Name history: Superstar Leo, Norwegian Spirit
Built 1998, Meyer Werft Papenburg, Germany
Tonnage 75 904 GT
Length 268,60 m
Width 32,20 m
Draugth 7,90 m
2 018 passengers (double occupancy)
2 475 passenger berths
4 MAN-B&W diesels, combined 58 800 kW
2 bow thrusters
Speed 24 knots
For a relatively recently built cruise ship, the Norwegian Spirit actually has a bit of history to her. She was completed in 1998 by Meyer Weft as the first newbuilt ship for Star Cruises as the Superstar Leo (Kværner Masa-Yards in Finland were one of the other bidders to build her), placed on short cruises from Singapore. With the arrival of the sister ship Superstar Virgo the following year, the Superstar Leo was cascaded to Hong Kong.
Additional newbuilds were planned for Star Cruises, but after the company acquired Norwegian Cruise Line 2000, the newbuilds entered service in the NCL fleet. This fate also expected the Superstar Leo: the delayed delivery of the Pride of America in 2004 left NCL one ship short, and the Superstar Leo was transferred to NCL as the Norwegian Spirit to cover for the lack of tonnage. She was never to return to the Star Cruises fleet, staying with NCL even after Star Cruises sold first 50% of the company and subsequently reducing their share to only a small minority shareholding. Indeed, the Norwegian Spirit remains with NCL today, now their smallest ship.
The photos below show the Norwegian Spirit departing from Funchal in the afternoon of 20 January 2018, photographed from the children's playground in Santa Catarina Park. As per the usual, click on the images to see them in larger size.
|Not one of the greatest places for photography as far as direction of light is concerned, but... not bad either.|
|Palm trees look very night, writing this from Finland currently covered in thick blanket of snow.|
|Finally the ship turned so that I could actually photograph the lit side.|
|Okay, maybe one close-up of the ship too.|
|Funchal being as it is, the ship dropped off pilot after a few hundred meters; you can see the pilot cutter alongside here.|