Norwegian Spirit

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The Norwegian Spirit.jpg
Norwegian Spirit in Venice in July 2018
  • 1998–2004: SuperStar Leo
  • 2004–present: Norwegian Spirit
Port of registry
BuilderMeyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany[4]
Laid down5 October 1996
Launched11 July 1998[3]
Completed25 September 1998
In service1998
StatusIn Service
General characteristics
Class and typeLeo-class cruise ship
Tonnage75,904 GT [5]
Length879 ft (267.92 m) [2]
Beam105 ft (32.00 m) [2]
Height163 ft (49.68 m)
Draft26 ft (7.92 m)
Decks14 [4]
Installed power4 ×  MAN-B&W 14V48/60 (4 × 14,700 kW) [3]
  • 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
  • 24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph) (maximum) [4]
Capacity2,018 passengers [5]
Crew912 [5]

Norwegian Spirit is a Leo-class cruise ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). She was built in 1998 for Star Cruises as SuperStar Leo by the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. In 2004 she was transferred to NCL and renamed Norwegian Spirit.[2][3]


The vessel as SuperStar Leo in Sydney Harbour, 2004
The vessel as SuperStar Leo in Sydney Harbour, 2004

The vessel was constructed by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. Named SuperStar Leo in 1998, the vessel was the first of Star Cruises' Leo class.[4] She was then homeported in Singapore in 1998 and operated 2–5 night cruises to Malaysia and Thailand. One year later, SuperStar Virgo arrived in Singapore. She was then based in Hong Kong on 10 September 1999 and offered 1–5 night cruises to China, Hainan, Vietnam and the South China Sea.[3]

In 2003, SuperStar Leo was transferred to Australia due to SARS in Asia and she returned to Hong Kong afterwards.[3]

In 2004, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) was planning to launch Pride of America. However, just prior to completion, the vessel partially sank when a storm hit the Lloyd Werft shipyards. To meet the already booked cruises for Pride of America, Norwegian Sky was immediately rushed into service as Pride of Aloha. To compensate for the unexpected events, SuperStar Leo was immediately transferred to the NCL fleet, her planned cruises cancelled (thus forcing Star Cruises to refund or re-book passengers), and after only two weeks of refits, the vessel emerged as Norwegian Spirit, ready to assume the planned cruises of Norwegian Sky.[3]

In January 2020 Norwegian Spirit underwent a major renovation project in Marseille, France.[6] The ship received six new restaurants, seven new bars and lounges, enhanced public areas, new and modernized staterooms and new hull art. The drydock took 43 days and cost over $100 million.[5][7]

Vessel class[edit]

Norwegian Spirit is a Leo-class cruise ship and was the first ship of this design. She was followed by her sister ship Explorer Dream (formerly SuperStar Virgo) which is currently operated by Dream Cruises. No other ships of this particular design were constructed.[4]


Four 14-cylinder MAN B&W 14V48 medium speed diesel engines, each producing 14,700 kilowatts (19,700 hp), driving ABB electric propulsion motors coupled to twin propellers.[3][4]


Norwegian Spirit at Sydney's Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay, 22 December 2022

Norwegian Spirit was originally intended to operate cruises in Asia in 2020 following her refurbishment. However, this program was cancelled in February 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns[8] and the ship was instead to operate cruises to the Greek Isles for the summer 2020 season.[5] However, this program was also cancelled due to NCL suspending all sailings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[9] The ship is currently slated to resume operations in May 2022 with cruises in the South Pacific and Hawaii.[10]


In 2005, Norwegian Spirit hit a pier in Juneau, Alaska, causing minor damage. In 2007, Norwegian Spirit again struck a pier, this time in New York Harbor. In both cases, repairs were made to the ship. On 25 May 2008, at approximately 9:00 am, Norwegian Spirit contacted Pier 90 in New York City at the end of an eight-day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. She damaged the parking garage support columns and the bow of the ship.[11][3][12]

In January 2006, the ship encountered heavy seas and rogue waves off the coast of Tortola resulting in the ship listing, broken windows and 11 flooded passenger cabins.[3][13]

In March 2008 a passenger from Norwegian Spirit died following a zip-lining accident on an NCL-sponsored shore excursion in Roatán, Honduras.[13]

In November 2009 a passenger from Norwegian Spirit died after being shot in a robbery during a port call in Santo Tomás de Castilla, Guatemala.[13]

In June 2011 a passenger jumped overboard from Norwegian Spirit in the Mississippi River 3 hours after the ship had set sail from New Orleans, Louisiana. A rescue boat was deployed from the ship and the man was recovered alive.[13]

In April 2018 a passenger went missing after reportedly going overboard whilst the ship was sailing off the coast of Cabo de Palos, Spain. A search operation was launched by the Spanish Coastguard, however the man was never found.[14][15]

In October 2019, passengers held protests on a two-week cruise of Europe after planned stops were cancelled, toilets became blocked, and the cruise line offered as compensation a 25 percent discount off future cruises.[16]

In March 2020, passengers of Norwegian Spirit were banned from disembarking in Port Victoria, Seychelles, amid fears over the coronavirus and the announcement of a temporary closing for cruise ships.[17]


In 2003, Japanese TV drama Netsuretsu teki chuuka hanten took place on SuperStar Leo.[18]

In 2012, Norwegian Spirit was briefly featured in a scene in 21 Jump Street whilst docked in New Orleans, Louisiana.[19][12]


  1. ^ "NORWEGIAN SPIRIT (Passenger Ship) Registered in Bahamas - Vessel details, Current position and Voyage information - IMO 9141065, MMSI 311746000, Call Sign C6TQ6". Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d "Norwegian Spirit Itinerary, Current Position, Ship Review". CruiseMapper. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Norwegian Spirit". Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "SuperStar Leo | Built by MEYER WERFT". MEYER WERFT. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Norwegian Spirit Cruise Ship | Norwegian Spirit Deck Plans | Norwegian Cruise Line". Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  6. ^ Parker, Doug (28 October 2019). "How $100 Million Will Transform Classic Norwegian Ship [Photos]". Cruise Radio – Daily Updates On The Cruise Industry. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Norwegian Cruise Line unveils refurbished Norwegian Spirit". Cruise Trade News. 17 February 2020. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  8. ^ "Norwegian Spirit's 2020 Asia program is canceled". 10 February 2020. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Norwegian Cruise Line Suspended Sailings Information". Norwegian Cruise Line. Retrieved 4 February 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Staff, C. I. N. (14 January 2022). "Rest of Norwegian Cruise Line Fleet Set For Staggered Return". Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  11. ^ "Disabling Accidents". Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  12. ^ a b "8 Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Norwegian Spirit Cruise Ship". CruiseBe. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  13. ^ a b c d "Norwegian Spirit accidents and incidents". CruiseMapper. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  14. ^ Spain, GERARD COUZENS in (3 April 2018). "Cruise ship tourist goes overboard – Spanish coastguard launch frantic search". Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Where is Omar? Family of the Missing Norwegian Spirit Passenger Offers $10.000 Reward". Crew Center. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  16. ^ "'We want a refund': Passengers on Norwegian Spirit cruise ship protest on board". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 12 October 2019. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  17. ^ Ernesta, Sharon (9 March 2020). "Seychelles closes cruise ship season amidst fears of COVID–19". Seychelles News Agency. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  18. ^ Netsuretsu teki chuuka hanten (TV Series 2003– ) - IMDb, retrieved 4 February 2021
  19. ^ "21 Cruise Movies That Will Make You Want to Sail". Retrieved 4 February 2021.

External links[edit]