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U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao to Christen Pride of America

[ U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao ]

NCL America has announced that the Honorable Elaine L. Chao, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, has graciously agreed to serve as Godmother of its newest cruise ship, Pride of America. The ship is the largest U.S. Flagged cruise ship ever built and the first newly-built cruise ship to join the US register in half a century. Secretary Chao will christen Pride of America in a ceremony aboard the ship in New York City on June 17, 2005.

"Secretary Chao came to this country as a young immigrant, speaking no English, when she was eight years old. Today, she is the first Asian-American woman appointed to serve in the President's cabinet in history and has shown what can be accomplished in America with hard work and determination," said Colin Veitch, NCL Corporation's president and chief executive officer. "She is an inspiring and accomplished leader who we are very proud to have serve as Godmother of Pride of America."

Pride of America employs 100 percent U.S. officers and crew and will generate millions of dollars for Hawai'i and the U.S. economy.

"The Pride of America is the first newly constructed ocean going U.S.- flagged cruise ship in 50 years," Secretary Chao said. "It will provide thousands of jobs for American workers."

The 81,000-ton Pride of America is NCL America's second U.S.-flag ship, joining Pride of Aloha which began inter-island Hawai'i cruising in July 2004. Pride of Hawai'i, NCL America's third U.S. Flagged cruise ship will be delivered in 2006. Once all three U.S.-flag cruise ships are operational, employing nearly 4,000 American seafarers, NCL America will be the largest private employer of U.S. merchant mariners in the nation.

Secretary Elaine Chao is the nation's 24th Secretary of Labor. She is the first Asian-American woman appointed to a Presidential cabinet position in U.S. history. When nominating Secretary Chao, President George W. Bush described her as an individual with "strong executive talent, compassion, and commitment to helping people build better lives."

Other government positions held by Secretary Chao include Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, Deputy Maritime Administrator in the U.S. Department of Transportation. She was also Director of the Peace Corps, served as President and Chief Executive of United Way of America, and was a Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Secretary Chao grew up in Queens, New York after her family emigrated to the United States aboard a freighter from Taiwan when she was 8 years old to join her father. She received her M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and her undergraduate degree in economics from Mount Holyoke College. Secretary Chao is married to the United States Senate Majority Whip, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

During her inaugural season, Pride of America will offer three historic itineraries from the exciting shores of Miami through the Panama Canal, to a voyage from San Francisco across the Pacific to her new home in Hawai'i. Once in Hawai'i this July, Pride of America will offer seven-day cruises from Honolulu which will feature a day in Hilo, Hawai'i; two days in Kahului, Maui; a day in Kona, Hawai'i; and two days in Nawiliwili, Kauai.

Flat-Panel TVs Enhance Freestyle Dining

NCL will roll out a new feature to its Freestyle Dining program: flat-panel TVs around the ships that tell passengers how long the wait for dinner is at the vessel's restaurants. The restaurant names on-screen will be color-coded according to the number of diners and, if the eatery is full, how long the wait will be. Staff at each of the restaurants will be able to make reservations for guests at other restaurants. The system, which has been tested on the Norwegian Spirit, will officially debut on the Pride of America by the time the ship reaches Miami, and will roll out on the Norwegian Jewel and then the rest of the fleet.

Star Cruises Signs Agreement with Jos. L. Meyer

Star Cruises has signed an agreement with German shipbuilder Jos. L. Meyer to build a US$500 million ship. Star Cruises, the world's third largest cruise ship operator, will pay a fifth of the cost from its existing funds and borrow the balance. No details of the vessel were provided, but Star Cruises said the vessel would probably join its North American operations under the NCL brand name.

"Live with Regis and Kelly" Teams Up With NCL America for a
Groundbreaking Full Week of Shows on Board the New Pride of America

First New U.S. Flagged Cruise Ship in Half a Century Will Make a Special Trip to America's Historic East Coast Cities

[ Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa of 'Live with Regis & Kelly' ]

From June 18-24, 2005, "Live with Regis and Kelly" hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa will take on their most exciting adventure yet, as the top morning talk show becomes the first national program to broadcast a full week of shows (airing June 20-24) from aboard a cruise ship. "Live" is partnering with NCL America and their stunning new ship, Pride of America, cruising the historic ports of the Eastern United States on her maiden voyage.

Pride of America is the first new U.S. flagged cruise ship in a half a century and is the biggest passenger ship ever built for the U.S. registry. The ship boasts an all-American crew and celebrates a "Best of America" theme, with public rooms inspired by the diverse regions of the United States.


Regis and Kelly have commandeered the whole ship, and have given away free cruises to 1,000 contest winners and fans to join them for this spectacular weeklong vacation at sea through "Live's Pride of America Cruisin Reunion" watch-to-win contest. Every day from May 16th to June 10th, Regis and Kelly gave away 20 cruises to one lucky winner, so they can create their own reunion and invite a group of 20 family members and friends to come along on the Pride of America.

"This cruise will be one of our most exciting location events," noted Michael Gelman, executive producer of "Live." "It's the first time we've ever done shows live from a moving ship, and the first time we've given away a thousand trips to our viewers. There's nothing more all-American than a family reunion, and it's going to be amazing to see all of these happy groups of families and friends joining us for the week on this gorgeous new ship."

"This is an unprecedented event for the cruise industry and we are very excited to be working with 'Live with Regis and Kelly' on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity aboard the new Pride of America," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO, NCL Corporation. "We look forward to welcoming aboard Regis and Kelly, all of their contest winners and their invited family and friends. NCL America is proud to share with them this momentous occasion, as we launch the largest U.S. flagged cruise ship in maritime history."

The special "Live with Regis and Kelly" cruise aboard Pride of America will set sail from New York on June 18th, with a special one-time-only itinerary up the East Coast, only possible because Pride of America proudly flies the Stars and Stripes. The cruise will travel north from New York to Boston, then head south for stops in Philadelphia, Norfolk and Miami. A "Live with Regis and Kelly" broadcast will originate from each location, with one show live from the high seas. After the "Live" cruise, Pride of America will make her way to her homeport of Honolulu.

Pride of America is the biggest U.S. flagged cruise ship ever built and the first in 50 years. From the Capitol Atrium to a New Orleans Mardi Gras Cabaret Lounge to a Hawaii-themed Aloha Café and Waikiki Bar, passengers will be able to experience the flavor of the U.S. while visiting the beautiful 50th state. The ship features the innovative attributes of NCL's newest Freestyle Cruising fleet. She features eight restaurants offering two main restaurants plus multiple alternative dining venues, from formal to casual including a 24-hour dining location.

Pride of America has over 660 balcony staterooms, a wide range of family-friendly interconnecting cabins, a new category of Family Suites, state-of-the-art entertainment venues, three pools, extensive children's facilities, an abundance of spacious public rooms and the largest dedicated meeting facilities at sea. All inspired by the diverse regions of America.

"Live with Regis and Kelly" is executive produced by Michael Gelman, and has been distributed in national syndication by Buena Vista Television since 1988. Produced by WABC-TV in New York, "Live with Regis and Kelly" airs in more than 200 markets across the country.

SS Norway Transferring to Star Cruises

[The SS NORWAY docked at the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany]

The SS Norway (the original SS France) is being towed to Malaysia from Bremerhaven, Germany, where she was docked for almost two years at the Meyer Werft shipyard, according to Star Cruises, parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line.

The classic liner is going to Port Klang, Malaysia, where she will be readied for a "new venture." Speculation abounds concerning replacement of her engines and interior furnishings.

NCL Announces Itinerary for Pride of America
Company Outlines Full 2005 Hawai'i Deployment Including New Maui Embarkations

NCL Corporation (NCL) has unveiled the itinerary for Pride of America, the second of three U.S.-flagged ships that will sail Hawai'i under the NCL America brand. With a delivery date of June 6, 2005 and after several inaugural cruises, Pride of America will begin sailing seven-day roundtrip cruises from Honolulu on July 23, 2005 as well as offering three-day and four-day inter-island cruises between Honolulu and Maui.

In addition, the company announced that it would offer a Maui embarkation/disembarkation option on the Honolulu-based Pride of Aloha, resulting in a seven-day round-trip cruise from Maui as well as the current seven-day round-trip cruise from Honolulu on Pride of Aloha. NCL's third Hawai'i-based ship, Norwegian Wind, will continue her popular 10- and 11-day Hawai'i and Fanning Island itineraries from Honolulu. Norwegian Wind sails under the Norwegian Cruise Line brand.

With today's announcements, NCL will offer from Honolulu two seven-day inter-island cruises, one on Pride of Aloha (Sundays) and one on Pride of America (Saturdays); a 10/11 day itinerary on Norwegian Wind (departing alternate Wednesdays and Saturdays) and a three-night inter-island cruise to Maui via the Big Island of Hawai'i on Pride of America. From Maui, NCL will offer a seven-night inter-island cruise on Pride of Aloha and a four-night inter-island cruise from Maui to Honolulu via the Big Island of Hawai'i and Kauai on Pride of America.

"With two NCL America ships sailing inter-island cruises and a Norwegian Cruise Line ship sailing a Hawai'i/Fanning Island itinerary this will be the largest cruise deployment ever for Hawai'i," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL America.

Pride of America's roundtrip seven-day cruises from Honolulu feature a day in Hilo, Hawai'i; two days in Kahului, Maui; a day in Kona, Hawai'i; and two days in Nawiliwili, Kauai. The three-day cruise will embark in Honolulu every Saturday and include: one day in Hilo, Hawai'i; and two days in Kahului, Maui disembarking there every Tuesday. The four-day cruise will embark in Kahului, Maui every Tuesday and include: one day in Kona, Hawai'i; two days in Nawiliwili, Kauai; and disembarking every Saturday in Honolulu, O'ahu.

Third U.S. Flagged and U.S. Crewed Ship for NCL America
2400-Passenger Pride of Hawai'i to Launch in Summer of 2006

On Independence Day, NCL America announced the addition of a third U.S. Flagged ship to Hawai'i to be delivered in the summer of 2006. The Pride of Hawai'i is the second ship in the original Project America program and the third ship of the brand's U.S.-Flagged fleet, joining Pride of Aloha and Pride of America.

"This announcement completes our plan of bringing three ships to Hawai'i by 2006 and creating more than 3,000 U.S. seafarer jobs," said Colin Veitch, NCL America's president and CEO. "Pride of Aloha is already a clear commercial success and we are keen to get all three ships into service as quickly as possible. We are proud to be the company to revive modern U.S.-Flagged passenger shipping and developing a new and exciting cruise destination for consumers and travel agents alike.

"Consumers will now have the choice to sail inter island Freestyle cruises on three different NCL America ships, all sharing one important element - a U.S. crew hailing mainly from Hawai'i."

On July 4, Pride of Aloha, the first of the three ships, began sailing her seven-day inter island cruises roundtrip from Honolulu. Two days prior to that, on July 2, the company announced that the second ship, Pride of America, would be delivered on June 6, 2005. Construction work on Pride of America had been set back by an accident in the shipyard in January but has now been recommenced.

Details on both Pride of America's and Pride of Hawai'i's deployments will be announced soon.

Pride of Hawai'i will be the twin sister of the recently announced Bahamas-flagged Norwegian Jewel. She will be a 92,000-ton vessel and the seventh new Freestyle Cruising ship to be added to the NCL fleet in a five-year period. Like Norwegian Jewel, Pride of Hawai'i will feature 10 restaurants, dynamic public rooms, two Garden Villas and 10 courtyard villas with a private courtyard and sundeck. Her 10-restaurant lineup will include Cagney's Steak House, Blue Lagoon and NCL's signature restaurant, Le Bistro as well as an Asian complex featuring a sushi bar, a teppaynaki table and a Pacific Fusion restaurant.

The ship will feature NCL's new concept - a "Bar Central" -- featuring a martini bar, a champagne and wine bar, and a beer and whisky pub all connected but with three distinct personalities.

The interior design scheme will highlight many of the key aspects of Hawai'i's history and culture. Pride of Hawai'i will have 1188 staterooms and accommodate just under 2,400 guests (double occupancy). She will also feature NCL's latest standards in cabins, with rich cherry wood finishing, refrigerators, tea and coffee makers in every room, and a much larger bathroom unit than other competing ships, containing separate WC, shower, and washstand compartments separated by sliding doors in the outside, balcony and suite cabins.

The ship will also be family friendly with a large number of cabins (including suites and junior-suites) that can interconnect to create a two, three, four or five bedroom area suitable for small or large families and an expansive kids and teen center. Other amenities include a spa and state-of-the-art fitness center, an Internet cafe and a 1,000-seat theater. Further information on the design of the vessel and artist's renderings will be available in the coming months.

Meyer Werft Shipyard Starts Production of New Cruise Ship

The Meyer Werft Shipyard of Papenburg/Germany has started construction of the new cruise ship Pride of Hawaii for Norwegian Cruise Line in the presence of Nils Nordh, Executive Vice President Corporate Newbuilding of Norwegian Cruise Line / Star Cruises. Mr. Nordh pressed the start button of the computer-controlled cutting machine inside the shipyard's prefabrication hall. This marks the start of production of the second in a series of two luxury liners with a length overall of 294 metres and a breadth of 32.20 metres. The vessels will have a speed of 25 knots and will be capable of carrying 2,376 passengers in more than 1,188 cabins. This new vessel now under construction will be delivered in Spring 2006. The Norwegian Jewel is the first ship out of this series for delivery in summer 2005 which is under construction at Meyer Werft shipyard ships for Norwegian Cruise Line. These new ships for Norwegian Cruise Line will set new standards in both design and technology. The cruise vessels will be fitted with so-called podded drives. The energy required will be generated by five diesel engines. The vessel will operate for the brand NCL America and will sail under the US flag.

Pride of America to Be Delivered in June 2005

NCL America announces it has concluded negotiations with Lloyd Werft in Germany, its insurers and banks, and agreed a new delivery date for the Pride of America on June 6, 2005.

"We are pleased and relieved that this long period of uncertainty has now ended and we can plan with confidence for the introduction of our second U.S. flagged vessel in Hawai'i," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL America. "Pride of America will be the first new-built U.S. flagged cruise ship in 50 years and is going to be a fantastic addition to our fleet."

Pride of America was originally scheduled for delivery at the end of April 2004 but work was halted after an accident in the yard in January during which the ship took on water in a storm and sank up to deck three. The yard subsequently filed for receivership as a result of the accident and has been operating under the protection of a receiver since then. Since January, the ship has been raised and salvage work on the damaged areas has been completed. Extensive discussions among NCL, Lloyd Werft, the underwriting syndicate that insured the casualty, NCL's banks and Lloyd Werft's banks have resulted in a detailed repair specification and a new work plan for completion of the vessel.

The repairs will be extensive and will be fully covered by the settlement reached with the insurers. The completion works represent a continuation of the contractual arrangements already in place between NCL and Lloyd Werft. NCL will fund the completion works as they are carried out and the total cost of the ship to NCL once delivered will not be materially different than if the January incident had not occurred.

Pride of America's inaugural deployment and regular seven-day inter-island Hawai'i schedule will be announced next week and go on sale shortly thereafter. On July 4th, NCL America christened Pride of Aloha, the first modern U.S.-flag cruise ship in almost 50 years. That day, the ship will begin sailing seven-day, round-trip Hawai'i itineraries, visiting all four main islands and giving passengers up to 96 hours in port. Ports of call include: Honolulu, O'ahu; an overnight in Nawiliwili, Kaua'i; Hilo, Hawai'i; Kona, Hawai'i; and an overnight in Kahului, Maui.

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