SHANGHAI: Imagine having a race track to speed around in the middle of the ocean. It will not be far-fetched, come mid-2017 when a Chinese cruise liner goes into service from the port of Shanghai.
The ship Norwegian Joy is being built by Norwegian Cruise Line and will be its most innovative and luxurious ship ever, catering for rich Chinese. Norwegian Cruise Line, based in Miami, is part-owned by Malaysian-based Genting Group.
At the top of the ship, guests will take the ride of a lifetime on a two-level competitive racetrack- the first ever at sea. Cruisers can race family and friends in go-karts and even share a photo of their first-place finish. Afterwards, they can challenge one another to a game of laser tag in the open-air course.
An actual race car has been adapted into a racing simulator. Other motoring-themed activities organised on the ship include hovercraft bumper cars and a range of car and flight simulators.
Not everyone is hot for the race track, with some complaining on Norwegian Cruise Line's Facebook page that they go on a cruise holiday to relax and not listen to all the ruckus from the tracks, preferring the cruise operator build a full-size swimming pool on board. Others slammed the track as gimmicky and question the rationale of providing activities that exists on land.
Norwegian Joy has a capacity of 3,900 guests and promises to deliver "First Class at Sea" experiences such as VIP accommodation, concierge service, shopping and engaging entertainment. Accommodation offerings also include staterooms designed specifically for families and a multitude of connecting staterooms, for extended families travelling together.