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When Cruise Ships Turn Into Canvas: Norwegian’s Hull Artwork Guide

As another Norwegian Cruise Line newbuild nears completion, Cruise Industry News digs into the company’s traditional hull artworks.

Norwegian introduced the hull art trend in 2002 with the Norwegian Dawn. Through 2013, Norwegian cruise vessels received simpler design patterns related to their names, the artwork evolved significantly in recent years. 

Starting with the Norwegian Breakaway, the company decided to commission famous artists for the jobs, which now present several different styles, inspirations and motifs.

Here are all the artists hired by Norwegian through the years and their artworks: 

Norwegian Prima
Year: 2022

Artist: Manuel “Peeta” Di Rita

The recently floated out Norwegian Prima (pictured above) will feature the company’s largest hull art yet, with elements going up to the ship’s superstructure.

Inspired by Italian graffiti art, the piece is signed by the Venice-based spraycan artist Manuel Di Rita, better known as “Peeta.”

Encore in Seattle

Norwegian Encore
Year: 2019
Artist: Eduardo Arranz-Bravo

The hull art of the 2019-built Norwegian Encore was created by the Spanish artist Eduardo Arranz-Bravo.

According to Norwegian, the work represents the artist’s modern and abstract style and feature a “labyrinth of color” inspired by Arranz-Bravo’s life by the sea in Barcelona. The piece of art is also meant to pay tribute to the vibrant guest experience for which the Norwegian brand is recognized, the company said.

Norwegian Bliss

Norwegian Bliss
Year: 2018
Artist: Robert Wyland

Entitled “Cruising with the Whales,” the Norwegian Bliss’ hull art was designed by marine life artist Robert Wyland and features an image of a mother humpback whale and her calf as a centerpiece.

With the ship custom-designed for Alaska cruising, the artwork represents the beauty of the destination and the importance of marine conservation, according to Norwegian.

Norwegian Joy

Norwegian Joy
Year: 2017
Artist: Tan Ping

Originally designed for the Chinese market, the 2017-built Norwegian Joy has one of the most distinctive liveries in the fleet.. Created by the Chinese artist Tan Ping, the piece was inspired by the phoenix, an iconic mythical bird believed to reign supreme over all birds of the world. 

According to the artist, the bird is a ubiquitous motif in Chinese culture and symbolizes beauty and good. On the Norwegian Joy, it serves as a bridge across the West and the East and brings Chinese people’s best wishes to the world and everyone on the ship’s path, said Ping.

Norwegian Escape

Norwegian Escape
Year: 2015
Artist: Guy Harvey

The 2015-built Norwegian Escape has hull artw designed by Guy Harvey, a marine wildlife artist who is also an activist for ocean conservation.

With backgrounds as a marine biologist, diver, photographer and angler, Harvey created a design that spans through all the hull and features two undersea scenes that blend seamlessly.

 “The large-scale mural demonstrates the concern and respect that Norwegian and I have for the marine environment through which this ship will travel,” the artist said when the piece was first revealed.

Norwegian Getaway

Norwegian Getaway
Year: 2014
Artist: David “LEBO” Le Batard

The Norwegian Getaway’s hull artwork was commissioned to the Miami-based modern artist and muralist David “LEBO” Le Batard. Inspired by the Florida city, the design features a whimsical tropical ocean theme complete with pelicans and palm trees.

The art is centered around a mythical mermaid, which, according to LEBO, represents humanity’s connection to the sea. Surrounding the mythical creature is a fusion of sea and sky dancing across the 2014-built ship, with three pelicans completing the artist’s version of a tropical paradise.

Norwegian Breakaway

Norwegian Breakaway
Year: 2013
Artist: Peter Max

The 2013-built Norwegian Breakaway was the first ship to be decorated with a commissioned signature artwork on its hull.

Covering over 3,700 square meters of the ship’s hull, the art piece was created by the pop icon Peter Max and has New York City as its central theme.

“The artwork is a composite of New York City and cosmic imagery – the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline, a giant sunburst, planets, stars, and musical notes. That’s my New York! And now Norwegian Breakaway is my New York cruise ship ‘canvas’,”

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