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Tuesday, August 24, 1999 Published at 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK


Norwegian Dream - luxury afloat

The Norwegian Dream - glamour on the high seas

The Norwegian Dream, badly damaged after a collision with a cargo ship in the English Channel, offers the height of luxury on its cruises around the world.

Part of the American-owned Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, the Bahamian-registered vessel was carrying 1,726 passengers and 600 crew - close to capacity - on its latest voyage.

Built in 1992 and weighing 50,760 tonnes, the 750ft ship had an extensive refurbishment in 1998 which involved "stretching" the mid-section to create 500 extra berths.

Golf at sea

Passengers on the ill-fated trip had paid between £1,415 and £2,575 per person for a 13-day cruise of the Scandinavian capitals, plus stops in Germany and Russia.

Following the revamp, the Norwegian Dream had a new casino, revamped sun deck with two pools and a bar that passengers can swim up to.

It also offers a nightclub, children's room, five restaurants and a conference centre.

Sports facilities include a golf driving area, a basketball court and tennis courts.

Expanding market

Cabins are spacious, some with suites and balconies, dress is semi-formal and the food mainly American style.

Norwegian Cruise Line, based in Nassau in the Bahama, was the pioneer of one-class Caribbean fly-cruising, where passengers jet out to ships and then cruise.

The revamping of its fleet was part of a major push in the rapidly-expanding cruise market of the late 1990s.

The company is regarded as having more British influence than many other American-owned lines, and the average age of passengers is lower because it caters for children.

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