Cruises not really your style? Well, what if you could indulge your family and/or friends' ocean-voyage fantasies and then completely ignore them while lapping on a top-deck go-kart track?
The cruise-ship Encore, operated by Norwegian Cruise Lines and sailing from various locales on the U.S. East Coast, may be just your ticket. Among many other conventional cruise staples, the Encore boasts what Norwegian calls the "largest racetrack at sea," with part of it dangling 13 feet off the liner's deck.
The Norwegian Encore Speedway, as the cruise line calls it, also offers entertainment for those who don't want to get in on the wheel-to-wheel action. Friends who tag along to spectate can get in on the action Formula E style by aiming a laser at their preferred drivers to give them a brief boost of power.
A single turn behind the wheel costs $15 and cruisers can buy an unlimited pass for their whole time at sea for $199.95.
Encore joins Bliss and Joy in Norwegian's fleet of track-equipped cruise ships. Joy was the first to sail, and its on-board track was constructed in partnership with Scuderia Ferrari. It offers quick straights and plenty of corners for passengers to test their skills.
It's comforting to see new go-kart tracks popping up in unusual places. With the slow death of small-budget amusement parks, it seems more likely that a track will be spotted in an abandoned space behind a shopping center than in an exciting new locale.
Fortunately, others are trying to keep the fun alive for children of all ages. The Clifton Hill tourist area in Niagara Falls, Canada, began work on a multi-story go-kart track in 2017. Go for the falls, stay for the walls?
Norwegian's Encore operates along the eastern seaboard and Caribbean, to and from Bermuda, and on a trans-Atlantic route between New York and London.