With a bunch of innovative features including a complex of cabins for solo travelers and Blue Man Group performing on board, Norwegian Epic made a big splash when it debuted in 2010. Spending the summers in Europe and winters in Miami, the innovative, 4,100-passenger Freestyle ship has since received accolades on both sides of the pond. Europe will soon see a lot more of Epic.
The revolutionary ship will be homeported year-round in Barcelona, beginning in April 2015. The announcement came from Norwegian CEO Kevin Sheehan, speaking aboard the line’s latest ship, Norwegian Getaway, during a preview cruise in Europe.
“We are excited to announce that our largest ship, Norwegian Epic, will homeport in Europe year-round in 2015,” Sheehan said. “Norwegian Epic’s innovative accommodations, world-class entertainment and plethora of dining options are the perfect complement to the European cruise market, one of the most sought-after cruise destinations in the world.”
There’s a message here. Norwegian, as it expands with new ships – which in addition to the 4,000-passenger Getaway include large ships due in 2015 and 2017 – sees Europe as a continuing hot market. Epic is the third-largest ship in the world (after Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas).
Sheehan said Epic would do a variety of itineraries in Europe, details to be announced in mid-March. He did not say whether or not the line would continue to also operate the smaller Norwegian Spirit and Norwegian Jade in Europe on a year-round basis.