The Best Norwegian Cruise Line Hull Art
Photo by James Shillinglaw, all others courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line
When simple white-washed bows predominate the industry, one of the things that sets Norwegian Cruise Line apart from the competition is its signature hull art. Foreign lines like AIDA Cruises and P&O Cruises also sport designs, but Norwegian is the only domestic one besides Princess Cruises and its upcoming Majestic Princess, which merely exhibits an enlarged logo on the bow. Norwegian’s are decidedly more distinct to each ship in the fleet, and these six are our favorites.
For years, Norwegian had showcased colorful designs on its bows, but the 2013 Norwegian Breakaway was the first to feature a specific world-renowned artist. In order to symbolize the spirit of New York City, where the ship is based year-round, the company selected pop artist Peter Max to don the Breakaway hull with his graphic stylings. The result is a vibrantly geometric representation of the NYC skyline followed by cosmic planets and led by the artist’s signature Statue of Liberty “liberty head” icon.
Like the Breakaway and Getaway before her, the new Norwegian Escape also exhibits the work of an acclaimed artist. This time around, marine wildlife artist Guy Harvey depicts his signature sailfish literally spearheading a tropical design filled with sting rays, sea turtles, whale sharks and other fish appropriate to its Miami homeport and Caribbean itineraries. The organic elements also stand nicely apart from the angular geometry of the earlier Breakaway design.
Perhaps the most vibrantly colored hull of the bunch is the Norwegian Getaway, with its sinuous curves crafted by graphic artist Lebo. A fantastical portrait of a swimming mermaid at the bow – outlined by cool blues and greens and warm reds and oranges – stretches from pelicans, waves and the palm tree-lined shoreside behind at the stern. The entire design spreads out across a greater length closer to the one on the Getaway than the Breakaway.
Before the Breakaway, the classic ships displayed more abstract swatches and flourishes as well as symbolic repetition, but the Norwegian Spirit is more illustrative as a precursor to the newer designs that followed. A flowing set of waves is breached by a pair of dolphins jumping ahead of a crowned female figurehead that transforms the blue waters into a rainbow of colors that extend beyond, telling more of a story than most.
The Norwegian Sun highlights a simpler overall design colored with gradients of oranges and reds, but it’s unique for featuring a design that extends above the promenade deck, unlike the others. The central glowing sun here is fully applied to the forward superstructure of the ship with a drop shadow effect that makes the entire design appear three-dimensional with a bright pop from the surface.
Pride of America
The Pride of America is not the most architecturally beautiful ship with its forward-heavy forecastle, but the patriotic hull art more than makes up for it. The stars and stripes come to life on the front half with a lovely red, white and blue graphic trailing from an abstractly rendered bald eagle’s head at the bow. The overall effect is both dramatic and subtle for a perfect artistic balance.
More by Jason Leppert
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