Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Lines announced Monday that its newbuild Norwegian Joy will feature a two-deck race track, with enough room to accommodate 10 electric go-karts at one time.
It will be the world’s first race track on an oceangoing vessel, and Norwegian says that it will carry the brand of a prominent builder of supercars. Passengers on the ship's high-end Haven and Concierge class decks will have free access included in their fare.
In addition to the track, the Joy will be equipped with an outdoor laser tag arena, water slides, bumper cars and an upscale shopping "district" – Norwegian's largest shipboard mall. Below the waterline, she features ABB Azipods and the Silverstream hull air lubrication system, which uses bubbles to reduce drag.
The Joy is Norwegian's first vessel for the Chinese market, and she is specifically designed for the purpose. She departed on sea trials in March, and German builder Meyer Werft will deliver her on April 27. Norwegian says that she will be christened in Shanghai at the end of June in a ceremony featuring singer and actor Wang Leehom, the "King of Chinese Pop."
Cruise lines are moving swiftly to capitalize on the growth of the Chinese consumer economy, relocating vessels, founding regional brands and building ships tailored to Chinese preferences. “Asians are getting wealthier. If we look at China alone, at last count they had about 387 billionaires and more than 1,000,000 millionaires,” said Edie Rodriguez, president and CEO of Crystal Cruises, speaking to Channel News Asia last year. In addition to Norwegian, Crystal, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Costa and Star Cruises all have ships that are home-ported in China.