When Norwegian Cruise Line announced that its forthcoming Norwegian Joy would be customized to the China market with onboard attractions like the first racetrack at sea, it turned heads. How in the world are they going to build a go-kart track on a ship?
For answers, we went to the man in charge of the project: Simon Murray, Entertainment Director, New Build Planning and Implementation.
While the cruise line understandably remains mum on whether or not such attractions will eventually make their way to American ships in the future, I wanted to know what prompted the decision to introduce an onboard raceway for Chinese cruising. And it’s all about making a splash in the burgeoning market.
“We thought the racetrack would be cool. It’s obviously highly innovative in addition to that it’s something that’s very much about thrills,” he said. “It’s something a lot of people can do. So, we wanted something that was really going to gather a lot of attention to the vessel.”
Of course, actually making such a feature function on a floating vessel is a whole other challenge, but by teaming up with the shipyard in Germany, they’re making it happen.
“[We have] a great partnership with Meyer Werft,” Murray said. “I suppose they got a few shocked faces when we brought it up, only because normally when you’re building a cruise ship, the top or upper [parts] of the vessel are built of lighter materials, and we want to make sure that everything is safely made for stability.
“It’s really an engineering marvel that we can do it up on the high dec
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