First Photo as Much Anticipated Norwegian Epic Ship Set for Debut

Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery today of the most-anticipated new cruise ship of the year, the 4,200-passenger Norwegian Epic. This is the first photo of the ship, seen during sea trials this week.

The 153,000-ton Epic, one of the largest cruise ships and NCL's biggest ever, was built at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

The ship's landmark features include 21 dining venues, the largest bowl waterslide at sea, the first shipboard Ice Bar, the largest cruise ship spa, performances by "Blue Man Group," cabins with curvy walls, single cabins and a lounge for solo travelers and a combination circus/dinner show.

NCL said the ship "performed very well and exceeded expectations" during sea trials, when more than 60 different aspects of the Epic's performance were tested.

Epic will be seen by invited guests – including AOL Travel News – for the first time on a two-day preview cruise this weekend from Rotterdam, Holland.

Epic takes on its first paying passengers on June 24 for a transatlantic cruise from Southampton, England, to New York. The ship will be christened by legendary performer Reba McEntire on July 2 in New York, and will be the host venue for the 34th Annual Macy's 4th of July Fireworks event, broadcast live on NBC on July 4.

Following the New York festivities, Epic heads to its new home base of Miami, where it will cruise on alternating weeklong eastern and western Caribbean itineraries.

Photo courtesy of Bernard Biger, STX
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