Norwegian Cruise Line Founder Knut Kloster Dies At 91

Sep 21, 2020

Knut Kloster, one of the cruise industry's leading visionaries and entrepreneurs, has died at the of 91. He was the founder of Norwegian Caribbean Lines (today Norwegian Cruise Line) and a short-lived business partner with Ted Arison, founder of Carnival Cruise Line. Kloster was the visionary to convert the SS France to a 2,000-passenger cruise ship SS Norway. The SS Norway was the industry’s first mega-ship to sail during the 80s out of Miami. 

His revolutionary ideas helped shape the modern cruise industry in many ways. Among many revolutionary concepts, he introduced the first private island resort, and plan to build the first 250,000 tons mega-ship in the mid-1980s named Phoenix. 

The Project Phoenix was undertaken by the World City Corporation A/S, which was founded by Knut Ulstein Kloster, to build a 250,000-grt, 5,200-passenger luxury cruise liner, world's largest and most luxurious cruise ships. Back in the late 80s, the cost to build this mega-ship was projected at around $800-million, featuring a marina in the ship’s stern, where four 400- person cruisers will shuttle passengers to and from various ports of call. The Phoenix never materialized because of its size and investment, therefore the shipyards, as well as investors, backed off from this project. Some say that this ship would have been more elaborate than Royal Caribbean Oasis-class ships.

Norwegian Cruise Line has also shared the sad news saying “Knut will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest founding fathers of the cruise industry, not just for his extraordinary accomplishments, but also for the values he championed through his countless acts of compassion. We will sorely miss him, but we look forward to honoring his memory in all that we do. In his honor, we will be dedicating a section of our yet-to-launch PortMiami Terminal in his name and introducing an annual team member recognition award in memory of his humanitarian, environmentalist and innovative spirit.”

Rest in peace, Knut Kloster, and thank you for all you have done for the cruise industry.