Norwegian's Newest Cruise Ship Has a Go-kart Track, Infinity Pools, and an Open-air Food Hall

The Norwegian Viva is the line's newest mega-ship, slated to launch with a huge array of bells and whistles in summer 2023.

The newest ship from Norwegian Cruise Line will make its debut in the Mediterranean in June 2023, with room for more than 3,200 passengers, multiple infinity pools, an open-air food hall, and an outdoor go-kart track among its countless amenities.

Norwegian Viva was unveiled on Jan. 12, 2022, revealing details on summer itineraries that will take on iconic ports like Athens and Lisbon, along with gateways to Italy including Civitavecchia, near Rome, and Trieste, not far from Venice. After crossing the Atlantic in November, the Viva will home port in San Juan, Puerto Rico, beginning on Dec. 15, 2023.

Norwegian Cruise Line's Newest Ship, Viva
Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

"We at NCL visit more ports than any other contemporary cruise line, more than Royal [Caribbean], more than Princess, certainly more than Carnival," said Norwegian Cruise Line president and CEO Harry Sommer, in an interview with T+L. "This will just add to that reputation, if you will, that we keep on going to new and exciting places."

The newly announced ship will feature many of the same over-the-top amenities found on the previously announced Norwegian Prima, a sister vessel of Viva that sets sail this summer. That's no coincidence, Sommer told T+L.

Infinity pool deck on Norwegian Cruise Line's Newest Ship, Viva
Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

"The Prima was off the charts fantastic for us," Sommer said. "It was the first new ship design for us in a decade, and the concepts of space, service, design, experience, [those] resonated tremendously well with our guests and, as you know, it was a record-breaking launch for us."

"So, I was like, 'Oh my God, we have a hit,' so we're not gonna change too much with [Viva]," Sommer added. "The big focus here is on itineraries. We have some nice itineraries on Prima, you know, around Iceland, Norway, Amsterdam, London (Southampton), which are really, really being well received. But on Viva, we're gonna notch it up. We're doing, basically, a tour of all the Mediterranean: Lisbon, Ibiza, Palma, Barcelona, Florence, Rome, Naples, Sicily, Dubrovnik, Venice, Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, Istanbul — and that's like a third of the ports we're visiting."

Go Cart race track on Norwegian Cruise Line's Newest Ship, Viva
Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Guests aboard the 3,219-passenger vessel will have a huge range of options when it comes to staterooms, with budget-friendly choices as well as splurge-worthy suites. Among the most enviable choices will be 107 luxury suites in an exclusive area of the ship known as The Haven by Norwegian, reserved only for suite guests. In addition to the spacious staterooms, The Haven also offers a private restaurant, sun deck, outdoor spa, and infinity pool.

"We've found that, for slightly more affluent guests, Haven really is the perfect balance. They can have the big-ship experience," Sommer said, "plus all the benefits of the small ship where you get butler and concierge service, upscale decor, larger cabin sizes, really it's the best of both worlds." Sommer added, with a laugh, "It sounds like such a cliche but, you know, I've personally experienced it!"

The Local Bar on Norwegian Cruise Line's Newest Ship, Viva
Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Dining choices will include the Indulge Food Hall, with 11 distinct concepts, as well as an Italian restaurant, Onda by Scarpetta, that's already a favorite aboard the Norwegian Encore. "Everything that we've done on Prima, we're announcing for Viva as well," Sommer said. "We are going to have our next big reveal for food in early March."

In all, Viva will have more than 20 dining venues, Sommer indicated. The new vessel will also have a three-level go-kart track, the Viva Speedway, which can accommodate up to 15 racers, and a series of thrill rides first seen on Prima, such as The Drop and The Rush, that will offer pulse-quickening moments.

Onda by Scarpetta restaurant on Norwegian Cruise Line's Newest Ship, Viva
Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

The Viva will also come with some features that will reduce the environmental impact of the vessel. Like its sister ship, Viva will have a selective catalytic reduction system to help eliminate many sulfur and nitrogen oxides, Norwegian says, something that's in line with current International Maritime Organization standards. Viva will also have shore power capabilities, which have the potential to dramatically reduce in-port emissions by letting the ship tap into cleaner energy from the grid.

Norwegian Viva will offer eight-, nine-, and 10-day trips beginning June 15, 2023. Rates start at $2,099 per person for the ship's first departure, a nine-day trip from Lisbon to Civitavecchia, Italy, near Rome.

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