We all know that the word “Norwegian” can be (relatively) hard to spell for those unfamiliar with it. Vowels are always difficult to keep track of, and “Norwegian” has plenty of them, making it hard to “sound out,” to resort to first-grade parlance. It is for this reason that one might question the wisdom of naming a cruise line “Norwegian Cruise Line.” The name is butchered all the time in the searches we get: “Norweigian Cruise Line,” “Norweigen Cruise Line,” and so on. If you can’t even spell the company’s name, how are you going to look it up? (Ok, obviously it’s not that hard, but still.) How did Norwegian Cruise Line come to be, and what is Norwegian Cruise Line anyway?
Norwegian Cruise Line began in 1966, although this is bit anachronistic, as the company was called Norwegian Caribbean Line when it was founded. (It remained so named until 1987, by which time NCL offered far more than just Caribbean cruises.) The company was started by Ted Arison, an Israeli businessman who went on to found Carnival Cruise Line, and Knut Kloster, a Norwegian, which helps explain why the cruise line adopted its name, despite the spelling difficulties to which it would inevitably give rise. Essentially since its beginning, NCL has grown steadily. The cruise line began with one small ship (it weighed only 830 tons), and now the company has a fleet of 11 vessels spread across five classes. (For the sake of comparison, consider that the smallest ship in NCL’s current fleet is 77,104 tons.) NCL is also planning on adding four new ships to its fleet over the next four years.
It wasn’t until the 21st century that NCL became the cruise line many people know it as today. It was in the year 2000 that the company introduced the concept of “free style cruising,” which in essence allows passengers to set their own schedule. For instance, passengers can dine when and where they want, and no rigid dress code is imposed. We’ve written about Norwegian Cruise Line and its freestyle cruising philosophy before, so we encourage you to check out that article if you are interested in learning more about NCL in its current form.
So, to wrap things up, Norwegian Cruise Line is quite a success story, despite its formidable name. It operates a large fleet of ships that travel all over the world, and in total it controls nearly eight percent of the total cruise market, making it the third largest operator behind the two giants (Carnival and Royal Caribbean International) of the industry. If you are interested in learning more about the company, here is a link to the Norwegian Cruise Line website in case you don’t feel comfortable spelling the name into a search engine.