Prima by Norwegian Cruise Line - Photo © Francesco Caredda
Prima by Norwegian Cruise Line - Photo © Francesco Caredda

Owner: Norwegian Cruise Line
Builder: Fincantieri
Overall length: 294 M
Beam: 40 M
Gross tonnage: 142,500
Guests (double occupancy): 3,100
Crew: 1,506
Interior design: Rockwell Group (Mandara Spa), SMC Design (Ocean Boulevard), Studio Dado (Atrium), Lissoni&Partners (The Haven)

Interior design: Lissoni&Partners (suites, restaurant, lounge&bars, sundeck)
Main Contractor: Marine Interiors, Molteni&C.
Furnishings: Cassina, De Padova, Living Divani, Fritz Hansen, HAY, Perennials and Sutherland, Dedar, Mario Sirtori, Flos
Flooring: 41zero42
Wallpaper: Vescom
Boiserie and wall cladding: Xilia

Photo credits: Francesco Caredda, courtesy of Lissoni&Partners; courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Once upon a time, life onboard a cruise ship was determined by class – from third to first – something like what still happens on trains in some corners of the planet. Then came the all-inclusive cruises for the masses where the only real difference was in cabin or suite type (internal or external, with or without balcony). Now, with the increasing development of the luxury sector, we are starting to see spaces for “high-spending” passengers, suites upholstered in quality materials, high-end services, and tailor-made aesthetics.

A perfect embodiment of this trend is the Prima, the 3,100-passenger NCL Norwegian ship that takes the “boat-within-a-boat” concept to the next level. Everything was designed to amaze on this jewel of the seas built at the Fincantieri shipyards in Marghera, with 20 decks, 1,600 sleekly designed cabins, and a bow painted by Paduan artist Peeta. Features include a 360° promenade deck christened the Ocean Boulevard, wood-paneled terraces, a sculpture garden called the Concourse, a panoramic lounge, and a beach club.

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Fourteen restaurants take guests on a culinary journey around the world, from the Mediterranean Palomar styled in classic beige and white tones, to the Onda by Scarpetta with its sinuous lines blending the portholes with the softness of the tides, to the “Parisian” Le Bistrot adorned with wood floors and powder-blue armchairs.

The outdoor spaces are the largest ever created on a cruise ship. The different areas of the spa make up a cocoon-like world of massage rooms, a salt grotto, and a scenic thermal water circuit embellished by soft lights and waterfalls.

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Photo © Francesco Caredda

It all seems like it couldn’t be more perfect until you climb to the highest decks and the experience becomes even more exclusive in the area known as the Haven. This intimate, personalized retreat blends Art Deco motifs and French décor references, with “contemporary colors, custom-made furniture, and rigorously selected materials and finishes that infuse the rooms with warmth.

Photo © Francesco Caredda

Greenery is prominent in the lobby and bar areas and the lounges are arranged around winter gardens with floor-to-ceiling shelves like in a private living room,” explains Lissoni & Partners, the studio that designed the interior.

Photo © Francesco Caredda

The 107 spacious suites measure 34-195 sqm to accommodate two to eight people. The bathrooms have showers and tubs in Calacatta marble. All the common areas overlook the sea. The Haven also includes a private sundeck with glass-edged infinity pool, an outdoor spa, and a restaurant styled with back-lit corrugated-glass volumes and large ceiling lamps. Custom-made pieces are flanked by icons of Italian design like Cassina 637 Utrecht armchairs, Dedar and Mario Sirtori fabrics, IMO-certified Vescom wallpaper, Flos lamps, and Living Divani sofas. It feels more like being on a private yacht than on a cruise ship – if the distinction even exists anymore.