Pride of America

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Pride of America seen from Aloha Tower (4677840953).jpg
United States
Name: Pride of America
Owner: Pride of America Ship Holding Inc.[1] (NCL America)[2]
Operator: NCL America
Port of registry: Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Route: Honolulu; Maui (Kahului); Hilo; Kona; Kauai
Ordered: October 6, 1998
Yard number:
  • 7671 (Litton-Ingalls)
  • "Project America" (Lloyd Werft)[1]
Laid down: 10 October 2000[1]
Launched: 16 September 2002[1]
Christened: June 17, 2005, Godmother Elaine Chao
Completed: 7 June 2005[1]
In service: 2005–present
Status: Service Suspended
General characteristics (as designed)
Tonnage: 80,439 GT
Length: 850 ft (260 m)
Capacity: 2,500 passengers
Notes: Purchased by NCL in 2001 as an unfinished vessel following the bankruptcy of American Classic Voyages.
General characteristics (as built)[1]
Beam: 106 ft (32.2 m)
Draught: 26.2 ft (8.0 m)
Depth: 65.8 ft (20.07 m)
Decks: 15
Installed power: 6 × Wärtsilä 8L46C (6 × 8,400 kW)[3]
Speed: 22.2 knots (41.1 km/h; 25.5 mph)[3]
Capacity: 2,186 passengers[4]
Crew: 927

MS Pride of America is a cruise ship operated by NCL America, a division of Norwegian Cruise Lines, to sail itineraries in the Hawaiian Islands. Construction of the ship began in 2000 in the United States as part of a plan for a US-built and US-flagged cruise ship under Project America, but the project failed and she was eventually purchased by Norwegian Cruise Lines and completed in Germany. She was inaugurated in 2005, and was the first new U.S. flagged, deep water cruise ship in nearly fifty years since the SS Argentina of 1958.[5]

Construction and design[edit]

For much of her early build history, Pride of America was known as Project America 1; the first of a pair of 70,000-gross ton cruise ships to be built with heavy federal subsidies. Project America was intended as a means of improving the competitiveness of American shipyards in constructing merchant ships, as well as creating the first US-registered passenger ships of any real size in decades.[6]

The ship was intended to primarily operate in the Hawaiian islands under the revived name of United States Line, and replace the temporary MS Patriot and American Hawaii Cruises aging SS Independence, both American Classic Voyages subsidiary brands.[7] A letter of intent was signed on October 6, 1998, with Litton-Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi to construct two passenger ships for Hawaii inter-island service with options to build up to four additional vessels.[6]The keel was laid down for Project America 1 at the Pascagoula, Mississippi shipyard in October of 2000.[6] The ship was to feature a four-deck-high atrium, a 1,060-seat dining room, an 840-seat theater, a 590-seat cabaret lounge, and a "uniquely Hawaiian" outdoor performance stage, with interiors by designer John McNeece and his company.[8]

Photo of the model for the original design for Pride of America

The Project America program collapsed in 2001. American Classic Voyages, the parent company, filed for bankruptcy in October 2001.[8][9] Work on the ship would be suspended on October 25, 2001, after the United States Maritime Administration decided to cease all funding for the vessels' construction, leaving shipyard no choice but to stop production.[10][11] The ship was 40 percent complete, and 55 percent erected, with 91 percent of the material having already been purchased.[11]

In August of 2002, Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd acquired the 40 percent completed hull, along with all the materials and equipment for the Project America vessels.[12] The hull was towed from Litton-Ingalls Shipbuilding to the Lloyd Werft Shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany for completion as Pride of America for their newly launched NCL America division. In the process, the ship was lengthened from 850 feet (260 m) to 920 feet (280 m), increasing the gross tonnage from 72,000 to more than 80,000.

Under NCL America, the ship was initially slated for completion in 2004, but the delivery date was pushed back to 2005 after a major storm hit the Lloyd Werft shipyard in January 2004 that caused considerable damage to the vessel causing her to sink at her berth.[13][14] Damage assessments reveal that the ship had suffered no damage to the hull, although extensive work was required to repair and replace equipment and interior fixtures, which were submerged for more than a month. The delay caused Norwegian Cruise Line to reshuffle its fleet, and move the Norwegian Sky to the NCL America brand, renaming it Pride of Aloha, and takeover the Pride of America's original 2004 itineraries.[14][15]

The Pride of America was repaired, and completed sea trials in May of 2005. It June 2005, it left Lloyd Werft Shipyard in Germany, passing the retiring fleet mate SS Norway (which had been used to house workers for Pride of America) and sailed for New York City for its christening.[16]

Service history[edit]

The ship was christened at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on June 17, 2005 by then-United States Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao who released the traditional bottle against the ship's hull.[17] The naming ceremony was significant as the first new U.S.-flagged cruise ship in nearly fifty years, and would fly the American flag donated from the U.S. Capital Building on its inaugural voyage.[18]

The Pride of America's pre maiden voyage was an East Coast publicity cruise June 18-24, 2005, with Live with Regis and Kelly broadcasting their morning show from onboard the ship. A special platform was built on top of the sports court for Regis and Kelly's morning desk. The voyage sailed from New York City, north to Boston, then headed south for stops in Philadelphia, Norfolk and ending in Miami.[19]

The Pride of America continued its maiden voyage sailing through the Panama Canal, up to San Francisco and then over to Honolulu, where the ship joined its fleet mate, the Pride of Aloha.[15] The ship was assigned to a weekly itinerary around the Hawaiian Islands with roundtrip cruises from Honolulu, and stopping at Kahului, Hilo, Kailua Kona and Nawiliwili.[20]

Pride of America entered a 14-day, $30 million dry dock on 23 March 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The ship's renovations including the addition of 24 ultra-luxurious suites(replacing the former top deck conference center and observation deck); four Studio staterooms and four inside staterooms; a Brazilian-style steakhouse; ship wide wireless internet connectivity; new carpeting throughout; flat screen televisions in all staterooms; updated décor; upgrades to the fitness center; new directional signage; renovations to the gift shop, photo gallery and art gallery.[21]

Pride of America docked in Hawaii

Pride of America entered a 24-day dry dock period in February 2016,[22] at the BAE Systems San Francisco Ship Repair facility. Normally, the ship uses facilities in Pearl Harbor, but these were already fully booked.[23][24]

During the COVID-19 pandemic on cruise ships, the Hawaii Department of Transportation reported on 8 April 2020 that six crew members of Pride of America had tested positive for COVID-19.[25] Two of the crew members were taken to a hospital for treatment, while the other patients were isolated on board the ship.[25] Another positive case was later announced, bringing the total number of cases to seven.[26]

Following the suspension of cruise operations to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pride of America has not carried passengers since 14 March 2020, and docked at Honolulu Harbor, her home base, with a complement of roughly 500 crew members.[25] This number of crew was later reduced to approximately 140, most of whom are the professional mariners needed to keep the ship operational. In June 2021 she is scheduled to travel to Vigor Shipyards in Portland, Oregon to enter dry dock with about 200 crew members, the other 300 crew heading directly back to their home states.[26]

U.S. flagged cruise ship[edit]

A special exemption on the part of the U.S. government allowed the modified, mostly German-built ship to attain U.S. registry.[27]Since Pride of America is registered in the U.S., she is subject to American labor laws and is staffed by a mostly American crew. This is in contrast to most other cruise ships, which are registered in flag of convenience countries and have mainly foreign crews. In addition, Pride of America has no casino onboard, because she never leaves U.S. waters. The American registry allows the ship to travel solely between U.S. ports, unlike all other foreign flagged cruise ships that must abide by the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886.

The professional Deck and Engine officers on the Pride of America are supplied by the Marine Engineer's Beneficial Association, and the M.E.B.A.'s current president (2021-), Adam Vokac, had sailed as First Assistant Engineer onboard.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Pride of America (24785)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Pride of America (9209221)". Equasis. French Ministry for Transport. Retrieved 25 July 2012.[dead link]
  3. ^ a b c "Pride of America": A dramatic shipbuilding saga is over Archived 1 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Scandinavian Shipping Gazette, 18 October 2006. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Pride of America Review". Cruise Critic. 30 November 2006. Archived from the original on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2009.
  5. ^ "Pride of America". NCL. Archived from the original on 16 December 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2009.
  6. ^ a b c Staff, C. I. N. (23 October 2010). "Archives: American Classic Voyages – Project America". Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  7. ^ "U.S. Lines' MS Patriot Challenges Cascade General". MarineLink. 20 February 2001. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  8. ^ a b Peter, Bruce. (2017). Cruise ships. A design voyage. Narberth: Ferry Publications. ISBN 978-1-911268-08-6. OCLC 1003587263.
  9. ^ Writer, Tom Stieghorst Business. "AMERICAN CLASSIC VOYAGES MOVES INTO BANKRUPTCY". Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  10. ^ "Work Suspended on Cruise Ship". Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  11. ^ a b "AMCV Demise Sinks U.S. Cruise Building Hopes For Now". MarineLink. 5 December 2001. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  12. ^ Street Journal, Evan PerezStaff Reporter of The Wall (21 August 2002). "Norwegian Cruise Line to Finish Project America Ship in Europe". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660.
  13. ^ "M/S PRIDE OF AMERICA (2004)". Archived from the original on 12 February 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2009.[dead link]
  14. ^ a b Homola (NYT), Victor (15 January 2004). "World Briefing | Europe: Germany: Rains Tilt U.S.-Flagged Cruise Ship (Published 2004)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Norwegian Becomes American, Debuts Pride of America with U.S. Hull, U.S. Crew, U.S. Routes and All | Frommer's". Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  16. ^ "S.S. NORWAY". Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  17. ^ "Cruise Ship Sails Under American Flag". Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  18. ^ "Norwegian Becomes American, Debuts Pride of America with U.S. Hull, U.S. Crew, U.S. Routes and All | Frommer's". Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  19. ^ "Live with Regis and Kelly Teams Up With NCL America for a Groundbreaking Full Week of Shows on Board the New Pride of America". itravel magazine. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  20. ^ "Pride of America Cruise Ship: Pride of America Deck Plans". Norwegian Cruise Line. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  21. ^ Mathisen, Oivind (5 September 2012). "Pride of America To Receive Major Enhancement".
  22. ^ "Pride of America Receives Bow to Stern Enhancements".
  23. ^ Kalosh, Anne. "NCLH 8 drydocks in 2016 include Pride of America in SFO". Archived from the original on 6 November 2015.
  24. ^ "Upcoming Cruise Ship Refurbishments". Cruise Critic.
  25. ^ a b c Six COVID-19 cases confirmed on the Pride of America State of Hawaii Department of Transportation
  26. ^ a b 4 Oahu residents to leave Pacific Princess at Honolulu Harbor Monday; 7 Pride of America crew members have COVID-19 Star Advertiser 9 April 2020
  27. ^ Saunders, Aaron. (2013). Giants of the seas : the ships that transformed modern cruising. Barnsley: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4738-5310-2. OCLC 904209672.


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