Friday, February 12, 2010
One of the oldest of the modern cruise lines that had not been in the ocean liner business, Norwegian Cruise Line was established - originally under the name Norwegian Caribbean Line - by Norwegian entrepreneur Knut Kloster and Ted Arrison, who later started his own company, Carnival Cruise Lines, in 1966 with a single ship, the Sunward. Kloster added four new ships until 1971, and in 1979 his decision to purchase the former pride of the Grande Nation, the S/S France, made the public sit up and take world-wide notice of his company. The former liner was skillfully converted into cruising's very first superliner, S/S Norway, by Germany's Lloyd Werft shipyard in 1980. She became the prototype of the huge cruise ships of the 1990s and the new millennium. In 1990 S/S Norway was further enlarged by adding two completely new decks. One of the last grand liners of yesteryear to sail the seven seas, the Norway continues to offer traditional cruises in a unique environment. Norwegian Cruise Line accepted delivery of two brand-new ships in 2001, the 80,000 gt Norwegian Sun and the 91,000 gt Norwegian Star. A second 91,000 gt vessel, Norwegian Dawn, will follow in 2002. NCL's innovative "Freestyle Cruising" concept has impressed passengers world-wide, and has already found imitators among competing cruise lines.