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March 18, 2004

SS Norway to become hotel?

A team conducting the insurance adjustment on Pride of America at Lloyd Werft, Bremerhaven is close to wrapping up, according to Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Colin Veitch. Meanwhile, 180 people are at work on board to ensure preservation of the ship's components in preparation for repair work to begin. Pride of America was partly submerged for several weeks after a heavy storm on January 14.

In a press conference yesterday at the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention, Colin Veitch made several another announcements for the NCL brand.

As NCL continues its fleet renewal program of adding bigger and newer ships, Veitch noted that, "regretfully" the S/S Norway will not return to the North American cruise market. The company continues to evaluate appropriate options for the vessel; these may include its use as a floating hotel

SuperStar Leo will be permanently deployed in the NCL fleet after its initial Alaska season and be renamed Norwegian Spirit.

Norwegian Sea will be transferred to the Star Cruises fleet in Spring of 2005 enabling NCL's parent company to go forward with its plans to modify its fleet profile in Asia with relatively modern vessels of medium capacity rather than mega ships. Medium sized ships offer greater deployment flexibility and more diversification of capacity in a developing market where demand patterns have yet to be established.

"This move once again demonstrates the advantage of having a diverse fleet in two divergent markets that can be strategically redeployed as part of an ever changing global marketplace," Veitch said. "The redeployment of a mid-size vessel such as Norwegian Sea to Star Cruises is optimal for the Asian market and utilizing a state-of-the-art mega ship such as SuperStar Leo is ideal in the extremely competitive North American market."

In October 2005, Norwegian Dream will take over Norwegian Sea's year round cruises out of Houston.

NCL will be increasing its deployment in Alaska in 2005 with an additional ship bringing its total to four ships cruising Alaska's Inside Passage. Further details will be announced in the next few weeks

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