Norwegian Cruise Line has 87 ships, ranging from new mega-ships that accommodate over 4,000 guests to ships that were built in the 1990s and are less than half the size.
I’ve been lucky enough to experience both the oldest and newest and the biggest and smallest NCL ships and honestly, they’re worlds apart in many ways.
So, to help you to decide which of Norwegian’s cruise ships to choose for your next cruise, read on for a guide to NCL ships by age, size and class along with photos of each.
In this guide:
- NCL Ships By Age
- NCL Ships By Size
- NCL Ship Classes
- What Are The Best NCL Ships?
- Norwegian Cruise Line Ships FAQs
NCL Ships By Age
The following table lists all of the ships in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, ordered from newest to oldest.
|Norwegian Prima||2022||–||Prima Class|
|Norwegian Encore||2019||–||Breakaway Plus Class|
|Norwegian Bliss||2018||–||Breakaway Plus Class|
|Norwegian Joy||2017||2019||Breakaway Plus Class|
|Norwegian Escape||2015||–||Breakaway Plus Class|
|Norwegian Getaway||2014||2019||Breakaway Class|
|Norwegian Breakaway||2013||2018||Breakaway Class|
|Norwegian Epic||2010||2020||Epic Class|
|Norwegian Gem||2007||2015||Jewel Class|
|Norwegian Jade||2006||2017||Jewel Class|
|Norwegian Pearl||2006||2017||Jewel Class|
|Norwegian Jewel||2005||2018||Jewel Class|
|Pride of America||2005||2016||Unclassed|
|Norwegian Dawn||2002||2016||Dawn Class|
|Norwegian Star||2001||2018||Dawn Class|
|Norwegian Sun||2001||2018||Sun Class|
|Norwegian Sky||1999||2019||Sun Class|
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Newest Ships
Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship is Norwegian Prima. This new ship is the first of six new Prima-class cruise ships to be built for NCL, having launched in August 2022.
Read more: The Newest Norwegian Cruise Line Ships (In Order)
Norwegian Prima is one of the most spacious new cruise ships at sea, with expansive outdoor deck spaces, an infinity pool designed to blend into the ocean, outdoor firepits and a glass bridge walkway.
Prior to the launch of Norwegian Prima, the most recent addition to the fleet had been Norwegian Encore. Launched in November 2019, this Breakaway Plus-class ship is also the largest in the NCL fleet, with an internal volume of 169,116 GRT and the capacity for almost 4,000 guests at double occupancy.
Norwegian Encore boasts a selection of family-friendly facilities including a virtual reality arcade, open-air laser tag arena, thrilling waterslides and a go-kart track.
Suggested read: My Norwegian Encore Review
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Oldest Ships
Norwegian Cruise Line’s oldest ship is Norwegian Spirit. Launched 25 years ago in 1998, this ship was the most recently refurbished with a $100 million refit that saw the addition of 14 new venues including an additional main dining room and an expanded Spa.
I visited Norwegian Spirit just before the makeover. Take a look at what she looked like previously in this Tour of Norwegian Spirit.
The other older ships in the NCL fleet include the Sun-class and Dawn-class ships which were all built before 2012.
As you can see in this photo of the Sun-class Norwegian Sky that I took in Nassau, these older ships are relatively small and do not have many balcony staterooms compared to more modern cruise ships.
NCL Ships By Size
The following table list Norwegian Cruise Line ships in size order from largest to smallest.
|Ship||Size (GRT)||Guest Capacity||Class|
|Norwegian Encore||169,116||3,998||Breakaway Plus Class|
|Norwegian Bliss||168,028||4,004||Breakaway Plus Class|
|Norwegian Joy||167,725||3,804||Breakaway Plus Class|
|Norwegian Escape||164,998||4,266||Breakaway Plus Class|
|Norwegian Epic||155,873||4,100||Epic Class|
|Norwegian Getaway||145,655||3,963||Breakaway Class|
|Norwegian Breakaway||145,655||3,963||Breakaway Class|
|Norwegian Prima||142,500||3,215||Prima Class|
|Norwegian Jade||93,558||2,402||Jewel Class|
|Norwegian Gem||93,530||2,394||Jewel Class|
|Norwegian Pearl||93,530||2,394||Jewel Class|
|Norwegian Jewel||93,508||2,376||Jewel Class|
|Norwegian Dawn||92,250||2,340||Dawn Class|
|Norwegian Star||91,740||2,348||Dawn Class|
|Pride of America||80,439||1,936||Unclassed|
|Norwegian Sun||78,309||1,936||Sun Class|
|Norwegian Sky||77,104||2,004||Sun Class|
Don’t Overpay For Your NCL Cruise!
Here’s how I get the lowest price when I book a cruise…
Click the button above to compare the prices of cruises from all travel agents.
Then, contact one with a best-price guarantee and have them beat it!
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Biggest Ships
Norwegian Cruise Line’s biggest ship is Norwegian Encore with a gross tonnage of 169,116 GT and the capacity for 3,998 guests at double occupancy. This Breakaway Plus-class ship has 20 decks, of which 16 are accessible to guests and a length of 1,094 feet.
The NCL ship that can accommodate the most guests is Norwegian Escape with a capacity for 4,266 guests when each room has two people in. This ship is slightly smaller than Norwegian Encore but has space for more staterooms as it doesn’t have the laser tag arena, the race track or the splash park.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s biggest ships aren’t that big when compared to the biggest ships from other cruise lines. In fact, NCL’s Breakaway Plus-class ships are around 25% smaller than Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class and 7% smaller than MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia Plus-class ships.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Smallest Ships
Norwegian Cruise Line’s smallest ship is Norwegian Spirit. The oldest ship in the fleet, this mid-sized cruise ship has the capacity for 2,018 guests at double occupancy and an internal volume of 75,904 gross tonnes.
Around half of the NCL fleet consists of medium-sized cruise ships that accommodate fewer than 2,500 guests. These ships were all built before 2008 when the fashion for bigger cruise ships took off.
NCL Ship Classes
Norwegian Cruise Line has grouped its ships into seven classes. Interestingly, the two ships remain unclassed as they are different from all others in the fleet.
The Prima-class ships are:
- Norwegian Prima
- Norwegian Viva (coming 2023)
- Unnamed ship (coming 2024)
- Unnamed ship (coming 2025)
- Unnamed ship (coming 2026)
- Unnamed ship (coming 2027)
Size: Approximately 142,500 GT
Breakaway Plus Class
The Breakaway Plus-class ships are:
- Norwegian Encore
- Norwegian Bliss
- Norwegian Joy
- Norwegian Escape
Size: 164,600 to 169,145 GT
The Breakaway-class ships are:
- Norwegian Getaway
- Norwegian Breakaway
The only Epic-class ship is Norwegian Epic
Size: 155,873 GT
The Jewel-class ships are:
- Norwegian Gem
- Norwegian Jade
- Norwegian Pearl
- Norwegian Jewel
The Dawn-class ships are:
- Norwegian Dawn
- Norwegian Star
Size: 91,740 to 92,250GT
The Sun-class ships are:
- Norwegian Sun
- Norwegian Sky
Size: 77,104 to 78,309GT
These ships are unique and do not belong to any class:
- Norwegian Spirit
- Pride of America
Norwegian Spirit was originally built for the Asia-based cruise company Star Cruises under the name SuperStar Leo.
Pride of America is the only US-flagged cruise ship in the world and was specifically designed to sail around Hawaii all year round.
What Are The Best NCL Ships?
So which are the best NCL cruise ships? Are the bigger, newer ships actually better than the smaller older ships? Having experienced both, I must say that the answer depends on what you want from a cruise.
The newer ships like Norwegian Prima and Norwegian Encore are great for teenagers. You’ll probably never see them all week as they’ll be so excited to visit the virtual reality arcade, laser tag and race track. However, all of these activities aren’t included in the price of your cruise, so you could easily rack up a large bill. Plus, they take up a lot of space, meaning that there isn’t that much room left on the open decks for sunbathing.
Even the oldest ships in the NCL fleet have been refurbished recently, so these ships no longer feel like they’re 20+ years old. Ticket prices are much cheaper than the newer ships, and they have better itineraries, making them a good choice for couples without kids and those on a budget.
However, my favourite NCL ship has to be Norwegian Breakaway. I loved the amazing waterslides on this ship and had a lot of fun on the high ropes course and watching the amazing entertainment – all of which were complimentary.
Read more: Norwegian Cruise Line Ships Ranked Best To Worst
Don’t Overpay For Your NCL Cruise!
Here’s how I get the lowest price when I book a cruise…
Click the button above to compare the prices of cruises from all travel agents.
Then, contact one with a best-price guarantee and have them beat it!
Norwegian Cruise Line Ships FAQs
Which NCL ships have The Haven?
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Haven is a VIP area with the most luxurious accommodation, butler service and an exclusive sundeck. It’s available on all cruise ships except for Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Spirit and Pride of America.
Which NCL ships have waterslides?
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway-class ships have the best water slides with five multi-storey slides to enjoy. The Breakaway Plus-class ships also have some good slides, as does Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Prima.
The older NCL cruise ships in the Jewel-class, Sun-class and Dawn-class did have kids waterslides but these were removed when the ships were refurbished.
Who is the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line?
Norwegian Cruise Line is owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. The parent company also operates the luxury brands Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises with a total of 28 ships across the fleet.
Is NCL owned by Carnival?
NCL is not owned by Carnival. The Carnival Corporation owns a number of cruise brands including Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Cunard, AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises.
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The newest NCL ships sailing are, Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy.What are the newest Norwegian ship? ›
The newest NCL ships sailing are, Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy.Is NCL sailing at full capacity 2022? ›
The three vessels are expected to boost Norwegian's overall passenger capacity by about 19% compared to 2019 capacity, the owner said. Fourth-quarter capacity for 2022 reached 87%.What is the newest Norwegian ship in 2023? ›
Summer 2023: Mediterranean from Rome, Athens, and Lisbon
Following a string of inaugural cruises and beginning June 2023, Norwegian Viva will be the newest ship embarking in the Mediterranean.
The smallest Norwegian Cruise Line ship is Norwegian Spirit. At 75,904 gross tons, Norwegian Spirit is less than half the size of Norwegian Encore, the line's biggest ship. It carries just 1,966 passengers — more than 2,000 fewer than Norwegian Encore.What is the largest Norwegian Cruise Line ship? ›
Ship Largest By Weight - Norwegian Encore. The largest ship currently in Norwegian Cruise Line's fleet by weight, is the Norwegian Encore. This ship is the currently the heaviest vessel amongst all NCL ships. This vessel measures in at 169,116 Gross Register Tonnage and is 1,094 feet long in overall length.What is the average age on a Norwegian cruise? ›
Typical NCL passengers are couples ages 25 to 60, and include a fair number of honeymooners and families with kids during summers and holidays.Is Norwegian sailing at 100% capacity? ›
The company calls it the “Great Cruise Comeback.” Following the pandemic pause and the gradual return of sailing, it's safe to say that cruising has fully returned. In fact, it's set to be back more than 100%…Are Norwegian cruises full capacity now? ›
With Full Fleet Returned, Now a Focus on Occupancy
In fact, this quarter the company aims to sail at 65% capacity, with full occupancy coming in 2023.
This year, Norwegian Cruise Line has the honor of operating the inaugural voyage of Seattle's 2023 Alaskan cruise season. Custom-built for the job and with the capacity to hold just over 4,000 passengers, the 168,028-ton Norwegian Bliss embarks on a 7-night roundtrip voyage later in the day on April 15.
1. Wonder of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International.Which Norwegian ships have go karts? ›
The Norwegian Prima takes go-karting at sea to a whole other level—literally. Instead of two decks like other Norwegian ships, the Norwegian Prima's 1,400-foot go-kart track is spread over the ship's top three decks.How many new cruise ships are being built 2023? ›
In 2023 there are scheduled to be 17 new cruise ships. These include MSC Euribia, Norwegian Viva and Explora I, the first ship for the new cruise line Explora Journeys.What is the sister cruise line of NCL? ›
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:NCLH) is a leading global cruise company which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands.Is NCL sailing at reduced capacity? ›
The ship's double occupancy maximum capacity is 2,186 passengers, meaning at the moment the ship is restricted to roughly 50-55% capacity. To facilitate the capacity limits, Norwegian Cruise Line has stopped new bookings aboard Pride of America through October 2022.Is Norwegian a high end cruise line? ›
At their core, Norwegian ships are mass-market ships, with entry-level cabins that are affordable to middle-class travelers. However, overlaid across most vessels are high-end suites and services that are at a luxury level, and the line draws a good number of luxury-seeking travelers.Do cruise ship employees get free food? ›
Do cruise ship employees get free food? A majority of cruise ship lines offer their employees free food throughout the duration of their contracts. There's typically a special kitchen on the boat that prepares food for staff members. Employees may eat in separate dining areas, depending on their classifications.How much does cruise ship captains make? ›
How much does a cruise ship captain make? While there's no explicit salary data for a cruise ship captain, the average annual salary for a captain is $92,125 per year . These salaries can vary for several reasons, such as a captain's work experience, their certifications, licensure, employer and other accreditations.Is 80 too old to go on a cruise? ›
And as many cruise lines pay special mind to accessibility and inclusivity, they make traveling at any age (or solo) all the easier. If you're a senior looking for some post-retirement fun or are a well-seasoned traveler in need of your next adventure, book a cruise today.Can a 90 year old go on a cruise? ›
“Some seniors are quite active, while others are more relaxed.” Just because a family member has dementia, Parkinson's disease or limited mobility doesn't necessarily mean vacationing is off limits. Most cruise lines will work to accommodate guests' needs so that everyone has an enjoyable vacation.
In very general terms, cruising attracts adults ranging in age from their 30s through to their 80s, and you will not find a ship full, exclusively, of 20 year olds.Are cruise ships back to full capacity? ›
Most cruise lines are now operating at full capacity, with the age of Covid restrictions in the rear view mirror.At what capacity are cruise ships sailing 2023? ›
The crop of new cruise ships will collectively add capacity for 38,000 passengers, according to the Cruise Industry New Orderbook for 2023. If each ship sailed seven-day cruises, that adds a potential for nearly 2 million passengers in a calendar year.Is Norwegian limiting capacity? ›
No, we do not currently have any restrictions or limitations for guests with pre-existing health conditions.How much is it for all you can drink on the Norwegian cruise? ›
While this package is limited to guests twenty-one years or older, it also allows you access to every type of soft drink, tea, or other beverage onboard your cruise! The drinks are unlimited, so please enjoy them responsibly. $99.00 USD per person, per day. (20% gratuity not included.)Are cruises back to 100 percent capacity? ›
Ships are all back to 100%
While it was nice for passengers to have less guests around, a less-than-full ship is not practical from a financial viability standpoint and the cruise industry had to get their ships sailing totally full again to maximize profits and make up for all the money lost between 2020-2022.
You'll find this information for each particular sailing on your daily Royal Caribbean Cruise Compass, under the first "Good to Know" header advising key times. Norwegian Cruise Line has also set a 1 a.m. curfew for unaccompanied minors, age 17 and younger.What is happening with NCL? ›
A number of travel publications are reporting that Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is drastically increasing its service charges by an unprecedented 25% for most cabins, effective January 1, 2023. NCL's new rate for most passenger cabins will increase $4 from the current $16 a cabin to $20 cabin per person per day.What is the current capacity of cruise ships? ›
The average, or medium size of cruise ship measures in with a passenger capacity of about 3,000 guests. For example, most of the major cruise lines in the industry today operate ships that hold anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 guests and measure in at about 1,000 feet in length.How many NCL ships are sailing right now? ›
Norwegian Cruise Line currently has 18 trackable ships.
Launched in 2020 but upgraded and modernized over the past years, Wonder of the Seas is proudly ranked as the largest cruise ship in the world as of 2023. It has a total capacity of 6,998 guests with 18 decks to explore, thanks to its total length of 1,118 feet and 236,857 registered tonnage.How many cruise ships have sunk? ›
Most of us know the iconic story of the Titanic, which tragically sunk in 1912. Other than that incident, there have only been 22 cruise ships that have sunk in the last hundred years.What is the highest viewing deck on a ship? ›
The observation deck, called the North Star, is a moving boom with an observation capsule at the end of it. At its highest point, the floor of the capsule reaches 88.6 m above the water line.Which Norwegian ship has bumper cars? ›
Norwegian Cruise Line has revealed the flagship features of its new China-bound ship, Norwegian Joy, including karting, virtual reality experiences, and bumper cars.Is Norwegian a fun cruise ship? ›
Is Norwegian a good cruise line? Yes! Norwegian is built with the modern cruiser in mind. They offer new ships with innovative features and plenty of activities and entertainment to keep guests of all ages happy.What is the most luxurious cruise ship in the world 2023? ›
“Seven Seas Grandeur” from Seven Seas Cruises
The latest “world's most luxurious cruise ship” from Regent Seven Seas Cruises (each new vessel outdoes the last in terms of extreme luxury) debuts in Europe in November, before a season in North and Central America.
Why cruise ships are getting bigger. The trend in the cruise industry is to build bigger ships, so typically the smaller ships are also the older ships. There's lot of great things about older ships such as they being a better value, different itineraries than the usual ship and a more intimate feel.What is the smoothest ride on a cruise ship? ›
In general, the most popular spot to be on a cruise ship is midship on a higher deck because these rooms are centrally located. Moreover, cabins towards the middle of the ship have the reputation of providing a smoother ride when the ocean is rough.What is the most popular cruise ship line? ›
- Royal Caribbean. Royal Caribbean Anthem Of The Sea – Photo: Courtesy Glyn Lowe (Wikicommons) ...
- Disney Cruises. Photo: Disney Cruises. ...
- Celebrity Cruises. ...
- Carnival Cruise Line. ...
- Norwegian Cruise Line. ...
- MSC Cruises. ...
- Holland America Cruise Line. ...
starboard side of the ship is best to stay on. Your decision will depend on a variety of factors, from your stateroom type to your cruise itinerary. Here are helpful tips for choosing which side of the ship will suit you best.
The newest NCL ship is the Norwegian Prima, which was also the first Prima-class ship for the fleet when she debuted in 2022. Prior to that, the Norwegian Encore launched as the fourth Breakaway Plus ship and the largest in the fleet.What is a sail away room on NCL? ›
A Sail Away Inside stateroom guarantees an Inside stateroom or better! Your stateroom may be on any deck and assigned between time of booking up to one day prior to embarkation.What does NCL mean on a cruise ship? ›
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), also known in short as Norwegian, is an American cruise line founded in 1966, incorporated in Bermuda and headquartered in Miami.Is water free on ncl cruises? ›
What is included with the cruise fare? To start off, there are some drinks that are included with the standard cruise fare. Water, lemonade, fruit juices, coffee, tea, regular and chocolate milk are all complimentary.Are masks required on cruises again? ›
Masks are recommended, but not required, in most onboard venues, though you may need to wear them in select venues or certain situations on your cruise. Mask requirements are clearly designated through signage and onboard communications..Are cruise prices going up in 2023? ›
More changes to cruising in 2023 have to do with onboard charges. In addition to raising overall cruise fares, the cruise lines are raising fees for onboard experiences and amenities. What is this? For instance, both Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises have announced increases in internet packages.Is Norwegian Pearl a new ship? ›
Norwegian Pearl is a Jewel-class cruise ship of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), launched in 2006, sailing itineraries primarily around Alaska and the Caribbean.Is the Norwegian Joy a new ship? ›
Norwegian Joy is a new cruise ship built by Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, for Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL).Is Norwegian Dawn a new ship? ›
Norwegian Dawn is a cruise ship that entered service in 2002 and is in operation with Norwegian Cruise Line.Is Norwegian Prima a new ship? ›
Norwegian Prima is a Prima-class cruise ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). She is the first of six new ships in its class and entered service in August 2022.
Norwegian Pearl is not exactly a mega-ship. It's not even a big ship really. At 93,430 gross tonnage (the same size as sister ship Norwegian Gem), this is firmly a mid-size ship.When was the NCL Pearl last refurbished? ›
The most recent Norwegian Pearl refurbishment took place in 2017, as part of the cruise line's 'Norwegian Edge' renovation program. During the drydock period, staterooms and public spaces were updated, bringing the ship in line with its more modern sister vessels.How old is the Norwegian Pearl ship? ›
|Year Last Refurbished||2017|
NCL boasts 17 ships within its fleet, not including the 2022 and 2023 Prima-class vessels. What's the oldest NCL ship? The oldest NCL ship is Norwegian Spirit, built in 1998 by Star Cruises and only becoming an official NCL ship in 2004.What is the sister ship of the Norwegian Encore? ›
Norwegian Encore is a Breakaway Plus-class cruise ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). She is the fourth Breakaway Plus-class ship in the fleet, following sister ships Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Escape, and Norwegian Joy, and debuted in November 2019.What are the sister ships to the Norwegian Bliss? ›
Norwegian Bliss is the sister ship to Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Joy, and Norwegian Encore.How old is Norwegian Jade? ›
The Norwegian Jade was built in 2006 and is among Norwegian's 19 ships in its fleet. The Jade is included in the cruise line's Jewel Class.Is Norwegian a high end cruise? ›
At their core, Norwegian ships are mass-market ships, with entry-level cabins that are affordable to middle-class travelers. However, overlaid across most vessels are high-end suites and services that are at a luxury level, and the line draws a good number of luxury-seeking travelers.What is the sister ship to the Norwegian Prima? ›
Norwegian Viva floated out at Fincantieri shipyard in Venice
Just days after taking delivery of Norwegian Prima, the first in its new Prima-class of cruise ships, Norwegian Cruise Line has marked the float out of her sister ship Norwegian Viva.
Arvia was built in 2022. Find out more about her maiden season here.