec City, with the repairs taking over a month As a result three cruises had to be cancelled.[2]

After fours years of service NCL announced she would be moved to their new NCL America division as Pride of Aloha in October 2004. Originally she was planned to be preceded by the purpose built Pride of America in NCL America service, but a rogue storm damaged Pride of America during construction at Lloyd Werft and Pride of Aloha had to be rushed into service instead. In May 2004 the Norwegian Sky entered drydock in San Francisco, re-emerging as the Pride of Aloha on 2004-07-04. The Pride of Aloha was re-christened by Mrs. Margaret Awamura Inouye (wife of Hawaiian senator Daniel K. Inouye).[1][2]

File:Pride of Aloha.jpg
The Pride of Aloha in Hawaiian waters

Being a U.S. flagged vessel, Pride of Aloha required a crew of U.S. citizens. This made for a difficult launch as there was no established labor market to tap into. The first few months of sailings were plagued by poor service, crewmembers quitting and walking off the ship while in port, and an enormous number of customer complaints. NCL initiated a new and aggressive training program to better prepare newly hired employees for life aboard a cruise vessel. Subsequently the training for all employees took place at the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education, a Maritime School in Piney Point, Maryland. Passenger satisfaction improved substantially since the introduction of the new training program.[3]

On February 11, 2008, NCL announced that the Pride of Aloha would be withdrawn from the Hawaiian market as of 2008-05-11. Initially it was reported that she would be transferred to the fleet of Star Cruises.[4] During April 2008 Lloyd's List reported that NCL were looking to sell her to the Spain-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. subsidiary Pullmantur Cruises instead,[5] but Pullmantur Cruises later withdrew their offer.[6] In May of 2008 NCL reported that instead of transferring to Star Cruises, the ship would return to the Norwegian Cruise Lines and be re-flagged to the Bahamas while reverting to her original name Norwegian Sky with the first sailing July 14, 2008.[7]

On Saturday April 18th, 2009 at 3:30 AM, a 39 year old man went overboard in the Bahamas. A search party consisting of three cruise ships and two U.S. Coast Guard Helicopters searched for the man for twelve hours before calling off the search. It is unclear whether or not the man committed suicide.[8][9]


As originally planned, the Costa Olympia would have had an exterior and interior design identical to the Costa Victoria. Following the acquisition by Norwegian Cruise Line she was radically redesigned. Design changes included two decks of balcony cabins (opposed to no balcony cabins in the original plans), three additional restaurants, entirely altered decor and moving the bridge down by one deck to accommodate an observation lounge/spa complex on the topmost deck. Both the original and revised plans were the work of Tillberg Design.[1]

Initially the Norwegian Sky utilized a standard dining program with set meal seating times for passengers. One year after she entered service, NCL introduced their "Freestyle Cruising" (a 'dine where you want, when you want') program. As a result, the ship had to be retrofitted with additional restaurants.[citation needed]

When the ship was refitted for service as Pride of Aloha, a Hawaiian theme was adapted for the decorations of all public areas and cabins.[citation needed] At the same time she received hull art consisting of colorful Hawaiian leis.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Newman, Doug (2008-05-07). "From Norwegian Sky to Pride of Aloha and Back Again". At Sea with Doug Newman. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Asklander, Micke. "M/S Norwegian Sky (1999)" (in in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  3. Call it Norwegian boot camp, St. Petersburg Times, June 15, 2005
  4. "NCL Corporation Announces Adjustments to Hawai'i Fleet". NCL press release. Norwegian Cruise Line. 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  5. Joshi, Rajesh; Lowry, Nigel (2008-04-14). "NCL close to offloading cruiseship trio". Lloyd's List.;jsessionid=C139FEAE5B7ACF39DD67C12590103669. Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  6. Newman, Doug (2008-04-18). "Seatrade: Pride of America Not Sold". At Sea with Doug Newman. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  7. "It's official: Pride of Aloha re-joins NCL international fleet as Norwegian Sky". Cruise Business Review. Cruise Media Oy Ltd. 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 

External links

de:Norwegian Sky