December 17, 2004

NCL plans cruise newbuild at Aker Yards

Aker Yards has today signed a Letter of Intent with NCL Corporation Ltd. ("NCL") for the building a high standard cruise vessel. The LOI, valid until end January 2005, also includes an option for a second ship, for delivery in early 2008, with exercise of the option due by the end of August 2005.

The plan is to build the 89,000 GT Panamax-class cruise vessel in Aker Finnyards' Helsinki shipyard for delivery in spring 2007. The value of the contract to Aker Yards is in the range of EUR 350 to 400 million.

Miami-based NCL together with Hong Kong based parent company Star Cruises Ltd. forms the world's third biggest cruise owner group, operating some twenty cruise vessels.

"For Aker Finnyards this Letter of Intent is a strategic opening to create a new customer relationship as well as a possibility to deliver a new series of vessels," commented Yrjoe Julin, President of Aker Finnyards."We have been able to come to this agreement with NCL based on synergy effects planned from the combination our three Finnish yards."

"We are very pleased to renew our relationship with Aker Finnyards some 16 years after they last built a ship for NCL," said NCL President and CEO Colin Veitch. "By building now in two shipyards instead of our traditional one we can respond to the fast growing demand in our market and achieve our goal of replacing all of our mid-sized ships with large modern ships by the end of this decade. Aker Finnyards is known to be one of the very best builders of high quality large cruise ships and we are looking forward to a rewarding partnership."

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