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Thursday 7 April 2022

Cruising, NFTs, the Metaverse, artworks and other oddities

 OK. I am a silly old-fashioned fart. Mentions of block chains and non fungible tokens do my head in. 

But this is apparently serious travel news, so I pass it on in bewilderment (just don't pay me in crypto currency).

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) today announced it will sail into the Metaverse (what?) with the launch of the cruise industry’s first collection of NFTs (these are non fungible tokens). 

NCL will offer a collection of six NFTs for auction and sale to celebrate the launch of the company’s Norwegian Prima Class on Wednesday, April 13 on NCL’s soon-to-launch online NFT marketplace. 

The NFT art pieces were created by Manuel Di Rita, widely known as Peeta (one name, how very hip!) the Italian artist who designed the hull art on the Norwegian Prima and her sister vessel Norwegian Viva. 

The first of the six art pieces will be auctioned at the starting rate of USD$2,500, with the remaining NFTs sold for prices beginning at USD$250. 

The winner of the auction will be awarded a balcony stateroom on one of Norwegian Prima’s inaugural US voyages, setting sail from Miami, Florida - the cruise capital of the world.

“We are so excited to partner with Peeta on this first for our brand and for the industry,” said NCL President and CEO Harry Sommer. 

“Peeta is a talented artist who has brought the magic and beauty of the ocean to our ships, so we are happy to share this with our guests and to donate the proceeds of this new venture to Teach For America, an organization and a cause very near and dear to our hearts.”

The first piece in the NFT collection resembles the hull art on Norwegian Prima, offering the buyer an opportunity to own a piece of the Norwegian Prima for years to come. 

The additional five NFT pieces showcase some of the innovative 3-D designs often depicted in Peeta’s works and will be on display on board Norwegian Prima, including in the ship’s three-level Penrose Atrium.

“We strive to adopt the most cutting-edge technology at Norwegian Cruise Line and strongly believe that providing our guests the opportunity to own digital assets that connect them with an unforgettable cruise experience is an essential step forward,” said Scott Piccolo, Chief Digital Experience Officer at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. 

“We are incredibly proud to work with Peeta on the cruise industry’s first ever NFT collection.”

All proceeds from the NFT auction and sales will be donated to Teach For America. Teach For America finds, develops, and supports a network of leaders who expand opportunities for children. 

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