Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Norwegian Breakaway Keel Laying

Photo courtesy Meyer Werft
Norwegian Breakaway
Officially Under Construction

Papenbug, Germany - Meyer Werft Shipyard

The keel laying of the cruise ship with the yard number S.678 was celebrated at the MEYER WERFT shipyard on Friday, May 4. The first of 73 blocks of the 144,000 GT vessel was lifted into the covered building dock II. 

In the dock, Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s CEO, laid the traditional "lucky coin", before the block was put down by the 800-ton crane.

The ship's first block that weighs more than 350 tons marks the start of the ship's construction in the yard's building dock. 

Norwegian Breakaway is scheduled for delivery in spring 2013. It is the first of two new ships to be built for Norwegian Cruise Line.  The ship will accommodate 4000 passengers and more than 1500 crew members. 

The shipyard also cut the first piece of steel for the construction of sister ship Norwegian Getaway, which is set for delivery in spring 2014.

Traditional Keel Laying Ceremony

The maritime industry is one that is filled with traditions that live on today.   One of those traditions is the laying of the keel ceremony, which is marked by a celebration that includes the placement of a ceremonial coin under the new ship's keel for good luck.   In modern times,  laying down of the keel is when the first block, or section of the ship, is lowered into the building dock.  This marks the initial step in construction of a ship, so by shipbuilding tradition, the construction is dated from this event. 

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