For much of her early (pre-commissioning) history, Pride of America was known as Project America 1; the first of a pair of 70,000 ton cruise ships to be built at the Litton-Ingalls shipyard in Mississippi with heavy federal subsidies. Project America was intended as a means of improving the competitiveness of American shipyards in performing commercial (non-military) construction, as well as creating the first American-registered passenger ships of any real size in decades. Project America program collapsed in 2001, when American Classic Voyages Inc., the company that was to operate the ships under its United States Lines division, filed for bankruptcy.

Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd acquired the unfinished ship and had her towed to Germany for completion as Pride of America for their newly launched NCL America division. In the process, she was lengthened from 850 feet (260 m). to 920 feet (280 m), increasing the gross tonnage from 72,000 to more than 80,000. Under NCL America, the ship was initially slated for completion in 2004, but the delivery date was pushed back to 2005 after a major storm hit the Lloyd Werft shipyard and caused considerable damage to the vessel, partially sinking her at its berth.DISA International was engaged to perform diving and  general assistance during the salvage operations of the cruise liner.

Client: Smit
Period: 2005
Location: Bremerhaven, Germany

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