July 22, 2003
NCL says detailed bids from shipyards are largely in line with the preliminary indications given, but with one major and critical exception. Although all of the work around the damaged boiler can be completed within the time frame first envisaged, the delivery timeframe for the new replacement boiler itself is estimated to be between seven to 12 months, a timeframe that is significantly longer than first indicated to NCL.
Marine boilers, notes NCL, are manufactured by specialized companies and then delivered to a shipyard for installation.
The detailed specification and bidding process has revealed that no boiler maker is able to meet the ambitious repair deadline initially indicated to NCL by the shipyards. NCL now estimates that the earliest the ship could return to service is spring of 2004; however it is not yet possible to be certain of this timeframe.
In June, with the information available at the time, the company announced the ship would return for the October 5th sailing after more than four months out of service. Travel agents and consumers have been requesting definitive information regarding that return date in order to make marketing and vacation plans.
NCL says it regrets having to revise the October 5th date and recognizes that it would not be fair or appropriate to announce a further launch date with the repair information now available to it. Therefore, the company will take the ship off sale until a new, firm date can be established in which NCL, travel agents, and consumers alike can have confidence.
All passengers currently booked on the Norway will receive a full refund and an offer of a $50 onboard credit (OBC) per person ($100 maximum per stateroom) to switch their plans to other NCL ships. Passengers should rebook by September 30, 2003 to receive the OBC offer.