It is not a first, but still extraordinary: karting at sea. Just like the Norwegian Joy, the Norwegian Bliss, the latest cruise ship built for cruise operator Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), features an actual karting track. To build it, the cruise company once again turned to the specialist in surface courses: Bolidt. The extensively tested Bolideck® Racetrack is wear resistant, safe and feels like a proper race track. Bolidt also installed synthetic decking on the balconies, terraces and as flooring in public areas aboard the Norwegian Bliss.
Following the Norwegian Joy and the Norwegian Escape, the Norwegian Bliss is the third ship in NCL's Breakaway Plus Class, boasting equally impressive numbers. The 333 metre long, 167,800 gt Norwegian Bliss can accommodate close to 4,000 passengers. German shipbuilder Meyer Werft handed the ship over to NCL in Papenburg in mid-April of this year. The Norwegian Bliss sails from different ports to various destinations including the Caribbean, the Mexican Riviera and Alaska. The hull of the ship is as artistic as it is spectacular: designed by American artist Robert Wylan, the artwork features a humpback whale as its centrepiece, symbolising the beauty of Alaska. It shows what travelling on the Norwegian Bliss stands for: ‘Cruising with the whales’.
The ship has 20 decks, of which the top ones are reserved for the exclusive The Haven Suites with their own sun deck, panoramic views and a 24-hour butler service. In addition to restaurants, bars, duty-free shops, a fitness centre and a casino, the Norwegian Bliss offers two multi-storey waterslides and a Galaxy Pavilion with virtual reality games, racing simulators, bumper cars and more.
The most spectacular attraction on board is of course the go-kart track, at 300 metres almost a third longer than the one on sister ship Norwegian Joy. The circuit, located on the ship's upper decks, allows 20 karts to race around at any one time and includes features such as a viewing platform and a covered pit lane. German karting technology specialist RiMO Supply designed the track to specifications set by NCL.
The racing surface of the kart track at sea comes from Bolidt, just like on the Norwegian Joy. The synthetic decking material Bolideck® Racetrack was developed by Bolidt on the basis of established road surfacing technology. The result is a durable, wear-resistant, non-slip and, therefore, safe material that is specifically tailored for go-kart racing.
The balconies, terraces and the floors in public spaces on board the Norwegian Bliss have also been fitted with synthetic decking systems from Bolidt.
In total, the project involved the installation of 6,700m2 of Bolideck® Select Hard, 8,900m2 of Bolideck® Select Soft and 5,575m2 of Bolideck® Future Teak. The Norwegian Bliss is further proof of the excellent (and longstanding) relationship between NCL and Bolidt. For the period ahead, Bolidt has been awarded significant projects on 6 NCL ships. The contract covers the yet to be built Norwegian Encore and refit work on 5 other cruise ships, totalling 46,000m2 of marine decking.
Bolidt is the world’s leading supplier of decking solutions for cruise ships: to date, nearly 400 vessels have been provided with synthetic systems from Bolidt. There is still a lot to be done in 2018: not only will Bolidt’s specialised application teams work on 10 new ocean cruise ships and 5 new river cruisers, they will also carry out refit projects on as many as 64 ships.
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