What do you get when you take a 4,028-passenger cruise ship, slather it in beer logos, deck it out with beer swag and sail it into New York Harbor? Why, the floating “Bud Light Hotel,” of course!
Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) -- the (surprise: not American) parent company of Bud Light -- announced Tuesday that it would open the doors of its Bud Light Hotel in “an unexpected location” this year: the Hudson River. Next to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum at Pier 88 on the west shore of Midtown Manhattan, to be exact.
The floating hotel will completely take over the soon-to-debut Norwegian Getaway when it docks in New York on Jan. 30, 2014, for a four-day stint timed to coincide with, you guessed it, Super Bowl XLVII. The NFL championship will be played across the river in New Jersey, and if ever there was a more appropriate event for a beer-themed cruise ship, this is it.
Nearly 10 times larger than previous Bud Light Hotels (which debuted at the Super Bowl four years ago), the world’s newest cruise ship can hold more than 4,000 guests in some 1,900 staterooms, and will vastly increase the number of available hotel rooms in the greater New York metropolitan area over the Super Bowl weekend.
"Bringing the Super Bowl to New York City is a special experience for NFL fans, and we wanted Bud Light Hotel to bring something unique to the table that's never been seen before," Rob McCarthy, vice president of Bud Light, explained Tuesday. "Creating this massive footprint at the Intrepid, one of the most iconic landmarks in the city, immediately establishes the Bud Light Hotel as a premier destination during Super Bowl weekend."
Bud Light’s go-big-or-go-home approach includes the construction of heated venues to host concerts and parties each evening of its New York stint on the Norwegian Getaway. It will also host pre-parties and late night after parties on Super Bowl Sunday in an event space that will encompass more than 300,000 square feet. EA Sports, Pandora and Pepsi have all signed on to host events on the ship. Anheuser-Busch InBev said concert headliners and additional sponsors would be announced in the coming weeks.
The forthcoming Norwegian cruise ship, currently under construction at a shipyard in Germany, is expected to be one of the largest and most technologically advanced passenger vessels in the world, boasting 18 decks, 22 bars and lounges and 27 dining menus (in addition to spas, waterslides, fun zones and other typical cruise amenities). While it is docked at Pier 88 for the Super Bowl, workers will deck out the interior of the ship with Bud Light pillows, hand towels, key cards and the like, whilst undertaking an even greater makeover on the exterior.
Super Bowl XLVII will kick off at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Feb. 2, 2014. If beer, cruising and footfall sound like the perfect trifecta, tickets to Bud Light Hotel go on sale soon.
Mark Johanson is the travel editor at the International Business Times. He has traveled to and written about more than 30 nations and territories on every continent except...