One of Norwegian Cruise Line's next ships will have a special effects-infused "illusionarium" that's billed as a first of its kind at sea.
The dining and entertainment venue planned for the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Getaway, unveiled today at the annual Cruise Shipping Miami conference, will feature illusions designed by top magicians and come with an extra charge.
"It's an immersive kind of experience," Norwegian CEO Kevin Sheehan told reporters at a press conference to announce the attraction. "When we saw some (plans for) this, we thought it was just unbelievable that we can pull this off on a ship."
Currently under construction at a shipyard in Germany, the Norwegian Getaway will debut in January 2014 and sail year-round out of Miami.
Sheehan says the Illusionarium on the Getaway is being designed in collaboration with Broadway director and choreographer Patricia Wilcox, Tony Award-winning scenic designer David Gallo and veteran magician Jeff Hobson.
The venue is inspired by the science fiction of Jules Verne, the artistry of legendary magicians such as Harry Houdini and the popularity of recent blockbuster films that feature supernatural characters, Sheehan adds. The center of the attraction will be a video dome that's 30 feet in diameter that "will transport audiences to mystical places."
There will be 12 dinner show performances a week in the Illusionarium, which will have a capacity for more than 200 people. Sheehan did not say what the performances would cost.
Sheehan today also announced that the Norwegian Getaway will join the soon-to-debut Norwegian Breakaway in featuring a deck-top fireworks show at the end of every voyage. Only the Disney Cruise Line currently offers fireworks at sea.
The Norwegian Getaway and the Norwegian Breakaway, a sister ship, were named by a USA TODAY reader in 2011 in a contest held here at usatoday.com. The Norwegian Breakaway will be christened on May 8 in New York.