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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

Norwegian Joy Christened In Anticipation of Norwegian Bliss

PHOTO: Norwegian Cruise Line christens Norwegian Joy in Shanghai. (photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

Following a preview of the ship under final construction, Norwegian Cruise Linehas officially christened its latest Norwegian Joy in Shanghai.

Singer-songwriter, music producer, actor and film director Wang Leehom served as the vessel’s godfather as it enters the Chinese cruise market.

“After years spent carefully designing this amazing vessel, my team and I are both proud and thrilled to finally christen the world’s first cruise ship custom-designed for the wonderful people of China,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., in a press release.

“This is truly a special moment for the entire Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings family, our valued travel partners, honored guests and dedicated officers and crew across our fleet.”

The 167,725-gross-ton, 3,883-guest ship now sets out to offer “First Class at Sea” experiences for its Chinese passengers. The ship’s signature hull art by artist Tan Ping leads the charge with a vibrant phoenix—representing beauty and good luck in Chinese culture—at the bow.

Appropriately, the christening festivities opened with an interpretive dance performance of the mythical bird by dancer and choreographer Yabin Wang.

The ceremony’s climax came when Wang Leehom, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings executives and regional government officials together broke bottles of champagne on a replica ship hull. This action simultaneously signaled an oversized bottle of Veuve Cliquot to smash against the side of the actual ship’s hull. The maritime tradition is enacted to wish good luck to the vessel and all who sail aboard.

Finishing off the event was a live stage performance from godfather Wang Leehom—who also serves as brand ambassador for Norwegian Joy—to the delight of the Chinese and Western VIP guests.

“I’m honored to officially welcome this incredible ship to China and share the cruising lifestyle with Chinese guests as the Godfather for Norwegian Joy,” said Wang Leehom, in the press release.

The christening concludes Norwegian Joy’s month-long grand inaugural tour throughout the ports of Singapore, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, as well as homeports of Shanghai and Tianjin.

Norwegian Joy is a game changer, with a number of innovative new attractions such as a double-decker go-kart racetrack, an open-air laser tag course and the Galaxy Pavilion full of additional simulator rides.

The ship may be destined for the Chinese market, but a number of its features are anticipated to carry over to its upcoming sister ship, the Norwegian Bliss, in Alaska and the Caribbean beginning in 2018.

New features include several impressive observation lounges perfect for taking in the passing scenery, as well as The Haven by Norwegian exclusive ship-within-a-ship accommodations. You can also be sure the Bliss will have plenty of its own exciting attractions in addition to lots of dining and entertainment options soon to be announced.

This post first appeared on TravelPulse.

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