The latest addition to the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet is nearing completion, with Norwegian Escape set to debut in Southampton in October. When the first pictures from Meyer Weft were released back in July, it was the aquatic emblazoned bow that turned our heads.
Norwegian Cruise Line are famous for injecting the fun factor into cruising and, according to NCL President and CEO Colin Veitch, those big, bold murals are the first hint of what lay inside: “…the illustrations give each ship an individual personality and flair. Most importantly, our painted hulls convey the sense of fun and freedom that guests will find inside every ship”.
With anticipation building for NCL’s next masterpiece, we took a closer look at the artists behind the bow.
Artist – Guy Harvey
As a marine biologist, diver, photographer and angler, marine wildlife artist Guy Harvey was the ideal man for the job of emblazoning a 1000ft Caribbean-inspired seascape across the bow of Norwegian Escape. Stingrays, turtles, whale sharks and flying fish appear to leap out of the water alongside the main attraction: an enormous swordfish. The outline for the image was projected onto the ship using a laser, before Harvey and his team completed the artwork freehand.
Self-taught in Jamaica, Harvey’s passion for aquatics was inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man & The Sea’.
Artist – Peter Max
When Peter Max painted the bow of Norwegian Breakaway in 2012, it was the latest in a long line of career highs. Considered an American icon of pop art and the country’s most popular living artist, Max has previously served as the official artist for the USA World Cup, Super Bowls and even stamps. He has painted for six US presidents and once had Ronald Reagan add the finishing touch to an art work in the White House before giving it the seal of approval.
His giant mural on NCL Breakaway is a composite of New York City and cosmic imagery, with a giant sunburst, planets, stars and musical notes featured alongside the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.
Artist – David ‘LEBO’ Le Batard
American-Cuban artist David ‘LEBO’ Le Batard was tasked with bringing some Miami heat to Norwegian Getaway, in recognition of the city that would become the ship’s homeport. Famed for his murals and live painting, and inspired by the street art of the South Miami area in which he was raised, LEBO created a scene that reflected what he deemed Miami’s ‘sun, sea, paradise’. A mermaid holds the sun and is surrounded by sun beam swirls, pelicans and palm trees; the ultimate Miami scene!
Prior to creating the masterpiece on Norwegian Getaway, LEBO broke records when he created the world’s largest mosaic mural in Venice in 2008.
…and the rest!
Though they may not be as intricate as those that have followed since, the designs created by Keith Allan set the tone for what was to come. The bows of Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Star and Pride of America were ALL designed by Mozambique-born Allan.