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Giant new Norwegian ship to sail from Miami

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 11/01/2017 Gene Sloan
Norwegian Cruise Line's 4,000-passenger Norwegian Bliss will feature hull art designed by marine life artist Wyland. © Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Cruise Line's 4,000-passenger Norwegian Bliss will feature hull art designed by marine life artist Wyland.

Summers in Alaska, winters in the Caribbean. 

That's the plan for Norwegian Bliss, the giant new ship that Norwegian Cruise Line is rolling out in 2018. 

Norwegian on Tuesday announced the 4,000-passenger vessel would follow up its inaugural summer season in Alaska with winter sailings to the Eastern Caribbean out of Miami. 

Norwegian said the ship would operate seven-day voyages that include stops in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. The trips will kick off on Nov. 17, 2018. 

As it moves from Alaska to the Caribbean in the fall of 2018, Bliss will sail a single five-day Pacific Coastal voyage from Vancouver, B.C. to Los Angeles. The sailing will begin on Sept. 30, 2018 and include calls in Victoria, B.C. and San Francisco. 

The re-positioning to Alaska also will bring a 14-day cruise from Los Angeles to Miami that includes a transit of the Panama Canal's new locks. In addition, Bliss will sail several seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises out of Los Angeles. 

The Mexican Riviera cruises will feature calls in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with an eight-day itinerary also including a stop in Ensenada. The Panama Canal sailing will offer visits to Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo, Mexico; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; and Cartagena, Colombia.

At 167,800 tons, Bliss will rank among the ten largest cruise vessels in the world. On order from Germany's Meyer Werft shipyard, it'll be the third ship in Norwegian's Breakaway-Plus class. It follows Norwegian Escape, which debuted in 2015, and the soon-to-arrive Norwegian Joy.

Members of Norwegian's frequent cruiser program can book the newly announced Caribbean sailings starting today. The trips open for bookings from the general public on Thursday.  

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