Sailing backwards, Norwegian Getaway got underway at approximately 10pm (local time in Germany), and made a narrow passage through the ship yard’s locks, with only 1.6 meters clearance separating the ship from the “bumpers” that were specially installed along the starboard side of the locks. This very tedious maneuver took approximately 1.5 hours at a maximum speed of only 0.2 knots. The precise navigation was led by a team of two located on the bridge, with one navigation officer in charge of overseeing the bow maneuvers and the other overseeing the movement of the stern. It was extremely important that not too much force was placed on the bumpers, which can only support a light touch by the ship, which measures 1063 feet long and 130 feet wide; therefore, minimum speed and minimum pressure on the bumpers was essential.
After passing through the locks, Norwegian Getaway continued along the river, stern first. Due to the strong propulsion in the aft section of the vessel, traveling stern first helps with maneuverability which is a key component when navigating the vessel through such narrow passages. Before reaching her final destination in Eemshaven, Germany at 5pm (local time in Germany) Friday, heading toward the North Sea, Norwegian Getaway passed through additional narrow passages including the locks in Papenburg, which allow only 1.5 meter clearance on either side; Weener Bridge in Weener; Jann-Berghaus Bridge in Leer; and Ems-Barrier in Gandersum.
Meanwhile in Italy, Costa Cruises' future flagship, the US$739 million Costa Diadema, was floated out Friday during a technical launch ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy. The 132,500-ton, 3,724-passenger ship is scheduled for delivery Oct. 30, 2014.
Costa Diadema's technical launch ceremony followed a long-established seafaring tradition, beginning with the welding of a coin at the base of what was once the mainmast, a custom thought to bring good luck to the ship. The ship’s madrina or godmother, Franca Grasso, a member of CostaClub chosen from among more than 12,000 guests who sailed on Costa ships in the Mediterranean during October and November 2013, cut the ribbon to break a bottle of champagne against the bow of the ship. The dry-dock basin was filled with water, and the ship was floated for the first time.
Among many innovations on Costa Diadema will be food and wine venues Vinoteca, Birreria (beer house), Japanese Teppanyaki, Piazza Pizza and Gelateria. New entertainment offerings include Country Rock Club, featuring "classic rock" music, and the Star Laser room, offering interactive laser games including Laser Maze. Portobello Market Piazza is an 11,840-square-foot area with designer stores and retail outlets.
In winter 2014-15 Costa Diadema will be deployed on a seven-night itinerary departing Savona and calling at Marseille, France; Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Civitavecchia (Rome) and La Spezia (Florence), Italy.
Image Courtesy Norwegian Cruise Line