Norwegian Cruise Line fleet
Review of Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line (ncl.com) was founded in 1966 (under the name "Norwegian Caribbean Line") by two shipping magnates - Knut Kloster (Norwegian, 1929-2020) and Ted Arison (Israeli, 1924-1999).
Passenger shipping operations started with one vessel (cruiseferry/combined cruise ship and car ferry) operating on short and cheap Caribbean roundtrips from the USA. When Ted Arison left NCL in 1972 (to establish CCL-Carnival Cruise Lines), Knut Kloster acquired more ships for NCL's Caribbean operations.
Company history and changes
In 2014, NCLH's major shareholders were three corporations - Genting Group (Malaysian/25%), Apollo Global Management (American/24%), TPG Capital (American/7%), while the remaining stocks were publicly owned.
NCL's current President and CEO is David J. Herrera (since July 2023) who succeeded Harry J. Sommer (2020-2023).
NCLH's current President and CEO (since July 2023) is Harry J. Sommer, who succeeded Frank J. Del Rio (2015-2023). NCLH's Executive VP and CFO (Chief Financial Officer) is Mark Kempa.
In 2023-2025, Frank Del Rio serves NCLH as a Senior Advisor to the Board of Directors.
- David Herrera (with NCLH since 2015) previously served as NCL’s Chief Consumer Sales and Marketing Officer (as well as NCL's Senior VP of Strategy and Corporate Development). In the period 2012-2015, he was employed by Prestige Cruise Holdings as Senior Advisor to Jason Montague (Prestige's CEO and Chairman). Along with Herrera, in 2023, Adam Malone was promoted to Chief Marketing Officer, succeeding Michael Tomoleoni.
- Prior to his NCLH employment, Frank Del Rio founded Oceania Cruises in 2002 (together with (Bob Binder and Joe Watters) and in 2002-2014 was the President of Prestige Cruise International Inc (now Prestige Cruise Holdings Inc/the parent company of Oceania and regent) until its acquisition by NCL in September 2014.
NCLH's SVP, Port Development & Construction Management team is led by Juan Kuryla, who in 2014-2021 served as PortMiami's Director and CEO. NCLH's Executive VP of Vessel Operations is Patrik Dahlgren, who in June 2023 succeeded Robin Lindsay (now NCLH's Executive VP of Newbuilds and Refurbishments).
In 2017, NCLH had worldwide cruise market share 9,5% (passengers) and 12,8% (revenue). NCLH (shipowner) owns and manages the fleets of three subsidiary companies/sister-brands - NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania and RSSC-Regent Seven Seas. Stats for 2020-Q4 show NCLH as the world's 4th-largest cruise shipowner by combined fleet's passenger capacity (8,3%), preceded by Carnival (39%), Royal Caribbean (24%) and MSC (11,5%).
NCLH's ownership is equally shared by Star Cruises (subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong / GHK multinational corporation specializing in resorts, leisure, and gambling) and Apollo Global Management (among the world's largest alternative asset management companies).
- In 2011, NCL had around 8% global market share. As of 2018, NCL's global market share is around 20%, ranking it world's 3rd largest passenger shipping company (after Carnival and RCCL-RCG).
- In January 2013 NCL went public. In 2013, the company had revenues USD 2,57 billion (13% increase over 2012).
- On August 31, 2014, was announced that NCLH is in "advanced talks" to buy the Miami-based Prestige Cruise Holdings Inc (owner of RSSC-Regent and Oceania /combined fleet of 8 top-luxury ships with total berths ~6500) for USD 3,025 billion (including debt's assumption). Prestige's owner (Apollo Global Management) also owns 20% of NCLH. On September 2 was announced the acquisition agreement. On November 19 the acquisition of Prestige Cruises International was completed.
- In mid-August 2017, Apollo, GHK and TPG Global affiliated funds started selling 15 million NCLH shares to a group of underwriters (Barclays Capital, Citigroup Global Markets. Goldman Sachs). The negotiated fixed price per share was USD 54.57, or total value USD 0,8185 billion.
- Until 2015, GHK was NCLH's principal shareholder, when the corporation started selling down its stake in order to buy Crystal Cruises, expand Star Cruises in Asia and create (in 2016) the premium brand Dream Cruises.
On February 21, 2012, NCL Corporation Ltd (fully owned by NCLH) acquired Sixthman Ltd (2001-founded music festival company) for USD 7,5 million. Since 2012, Sixthman operates as a theme cruise charter company serving mainly NCL.
In 2018, NCLH had 8 ships on order (7x for NCL, 1x for RSSC) with deliveries planned for 2019-2027. The newest class (PRIMA/fka LEONARDO) has GT tonnage 142,500 tons and passenger capacity 3300. For the PRIMA-class ships, NCL trademarked the names Aqua, Bella, Luna, Ombra, Prima, Vela, Viva, and Ultima (all with prefix Norwegian).
On July 30, 2018, following the industry's "eco-trend", NCL announced banning fleetwide single-use plastic straws. The policy also includes the private islands Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas) and Harvest Caye (Belize). As result, annually are eliminated 50+ million plastic straws.
In June 2019, NCL announced its exclusive partnership with Scarpetta Restaurants via LDV Hospitality (USA-based boutique hospitality company specializing in unique restaurant and bar experiences). By this deal, on the newbuild Norwegian Encore (2019) was introduced fleet's first "Onda by Scarpetta" - specialty restaurant offering dining premium experiences fleetwide. The new restaurant joins Scarpetta's land-based restaurants in NYC, The Hamptons (Long Island NY), Miami FL, Philadelphia PA, Newport RI, Las Vegas NV, and London OH. "Onda by Scarpetta" restaurant's menu showcases the unique flavors of modern Italian cuisine featuring a selection of beautifully presented seafood and signature dishes, including daily handmade pasta and traditional gourmet desserts. The new Scarpetta restaurant is similarly designed as a land-based venue, with an interior featuring walnut wood and Calacatta marble.
Since January 2020, NCL customers pay USD 9,95 per room service order. The mandatory fee was introduced in 2015 (April). Currently, from this rule are excluded only Haven Suite passengers and the Continental Breakfast orders.
On January 1, 2020, NCL became the industry's first major company to eliminate single-use plastic beverage bottles fleetwide (via partnership with the 2012-founded JUST Goods Inc).
In August 2021, NCL signed with Starbucks a partnership for delivering the coffee brand fleetwide (on all liners by 2022-Q4) as well as on NCL's private island resorts in Bahamas (Great Stirrup Cay) and Belize (Harvest Caye). By this deal, Starbucks coffees are available at all restaurants (including MDRs), plus at self-serve stations at the buffet-style restaurant Garden Cafe (on select ships). Starbucks was introduced by NCL in 2018 (on Norwegian Bliss), while Norwegian Sky became the world's ever-first ship to offer Starbucks' Nitro Cold Brew (nitrogen-infused beer).
On June 6, 2022, NCLH announced an expansion of its fleetwide sustainability program "Sail & Sustain". Extending its animal welfare policy, the shipowner is now fully committed to responsible animal food sourcing practices (regarding pork, chicken, eggs, and seafood) within the global fleet's supply chain. The goal is by the year 2025, fleetwide (NCL, Oceania, Regent) to be sourced only cage-free eggs, crate-free pork, certified sustainable seafood, and chicken purchased from American and Canadian suppliers who meet GAP (Global Animal Partnership) standards.
On June 14, 2022, NCL signed a partnership deal with Flow Beverage Corporation (USA-based health & wellness-focused company) for its "Flow Alkaline Spring Water" to become NCL's official water fleetwide. Flow Beverage's water is sourced from Seawright Springs (Augusta County, Virginia), has PH 8,1, and comes in a fully-recyclable carton (made of 75% renewable materials) with a plant-based cap.
On October 3, 2022, NCLH signed with MAN Energy Solutions an MoU for retrofitting all MAN 48/60 diesel engines in the global fleet to dual-fuel (running on both diesel and methanol).
Since December 2022, fleetwide (on all NCL boats) are offered soft drinks from The Coca-Cola Company. By the new NCL-Coca-Cola contract, the brand's beverages replaced the onboard soda fountains and all the old bar equipment was changed.
In January 2023, NCLH announced its newly-established brand “Experiences At Sea”. The new program is a partnership with the NCL's subsidiary "Sixthman Festivals at Sea" and NCL’s CM&I division (Charters, Meetings & Incentives). NCLH's new brand annually schedules several themed B2Bs/back-to-back cruises/consecutive itineraries for Norwegian Pearl which target corporate clients as well as incentive and affinity-focused customers from NCLH's fleet (NCL-Norwegian, Oceania, RSSC-Regent). Experiences At Sea is managed by Anthony Diaz (Sixthman's CEO and CM&I's Senior VP). Voyages are usually themed on music (Rock, Country, Pop, Blues, Broadway celebrity performances, etc), also LGTBQIA+/Atlantis Events, Comedy Influencers, Sports, and others. The itineraries are in the Caribbean (roundtrips from Miami) and all visit NCLH's private islands - The Bahamas' Great Stirrup Cay, and Belize's Harvest Caye.
In October 2023 NCL announced that starting January 2024, the company has available for booking ~1000 solo staterooms fleetwide (across 19 ships) and introduced three new cabin categories (Solo Inside, Solo Oceanview, Solo Balcony) which pricing/availability depends on itinerary/destination and demand. NCL also recategorized Spa Staterooms fleetwide (Jan 2024) to increase Mandara Spa's availability and allow access to the Thermal Suites for all cabin categories.
Fun facts (company & ships)
NCL's list of "cruise industry firsts" starts with the first-ever fly-cruise deals (under the name "Cloud 9 Cruises"), the first ships capable to ferry cars, the ever first cruise company with a private island (Great Stirrup Cay Bahamas), the first company to develop new Caribbean seaports of call (Jamaica's Ocho Rios). Both NCL's first vessels - Sunward (1966) and Starward (1968) - were car ferries, but later their car decks were refitted into cabin decks (housing staterooms) and a 2-deck high theatre lounge.
A new history page for NCL Norwegian was the year 1979 when was purchased the Transatlantic ocean liner SS France - thoroughly refitted and renamed SS Norway. The liner's drydock-conversion cost USD 100+ million, but it was money well spent. Bigger than any other passenger liner, SS Norway in its time offered extra space for a great variety of onboard entertainment, thus starting the new era of "ship cruise for fun" and creating the time of mega-liners.
NCL-Norwegian is a travel brand representing one of the world's top 5 major cruise shipping companies (following Carnival, Royal Caribbean, MSC). It is best known for its revolutionary "Freestyle Cruising" (trademarked) concept signifying no fixed dining times or seatings, and no formal dress code required fleetwide.
The list of NCL's destinations includes all the world's most popular ship travel regions - Alaska and Hawaii, Europe (including UK itineraries), Bahamas-Caribbean and Bermuda, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Under the brand name "Norwegian Capricorn Line" (1997-2001), NCL operated exclusively in Australia and New Zealand. A whole new era for the company started in 2002 when it purchased the first Project America vessel (under construction at the time). The future Pride of America was towed (as hull) from its initial building yard at Pascagoula (MS, USA) to be completed in Germany by Lloyd Werft.
Pride of America is the largest US-flagged passenger ship homeported in Honolulu for year-round roundtrips to the Hawaiian Islands. Due to financial considerations, the other NCL America ships in Hawaii - Pride of Aloha (now Norwegian Sky) and Pride of Hawaii (now Norwegian Jade) - were later transferred to the company's international fleet.
NCL's Caribbean itineraries always visit the company's Bahamian private island Great Stirrup Cay (purchased in 1977). A port of call exclusively for NCL ships, Great Stirrup's vacation experience starts and ends with the "Bahama Rama Mama" tender boat (capacity of 300 passengers).
On October 17, 2012, NCLH and Meyer Werft reached an agreement for the construction of two new Breakaway-Plus class vessels with scheduled delivery in 2015 and 2017. The order for the 2nd ship was placed in July 2013. In September 2013, the two new boats were named Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss, through an online campaign. The "Breakaway-Plus" project's contract value was estimated to be EUR 1.4 billion (USD 1.92 billion). Two more ships were ordered on July 14, 2014, to enter service in 2018 and 2019.
For FY2017 (fiscal year) NCLH reported the following data:
- GAAP ("Generally Accepted Accounting Principle") net income was USD 760 million (USD 633,1 million FY2016).
- The adjusted GAAP was USD 907,7 million (USD 776,3 million in 2016).
- EPS ("Earnings Per Share") was USD 3,31 (USD 2,78 in 2016).
- The adjusted EPS was USD 3,96 (USD 3,41 in 2016).
- NCLH's Net Revenue was USD 4,2 billion (11,2% increase over 2016 / USD 3,8).
- The adjusted ROIC (Return On Invested Capital") for 2017 was 16,26%.
- NCLH's total revenue reached USD 5,4 billion (10,7% increase over 2016 / USD 4,9 billion).
- Gross Yield (yield on investments before deduction of taxes and expenses) increased 4,4%.
- Adjusted Net Yield increased by 5% (Constant Currency basis).
- Marine fuel expenses in 2017 were USD 361 million.
NCL ship refurbishments
Ship refurbishments were the biggest part of "The Norwegian Edge" (fleetwide upgrade program). Drydock refurbishments started in October 2015 with NCL Epic, followed NCL Gem in November 2015. Scheduled drydocks in 2016 were for Pride of America, NCL Dawn, NCL Sun. These dry docks were longer than usual for NCL ships (some up to 3 weeks).
All NCL liners (except NCL Jewel) were refurbished by the end of 2017 (Jewel in 2018). The "Norwegian Edge" project covered 11 vessels - all older ships launched before NCL Breakaway (2013). On all these ships NCL added new venues, and did extensive restaurant makeovers (La Cucina Italian, Cagney's Steakhouse, Le Bistro French, Moderno Churrascaria Brazilia). Decors were changed in MDRs (main dining rooms) and Lido-buffets. Most public spaces (including all lounges, bars, complimentary food bars) received new furniture and flooring, some were completely re-designed.
Another major upgrade was the shipwide Wi-Fi, installing interactive digital signage boards and way finders, new teak flooring (on open decks), new carpeting (hallways and corridors), adding more shaded seating areas, private cabanas and loungers/deck chairs on sundecks.
NCL's new drydock refurbishment program (2016-2018) was budgeted over USD 400 million. Along with the fleet upgrades, it also included updates of onboard culinary and enrichment programs, private island upgrades, enhanced cruisetour/destination amenities and services. Detailed refurbishment reviews per vessel you will find at their CruiseMapper's deckplan pages.
As part of the program was enhanced Great Stirrup Cay (NCL's private island in Bahamas), This project resulted in building new facilities, newly added bars, and lounges, redesigned and renovated venues, enhanced The Haven Suite passenger experience. Details on all these changes are available at the above island link.
In November 2017, the company MAN PrimeServ (a division of the marine engines manufacturer "MAN Diesel and Turbo") confirmed order from NCLH for SOLAS insulation upgrades for all 9 liners (44 diesel engines total) from the NCL fleet. MAN provided the necessary equipment for all engines with power output 375+ kW, which included heat insulation, spray protection, resistance to flammability and fluid density. Upgrades received all NCL ships with MAN marine diesel engines models 48/60B, 48/60A and 58/64. The project was scheduled for completion in 2018.
NCL cruise ship dining packages
On each of its ships, NCL offers up to 28 dining options. In 2016 on all ships were introduced upgraded main dining room menus (complimentary) with added new (a la carte priced) menu items. The upgraded complimentary food menus offer more variety of appetizers, soups, and salads, signature entrees, desserts. New are the seafood offerings (fresh grouper, shrimp ceviche, seared scallops).
- Since January 31, 2016, NCL expanded brand's specialty dining menus on Norwegian Escape and introduced them fleetwide. These new menus are for at-fee restaurants - Cagney's Steakhouse, Le Bistro (French cuisine), La Cucina (Italian cuisine), Moderno Churrascaria (Brazilian Steakhouse) and Teppanyaki (sushi). Among the new menu choices are Bouillabaisse, pan-seared scallops, and sea bass filet, veal medallions, antipasti, risotto, Osso Buco Alla Milanese.
- NCL has partnered with the ACF (American Culinary Federation) for training and certification of fleet's dining and culinary teams.
- Since August 2015, NCL offers specialty dining packages available fleetwide. The new packages prices start at USD 59 per person (3-day package purchased prior departure). These deals help save on the cover charges of all onboard specialty restaurants (including Teppanyaki, Cagney's Steakhouse, Moderno Churrascaria, La Cucina, Le Bistro).
- Specialty dining packages allow NCL passengers to dine at a la carte priced and cover charge restaurants at an additional cost raging USD 7-15. Follows the list of restaurants and the cover charge / fixed fee in USD (shown in brackets): sushi bar ($7), Raw Bar ($7), Pincho Tapas Bar ($7), Bayamo ($10), Illusionarium ($10 general- and $15 premium seating), Cirque Dreams ($10 general-, $15 premium- and $35 VIP seating), Ocean Blue ($15), Dear John Hughes ($15).
- Packages can be purchased at discounted pricing online (prior to departure) or onboard (but only during the itinerary's first 2 days). On 3-day itineraries, NCL dining packages are available for purchasing only on the 1st / embarkation day. Specialty dining reservations can be made online (within 90 days prior departure) or onboard.
NCL is noted for its high-quality shipboard foods, restaurants, unique dining concepts, well-trained certified chefs-waiters-sommeliers.
- Almost all the shipboard food (98%) is made on the ship and from scratch - including all sauces, bread, pastries, and desserts.
- All ships have full-service butcheries.
- All fish is bought whole and cut and trimmed on the ship.
- Itinerary-based regional dishes and local beers and wines are always available,
- On NCL Bliss were introduced the restaurants Q (Texas BBQ smokehouse serving smoked meats, brisket, beef-pork ribs, pulled pork, various sides) and Los Lobos (Mexican, also serving tequilas and mezcals).
Private cruise island enhancements
NCL Norwegian expanded the company's plans for its Bahamian privately-owned island Great Stirrup Cay and the exclusive luxury resort destination Harvest Caye (Belize). Harvest Caye Port has a large-sized swimming pool, private beach, shallow lagoon (watersport activities), private cabanas available for rent, as well as a huge flora and fauna diversity.
Great Stirrup Cay was last enhanced in 2014 and by 2017 spring and now provides several new offerings and amenities (for details see the island's review above).
NCL's all-inclusive cruise package
Since 2017, NCL offers all-inclusive itineraries in some markets. The company's new program was named "Premium All Inclusive" and is included in NCL's fares. The new program is only available to travelers living in select countries and as destinations - on cruises to Alaska, Hawaii, Asia, Bermuda, Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, South America.
- The list of "select countries" includes Scandinavia and Russia, Belgium, Holland, Liechtenstein, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Greece, Malta, Cyprus, Turkey, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Angola, Algeria.
- Passengers 21+ yo enjoy drinks-inclusive sailings with included unlimited spirits, bottled and draft beers, wines (by the glass), cocktails (priced up to USD 15), light beers, soft drinks, juices. Even the NCL's 18% gratuity is included. A 20% discount is given on onboard purchased bottles of wine, champagne, sparkling wines.
- Passengers aged 20-20-yo enjoy unlimited soft drinks, water and juices (excluding freshly squeezed) in all onboard bars, lounges, and restaurants during the entire cruise. Here also the 18% gratuity is included.
- The new NCL package also includes bottled water (1 L) per person per day (in the stateroom) and specialty coffees (in all restaurants at mealtimes).
- All gratuities and service charge related to the new all-inclusive onboard services are ticket price-inclusive.
- Passengers in "The Haven" staterooms and those in Suites receive 250 minutes of free WiFi, USD 100 in OBC (onboard credit) and complimentary specialty restaurants reservations (3 dinners on itineraries 3-9 nights, and 4 dinners on 10+ nights itineraries).
NCL's "Premium All Inclusive" deals were introduced on April 3, 2017, and include all cabin categories. Since September 2017, NCL offers "Premium All-Inclusive Plus" package. The new offer includes 5 additional benefits for passengers booking a selection of port-intensive longer voyages (9 nights or longer) in all worldwide destinations. The additional perks are 250-min internet package, 120-min phone package, US$50 shore excursion credit (per call port), up to GBP 75 hotel credit (in select call ports) and up to GBP 150 flight credit.
In 2015, on NCL Sun and NCL Sky ships was introduced fare-inclusive open bars for all passengers 21 years and older. However, this program was terminated in 2019 (effective for itineraries on or after September 7, 2019).
Through NCL's "Free at Sea" program on both vessels, passengers continue to enjoy an unlimited open bar, complimentary specialty dining, free WiFi, excursion credits, and family members sail for free, reduced or free airfare.
NCL's Priority Access
In 2019, NCL started to test a program (Priority Access) that allows new customers to buy the perks generally associated with NCL's loyalty program (Latitudes). "Priority Access" is currently being tested on 2 liners (Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Breakaway) with pricing between USD 69 and 199 per stateroom.
NCL Priority Access passengers receive:
- Priority check-in, security, boarding, tendering, debarkation (homeport)
- Access to daily, complimentary Room Service Breakfast Menu
- Spa Credit (USD 50) on port days only
- Canapes (delivered on the 2nd day of the voyage)
NCL Priority Access prices (per stateroom) are:
- US$69 - for itineraries 3-5 days
- US$99 - for itineraries 6-9 days
- US$149 for itineraries 10-15 days
- US$199 for itineraries 16/16+ days
During this test period in 2019, Priority Access is limited to 25 cabins per voyage.
NCL cruise ship weddings
Since 2016, NCL offers weddings at sea, including same-gender ceremonies. The weddings are performed by the ship's Captain.
- For now, these offers are only for the company's newest (largest) vessels of the Breakaway- and Breakaway-plus classes.
- Formerly, couples were not allowed to marry at sea, but only ashore (in ports along the itinerary). They also had to produce a marriage certificate before participating in an onboard ceremony. By the NCL's new policy, cruise ship captains can perform the wedding ceremonies on the ship, with a Bahamas-issued marriage license.
- NCL also offers absolutely legal same-gender ceremonies. However, these offers are only available in port destinations where such marriages are recognized by local law. The list of such destinations in the USA includes Hawaii, Boston MA, NYC New York, Los Angeles CA, Seattle WA, Florida (Miami, Port Canaveral, Tampa), also Vancouver BC (Canada).
- NCL's new package "Wedding at Sea" includes a bridal bouquet, 1 matching boutonniere, 1 wedding cake for 2, champagne toast. The company also provides an experienced wedding coordinator.
- In addition to the "Wedding at Sea" program, NCL also offers harborside ceremonies (when the ship is docked in ports of call along the itinerary), also destination weddings (beach and resort) and vow renewals.
NCL cruise ship lifeguards
In April 2017, NCL announced it will employ certified lifeguards on some of its vessels (in summer 2017) and fleetwide (by the year 2018). The news made NCL the 3rd major cruise company with shipboard lifeguards - following Disney and Royal Caribbean.
- The onboard lifeguards are stationed only at the family pools during scheduled swimming pool hours. This staff will be "American Red Cross" trained and certified.
- NCL also offers complimentary swim vests for both adults and kids. Parents can obtain safety vests at Lido Deck's towel station during daytime hours.
- The first NCL ships with lifeguards will be Norwegian Epic (homeported in Port Canaveral), Norwegian Escape (Miami), Norwegian Getaway (Miami) and Norwegian Breakaway (NYC New York).
- NCL started testing monitoring through CCTV cameras at family pools (on fleet's largest ships only) since 2015. So adding full-time lifeguards was a decision for more safety on pool decks. However, it should be known that lifeguards don't replace parental supervision and that parents (legal guardians) remain the best form for preventing onboard accidents.
- DCL-Disney employs certified lifeguards since 2013. RCI-Royal Caribbean employs shipboard lifeguards since February 2017 (by the line's "water safety program"). RCI's onboard lifeguards are dressed in special uniforms (bright red and white) and stationed at every onboard swimming pool, including the Solarium (adults-only retreat) during the complex' opening hours.
NCL stateroom upgrades
In February 2017, NCL started a new (industry's first) cabin upgrade program that allows already booked passengers to bid for upgrades to higher-category staterooms.
- The new "Norwegian Upgrade Advantage" program was tested and approved by a group of top travel agencies. The entire system is automated and doesn't require travel agent intervention and pays commissions on the enhanced fare.
- NCL's senior sales VP Camille Olivere commented: "After final payment guests can bid on an upgrade and there's a little dial that will show them in red, yellow or green the likelihood their bid is going to be accepted. When NCL offers the cabin upgrade to the guest we email the travel agency of record, so they see the guest has been offered the ability to upgrade, and if the bid is accepted we notify the agency. The agency has to do absolutely nothing".
- Once the passengers' bids are accepted, they are assigned to an available higher-level stateroom - interior to oceanview, oceanview to balcony, balcony to Suite or The Haven staterooms. However, they can't choose the exact stateroom (number) to which they are assigned.
(NEW) NCL cruise gratuities (2022)
IMPORTANT: Since January 1, 2023, NCL's fleetwide daily tips are US$ 25 (The Haven staterooms) and US$20 (Club Balcony and below cabin categories).
Daily gratuities are per person (pp) and were effective between April 1st and December 6, 2022.
- USD 16 pp (interior, oceanview, balcony staterooms, both adults and kids) - increased from USD 13,99 pp (effective since April 1, 2018) and 14,50 (2021).
- USD 18 pp (Club Balcony Suites receiving concierge/butler services) - increased from USD 16,99 pp (effective since April 1, 2018) and 17,50 (2021).
- USD 20 pp (The Haven Suites)
Gratuities increases apply to all NCL vessels, except Norwegian Sky (which is drinks-inclusive). On NCL Sky ship, standard cabin and mini-suite passengers pay per person USD 19 per day, while suite passengers pay USD 22 per day.
Daily gratuity is an automatic service charge added to the passenger's onboard account each day.
Passengers can prepay gratuities.
The amount of gratuities is split between the ship's staff (dining, housekeeping, cabin stewards, butlers, concierges, support).
Onboard specialty restaurants (a la carte priced or cover charge venues) add an 18% gratuity service charge.
NCL Cruise Cancellation Policy
Since January 2016, NCL adjusted the company's final payment and cancellation policies. Under the new cruise cancellation policy, booked NCL customers will incur penalties further from departure date when canceling.
Before 2016, NCL itineraries 6 days or longer, canceled 56 to 75 days prior to embarkation date guaranteed full deposits back. Under the new cancellation policy, final payment for itineraries 6 or more days is due 90 days prior to departure date (vs the old policy's 75 days). Cancellation penalties start 89 days prior to departure date.
NCL's cruise deposit schedule also shifted. Previously, for itineraries 6 to 9 nights long, booked customers had to put down a USD 250 pp (per person) deposit. After January 2016, that was changed to USD 250 pp for itineraries 7 to 9 days, and USD 100 pp for itineraries 2 to 6 nights long.
Final payments for holiday sailings (Christmas and New Year) are now due 120 days prior to departure dates, only excluding Norwegian Sky.
(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021
Due to the COVID pandemic, NCLH's entire fleet (all vessels of the brands NCL-Norwegian, RSSC-Regent, Oceania) is with an expanded cancellation policy. All bookings on pre-scheduled itineraries (departures March 14, 2020, through April 30, 2021) were given the option to cancel (up to 48 hours prior departure) without penalties.
Eventually, NCLH canceled all NCL voyages leaving between March 14, 2020, and July 2021.
Next are listed all NCL ships and their scheduled first departure dates/homeports - BLISS (Oct 24, 2021/Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles), BREAKAWAY (Sept 26, 2021/Bermuda from NYC), DAWN (Dec 8, 2021/Tampa), ENCORE (Aug 7, 2021/Alaska from Seattle), EPIC (Sept 5, 2021/Mediterranean-Barcelona), ESCAPE (Nov 13, 2021/Port Canaveral), GEM (Aug 15, 2021/Caribbean from La Romana Dominicana), GETAWAY (Sept 13, 2021/Mediterranean-Rome), JADE (July 25, 2021/Mediterranean-Athens), JEWEL (March 29, 2022/Miami), JOY (Nov 20, 2021/Miami), PEARL (Dec 23, 2021/Miami), SKY (March 2, 2022/Miami), SPIRIT (May 7, 2022/Alaska from Seattle), STAR (April 3, 2022/Mediterranean from Barcelona), SUN (May 5, 2022/Alaska from Seattle), PRIMA (Sept 3, 2022/Maiden Voyage/Europe-Baltic from Amsterdam), VIVA (June 15, 2023/Maiden Voyage/Mediterranean), PRIDE OF AMERICA (April 9, 2022/Hawaii from Honolulu).
- In late-March 2021, NCL canceled through October-November all voyages scheduled for the ships ENCORE (Alaska from Seattle), JEWEL (Alaska from Vancouver-Seward), Sun (Alaska from Seattle), BLISS (Alaska from Seattle), JADE (Europe-Baltic-Mediterranean), JOY (Bermuda from New York), GEM (Bermuda from Boston, Canada New England from Boston-Quebec).
- In early-April 2021, NCL announced new schedules for the ships JADE (7-day Mediterranean-Greek Islands from Athens/starting July 25), JOY (7-day Caribbean from Montego Bay Jamaica/starting August 15) and GEM (7-day Caribbean from La Romana-Punta Cana Dominicana/starting August 15). Previously the boats were planned to restart as follows - JOY (October 19, 2021/Caribbean from Miami), GEM (Oct 29, 2021/Bermuda from NYC), JADE (January 2, 2022/South Africa from Cape Town). JOY's ex-Greece program was canceled in May. GEM's ex-Dominicana program was canceled in June.
- In late-May 2021 were canceled JOY's Caribbean roundtrips from Montego Bay Jamaica (Aug 7 thru Oct 9) and BLISS' Alaskan program from Seattle (Aug-Oct).
- In late-June were delayed the restarts of 5 ships (Pride of America, DAWN, JOY, SKY, STAR thru 2022 March).
Itinerary of Norwegian Cruise Line
All NCL cruise ships are either new or recently refurbished. As you can see from their list below, the oldest one (NCL Sky) is just 14 years old. NCL's fleet is one of the world's biggest and most innovative ones. NCL ships are big (to really large), well-equipped, offering feature amenities and onboard activities, and sailing worldwide.
In 2023, NCL had its ever-biggest Europe-Meditarranean itinerary program by deploying in the region 10 ships (Breakaway, Dawn, Epic, Gem, Getaway, Jade, Prima, Sun, Star, Viva).
In 2008 (June-July-August) NCL started homeporting in Baltimore MD/at Maryland Cruise Terminal offering 10-day roundtrips to Bermuda (St George's) with the ship Norwegian Majesty/now Crown Iris (1992-built as Royal Majesty for Majesty Cruise Line, in service with NCL 1997-2009). In fall 2023, NCL restarted its ex-Baltimore operations and homeported 2 ships - Norwegian Sky (September-October) and Norwegian Sun (November-December).
NCL ships' itineraries overview
|Ship Name||Homeports||Itineraries Changes|
The new ship will be inaugurated in April 2025.
The Caribbean deployment is based on 7-day roundtrips from Port Canaveral to Puerto Plata (Dominicana), Road Town (Tortola BVI), Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas USVI) and Great Stirrup Cay Bahamas.
In August 2025, NCL Aqua starts homeporting in NYC (New York USA) offering 5- and 7-day voyages to Bermuda (King's Wharf).
In October 2025, the ship starts an Eastern Caribbean program with 5- and 7-day roundtrips from Miami.
NYC New York
Port Canaveral Florida
NOLA New Orleans
USA departures (New Orleans and Boston) and Canada (Quebec City)
Beginning on May 2, 2021, NCL Dawn cruises the Greek Isles from Venice (7-day itineraries) with Kotor, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos, Argostoli.
Port Canaveral Florida
San Juan Puerto Rico
During summer, the ship is deployed in Europe/Mediterranean and homeported in Civitavecchia for mainly 10-day roundtrips to the Greek Isles.
Out of Port Canaveral, the ship's winter schedule lists 7-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, all of which visit Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas). Other popular destinations include St Thomas USVI, Puerto Rico, Dominicana (Puerto Plata), BVI (Tortola), Mexico (Cozumel), Grand Cayman, Jamaica (Ocho Rios).
NCL Encore entered service in November 2019. From homeport Miami, the ship operates roundtrips (Sunday departures) on 7-day Eastern Caribbean itineraries with call ports San Juan Puerto Rico, St Thomas USVI, and Tortola BVI.
After her first summer season in NYC, NCL Encore returned to Miami for 7-day Western Caribbean itineraries visiting Roatan Island, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya, Cozumel. Also sails 12-13-day Panama Canal cruises with visits to Puerto Plata, Kralendijk, Willemstad, Oranjestad, Santa Marta, Cartagena, Colon, Puerto Limon.
(2022) sailing the Greek Isles for the first time on an 11-day Greek Isles roundtrip from Rome (October 21, 2022) to Piraeus-Athens, Livorno, Santorini.
(2023) from Miami are offered 5- to 9-day roundtrips to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
NYC New York
New York City departures
From April 18, 2021, NCL Gem sails on 7-day Bermuda itineraries from Boston and 7-day Canada and New England voyages (out of Boston and Quebec City) to Bar Harbor, Portland, Halifax, Sydney, Saguenay, Charlottetown.
7-day itineraries to the Caribbean beginning August 15, 2021, and a 4-day trip to the Bahamas in November 2021
2022: sailing the Greek Isles for the first time on a 9-day Greek Isles roundtrip from Venice (May 20, 2022) to Corfu, Mykonos, Dubrovnik.
NCL Gem also offers 11-12-day voyages to and from NYC and Panama City (January-February 2023).
May-October 2023: 5- to 11-day voyages through the Mediterranean
NYC New York
As of April 29, 2021, NCL Getaway offers 10-11-day Greek Isles and Italy voyages from Rome to Kotor, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos, Piraeus-Athens, Naples, Livorno.
November 14, 2022: 13-day repositioning from Southampton to Civitavecchia-Rome visits Oporto, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Cadiz-Seville, Malaga, Cartagena, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Lisbon, Le Havre-Paris, Livorno, Naples.
On January 8 and February 26, 2023, NCL Getaway has scheduled 12-day roundtrip Southern Caribbean from NYC to Antigua (St John's), San Juan, Basseterre, Castries, Bridgetown, Puerto Plata, St Thomas.
December 23, 2022, through April 8, 2023, NCL Getaway cruises on 8-day Bahamas and Florida roundtrips from NYC to Port Canaveral, Nassau, Great Stirrup Cay.
In December 2022 and February-March 2023 are planned 5-day roundtrips.
May 8-October 17, 2023: Norwegian Getaway's 9-day Baltic roundtrips from Copenhagen feature an overnight (total 36 hours in port) in Sankt Petersburg Russia.
NCL Jade is homeported in Tampa for Western and Southern Caribbean voyages (through April 11, 2021). 7-day Western Caribbean roundtrips visit Roatan, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya, Cozumel. Southern Caribbean itineraries visit George Town, Oranjestad, Willemstad, Kralendijk, Castries, Basseterre, St John's, St. Thomas, Puerto Plata.
In December 2021 - January 2022, Jade offers NCL's first South African itineraries leaving roundtrip from Cape Town. The 12-day "Extraordinary Journeys" visit Namibia (Luderitz, Walvis Bay) and Durban, with overnights in Richards Bay and Cape Town.
Summer 2023: NCL's first visit to Nessebar Bulgaria (Norwegian Jade's Extraordinary Journeys through the Mediterranean and the Black Sea) also visits for the first time Bodrum Turkey and Paros Greece during the 7-day roundtrip from Athens. In May-October are offered 5- to 11-day Mediterranean voyages.
Los Angeles CA
San Diego CA
NCL Jewel has planned Australia and New Zealand itineraries to NZ's Milford Sound, Dusky Fjord, Doubtful Fjord, Dunedin, Wellington, Picton, Napier, Tauranga, Auckland, Bay of Islands.
NCL Jewel also visits ports in French Polynesia, Hawaii, South Pacific Islands (spring 2021). These 11- to 21-day itineraries (from Sydney NSW, Papeete Tahiti, Honolulu, Vancouver BC) visit Bora Bora, Moorea, Raiatea, Nuku Hiva, Lautoka, Dravuni, Noumea, Ille des Pins, Mystery Island, Port Vila, Hilo and Kailua-Kona, Maui (Kahului), Kauai (Nawiliwili), Oahu (Honolulu).
Beginning March 20, 2022, Jewel is the first NCL ship to offer roundtrip Panama Canal sailings from Panama City (Colon and Fuerte Amador).
November 12, 2022: starts 12-day Panama Canal cruises (from Los Angeles, San Diego, Colon Panama) with calls to Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Huatulco, Puerto Quetzal, San Juan del Sur, Puntarenas, Acajutla.
October 30, 2022, through April 16, 2023: US West Coast (between Los Angeles and San Diego) are operated 5-7-8-day Mexican Riviera roundtrips.
(April 22-October 15, 2023) NCL Alaska schedule lists 4 ships (Sun, Jewel, Joy, Encore) and 5- to 9-day itineraries out of Seattle WA, Vancouver BC, and Seward AK. 7- and 9-day itineraries visit Alaskan glaciers.
(October 19-March, 2024) 6-month-long Asia season featuring 16 immersive and port-rich itineraries, visiting 11 countries, and sailing from 9 different departure ports: Tokyo and Yokohama in Japan; Taipei (Keelung), Taiwan; Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand; Bali (Benoa), Indonesia; and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Malaysia.
NYC New York
Port Canaveral FL
NCL Joy is homeported in Miami (for the first time) for 5- to 7-day Western and Eastern Caribbean cruises. Western Caribbean roundtrips visit Roatan, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya, Cozumel, while the Eastern Caribbean roundtrips are to Puerto Plata, St Thomas, Tortola, Great Stirrup Cay.
Beginning on April 14, 2021, NCL Joy homeports in NYC (for the first time) for Bermuda, Canada and New England itineraries. The 7-day Bermuda roundtrips offer 3 full days stay. The 5-day Canada and New England roundtrips visit Maine, Halifax, Portland.
Joy sails from Miami Florida beginning October 19, 2021, with 5 to 11-day Caribbean roundtrips.
December 4, 2022: NCL Joy departs from Port Canaveral on a 14-day repositioning to Los Angeles that visits San Juan Del Sur (first time), Cartagena, Puerto Caldera-Puntarenas, Puerto Quetzal, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas.
November 2022: NCL Joy cruises to Bermuda on 5- and 7-day roundtrips from New York City with Royal Naval Dockyard overnights.
October 30, 2022, through April 16, 2023: US West Coast (between Los Angeles and San Diego) operates 5-7-8-day Mexican Riviera roundtrips.
(April 22-October 15, 2023) NCL Alaska schedule lists 4 ships (Sun, Jewel, Joy, Encore) and 5- to 9-day itineraries out of Seattle WA, Vancouver BC, and Seward AK. 7- and 9-day itineraries visit Alaskan glaciers.
December 2023: Panama City
NCL Pearl cruises to the Western and Southern Caribbean plus Bahamas and Panama Canal itineraries from Miami (beginning November 4). The 5-day Western Caribbean itineraries visit Harvest Caye and Costa Maya. The 11-day Panama Canal cruises visit Cartagena, Colon, Puerto Limon, Roatan, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya. The 14-day Southern Caribbean itinerary visits Oranjestad, Willemstad, Kralendijk, Castries, Bridgetown, St John's, St Maarten, St Thomas, San Juan, Puerto Plata. The 4-day Bahamas voyage visits Nassau, Great Stirrup Cay, Freeport.
Since 2023, Norwegian Pearl also serves NCLH's new brand Experiences At Sea (partnership between "Sixthman Festivals at Sea" and NCL’s CM&I division/Charters, Meetings & Incentives). Annually are scheduled several themed B2Bs/back-to-back cruises/consecutive itineraries targeting corporate clients as well as incentive and affinity-focused customers from NCLH's fleet (NCL-Norwegian, Oceania, RSSC-Regent). Experiences At Sea cruises are usually themed on music (Rock, Country, Pop, Blues, Broadway celebrity performances, etc), also LGTBQIA+/Atlantis Events, Comedy Influencers, Sports, and others. The itineraries are in the Caribbean (roundtrips from Miami) and all visit NCLH's private islands - The Bahamas' Great Stirrup Cay, and Belize's Harvest Caye.
Norwegian Prima is a newbuild (2022) ship with Maiden Voyage currently scheduled for August 17, 2022. The inaugural season in Northern Europe (August 17 through September 13, 2022) includes 10-day Baltic itineraries leaving from Amsterdam and Copenhagen.
(December 2022 and March 2023) NCL Prima from Port Canaveral offers 5-7-9-day roundtrips to Western Caribbean.
(March through May 2023) the ship from NYC offers 5-7-day roundtrips to Bermuda.
In Europe (May-September 2023) are scheduled 10-11-day Norway & Iceland itineraries leaving from Reykjavik Iceland and Southampton UK. Then NCL Prima returns to the USA for Bermuda and Caribbean (also visiting Galveston).
(November 19 through December 3, 2023) NCL Prima from PortMiami offers 3x 7-day Western Caribbean voyages to Harvest Caye Belize, Cozumel Mexico, Isla Roatan Honduras.
January 20, 2023, through May 29, 2023, NCL Sky cruises on 3- and 4-day roundtrips from Miami to Nassau, Freeport, Great Stirrup Cay.
Starting June 2 through December 29, 2023, Norwegian Sky sails 3- and 4-day roundtrips from Miami Florida, calling at Freeport, Nassau, and Great Stirrup Cay. Sailing roundtrip from Miami FL, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Escape offer a mix of 5- to 9-day roundtrips to Eastern-Western Caribbean.
In 2023 (September-October) the ship is homeported in Baltimore MD (Maryland Cruise Terminal) for 10-11-day Canada and New England itineraries between USA and Canada (Baltimore and Quebec City). Call ports include Halifax, Bar Harbor, Shelburne Harbour, Oak Bluffs Marina, Baie-Comeau.
In June 2023 NCL canceled the ship's Alaska 2024 and Australia 2024-2025 winter programs. Both canceled programs were replaced with an Asian seasonal charter with homeporting in Taiwan China. The roundtrips (from Kaohsiung and Keelung/Taipei) visit popular destinations in Japan and Korea.
In March 2022, NCL Star offers fleet's first South American cruise that visits in Brazil Fortaleza and Salvador de Bahia (15-day out of Rio de Janeiro). In 2022 (departures July 14 and July 25) are planned Northern European voyages (10-day and 11-day B2Bs) that depart from Reykjavik Iceland and visit Greenland (NCL's first-time) with 3 port calls - Nuuk, Qaqortoq, Nanortalik.
Norwegian Sun is for the first time sailing in Asia beginning January 28, 2022, offering a 5-day Japan itinerary from Hong Kong, prior to sailing a series of 11-day voyages from Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Hong Kong, and Singapore.
In 2023 (November-December) the ship is homeported in Baltimore (Maryland Cruise Terminal) for 5-day Bermuda and 12-day Caribbean itineraries. Call ports include Kings Wharf (Bermuda), as well as San Juan (Puerto Rico), Philipsburg (St Maarten), Basseterre (St Kitts), St Johns (Antigua), Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas USVI), Road Town (Tortola BVI) and Puerto Plata (Dominicana).
Norwegian Viva (2023-built) is NCL's 2nd PRIMA-class boat scheduled for delivery in June 2023. The inaugural season starts June 15, 2023 (Maiden Voyage).
NCL Viva will operate 7-8-9-day Caribbean roundtrips from Puerto Rico (San Juan).
The NCL America ship continues cruising the classic 7-day Hawaii inter-island itinerary which offers ~100 hours of port time in Hawaii and visits Hilo, Kona, overnights (in Kahului, Maui, Nawiliwili), afternoon cruising along Na Pali Coast Wilderness Park. Pride of America departs from homeport Honolulu every Saturday.
7-day Hawaii interisland cruises from Honolulu Oahu Island beginning November 6, 2021.
In 2021-2022, NCL has planned a collection of new European voyages with 7 liners deployed in the region and port-intensive itineraries that are often with late departure times. NCL's 2021-2022 Mediterranean program is based on homeporting in (departures from) Piraeus-Athens, Barcelona, Civitavecchia-Rome, Venice and Dubai UAE. NCL's Northern Europe cruises depart from Southampton, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Reykjavik Iceland.
Ship deployments, homeports and itineraries 2023-2024-2025
In September 2020, NCL announced its winter 2022-2023 worldwide program for 13 (of its 18) liners.
The new sailings offer a selection of Extraordinary Journeys - longer, one-of-a-kind port-rich cruises.
- Beginning November 12, 2022, Norwegian Jewel offers a selection of Panama Canal cruises featuring 12-day experiences from Los Angeles, San Diego, and Colon Panama, allowing passengers to plan additional vacation days pre-/post-cruise. The itineraries call at Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Huatulco, Puerto Quetzal, San Juan del Sur, Puntarenas, and Acajutla.
- Norwegian Getaway embarks on a 13-day European trip from Southampton UK to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy on November 14, 2022. The vessel is scheduled to debut in Oporto and Villefranche-sur-Mer and call at Cadiz-Seville (Cadiz), Malaga, Cartagena, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Lisbon, Paris (Le Havre), Florence/Pisa (Livorno), and Naples.
From October 2022 through March 2023, Norwegian Cruise Line offers a variety of itineraries ranging from 8 to 21-day sailings traversing the Panama Canal onboard 6x NCL boats (Encore, Jewel, Pearl, Bliss, Gem, Joy).
Norwegian Encore begins a 21-day Panama Canal cruise on October 23, 2022, sailing from Seattle WA, repositioning to Miami FL. During the sailing, 8 out of 11 port-of-calls include a minimum of 9 to 11 hours of port time.
Norwegian Joy debuts in Port Canaveral FL as she departs on a 14-day trip from Orlando to Los Angeles CA on December 4. During the voyage, she also calls at San Juan Del Sur for the first time and visits Cartagena, Puerto Caldera (Puntarenas), Puerto Quetzal, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas.
Kicking off the New Year, NCL Norwegian Gem offers 11- and 12-day voyages to and from NYC and Panama City in January-February 2023. During her 12-day cruise from New York City on January 2, she debuts in Puerto Limon and the Pacific Cruise Terminal in Panama City during an 11-day trip on January 14.
Norwegian Encore transits the Panama Canal during the 21-day Extraordinary Journey (relocation voyage starting October 13, 2024/from Seattle WA to Miami FL) that visits San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Puerto Quetzal, Panama City, Cartagena, George Town, and PortMiami.
Beginning January 28, 2022, through May 17, 2023, NCL offers a range of 5- to 14-day sailings across the Eastern, Western, and Southern Caribbean. NCL's itineraries include visits to Harvest Caye (resort destination in Belize), as well as calls at its private island resort in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay. Ships sailing the Caribbean include NCL Bliss, Breakaway, Dawn, Encore, Epic, Escape, Gem, Getaway, Pearl, and Sky.
- Norwegian Encore sails an 11-day Southern Caribbean roundtrip from Miami on December 23, 2022, making her debut in Castries, St. Lucia, and Saint John's, and visiting Oranjestad Aruba, Willemstad Curacao, Kralendijk Bonaire, St. Thomas, and Puerto Plata.
- Norwegian Breakaway, which is currently the newest and largest ship sailing from New Orleans (Port NOLA), offers a mix of 5-, 7-, and 9-day roundtrip sailings to the Western Caribbean starting November 20, 2022.
- As of December 17, 2022, Norwegian Bliss calls Miami Florida home as she embarks on a season of 7-day Western Caribbean roundtrip sailings through April 1, 2023, with calls at Roatan Island, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya, and Cozumel.
- On January 8 and February 26, 2023, passengers can embark on NCL Norwegian Getaway for a 12-day roundtrip sailing in the Southern Caribbean from New York City. The liner debuts in St. John's, Antigua, and calls at San Juan, Basseterre, Castries, Bridgetown, Puerto Plata, and St Thomas USVI
Sailing roundtrip from New York, Norwegian Prima offers 10-to-12-day Caribbean cruises beginning November 2024 through to March 2025 visiting Puerto Plata, San Juan, Basseterre, St. Thomas, Tortola, and Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda.
For the 2nd year, Norwegian Viva homeports in San Juan Puerto Rico from December 2024 through to April 2025 offering 7-day roundtrip Southern Caribbean voyages with zero sea days. The itineraries include calls to Castries and Bridgetown on the east, while select itineraries call to the ABC Islands: Oranjestad, Aruba; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Willemstad, Curacao; and more on the west side of the Caribbean.
Norwegian Escape offers 7- and 14-day Caribbean voyages from December 2024 through to March 2025 from Galveston, Texas. The vessel's 7-day Western Caribbean itineraries visit Costa Maya, and Cozumel in Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; and Harvest Caye Belize. For guests searching for an extended vacation, the 14-day Eastern Caribbean voyages include visits to Cozumel, Mexico; St. Thomas, USVI; Castries, St. Lucia; George Town, Grand Cayman; Great Stirrup Cay Bahamas, and more.
Sailing from the West Coast between Los Angeles CA and San Diego CA, passengers can take in the Mexican Riviera beauty with a mix of 5-, 7-, and 8-day roundtrip sailings between Norwegian Bliss, Joy, and Jewel beginning October 30, 2022, through April 16, 2023.
Norwegian Joy kicks off her sailings on December 18, 2022, with an 8-day roundtrip sailing where she visits San Diego CA for the first time.
From December 23, 2022, through April 8, 2023, NCL Norwegian Getaway sails select 8-day voyages to the Bahamas and Florida from New York City which include calls at Port Canaveral, Nassau, and Great Stirrup Cay. Beginning January 20, 2023, through May 29, 2023, NCL Norwegian Sky sails 3- and 4-day roundtrip voyages from Miami FL, calling at Nassau, Freeport, and Great Stirrup Cay.
In November 2022, NCL Norwegian Joy offers passengers a Bahamian winter escape on 5- and 7-day roundtrip sailings from New York City featuring overnights at the Royal Naval Dockyard. NCL Getaway also offers 5-night voyages (December 2022 and February-March 2023).
NCL's winter 2024-2025 and summer 2025 voyages sail to bucket-list destinations in Europe, Alaska, and the Caribbean. Sailing to ~400 destinations worldwide, guests can choose from a range of tropical itineraries to the Caribbean and voyages from the Extraordinary Journeys collection that sail to once-in-a-lifetime destinations, such as aspirational regions around the globe like the grand pyramids in Egypt, and more.
Highlights from the 2024-2025 deployment include:
GREEK ISLES and HOLY LAND (Israel and Egypt)
Norwegian Viva, the 2nd ship from the Prima Class set to debut in August next year, offers select roundtrip 7-day Greek Isles cruises from Athens (Piraeus), as well as 9-to-11-day voyages between Haifa (Tel Aviv-Nazareth, Israel), Athens (Piraeus), and Istanbul (Turkey) from May through November 2025. The sailings call at Iraklion, Santorini, Mykonos, and Rhodes in Greece, offer 15-hour long port stays in Ashdod (Jerusalem, Israel), and visit Alexandria and Port Said (Cairo), Egypt, allowing plenty of time for passengers to visit Giza's pyramids.
From May through to September 2025, Norwegian Prima sails a series of 10-and-11-day voyages from London (Southampton), England UK and Reykjavik (Iceland) offering itineraries calling to Geiranger, Norway, home to Geirangerfjord. The itineraries also call to Alesund, Flam, Bergen, Brussels/Bruges (Zeebrugge), Akureyri, Isafjordur, and Amsterdam.
Starting April 2025 through to October 2025, Norwegian Breakaway offers a series of 9- and 10-day roundtrip Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona with an overnight in Livorno (to Florence and Pisa) providing 2 days to explore the destination. The two itineraries call to bucket-list destinations like Ibiza, Cagliari, Naples, Rome (Civitavecchia), Cannes, and more.
During the Alaska cruise season from late April through to October 2025, Norwegian Joy returns to The Last Frontier and offers 9- and 10-day roundtrip sailings from Seattle WA to allow for a longer experience for guests. Her voyages include scenic sailings to Glacier Bay NP; and Hubbard Glacier. Select cruises also visit Ketchikanand Icy Strait Point.
NCL cruises to Cuba
In December 2016, NCLH (shipowner) received permission to operate cruises to Cuba, beginning March 2017. The first-ever NCL ship visiting Cuba was Norwegian Sky.
- NCL Sky's itinerary program offered 4-night roundtrips from Miami that included Havana overnights. The itinerary also visited Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas).
- In 2018, NCL expanded its Cuban program to a total of 63 itineraries, most of which offer Havana overnight.
- Norwegian Sun completed her first Cuban season (from Port Canaveral) with the last roundtrip on September 3, 2018, then moved to Miami for select itineraries before the South American (fall/winter) season. Being the first Port Canaveral-homeported vessel to Cuba, NCL Sun served 30,000+ tourists on 15 roundtrips (4-day Cuba itinerary) during summer 2018 season, visiting Key West Florida and Havana (overnight). Following the successful first season, NCL Sun returned to Port Canaveral in April 2019 with Cuban itineraries.
IMPORTANT: On June 4, 2019, the US Government announced new regulations (economic sanctions) that ended group travel to Cuba, including via US-homeported cruise liners, effective immediately. The ban relates to "private and corporate aircraft, cruise ships, sailboats, fishing boats, and other similar aircraft and vessels". The US travel restrictions impacted hundreds of pre-scheduled itineraries, which were adjusted to no longer stop in Cuban seaports.
NCL's Cuban program was based on two Florida-homeported liners - Norwegian Sky (from Miami) and Norwegian Sun (from Port Canaveral). Following the US Gov's June 2019-issued ban on group travel to Cuba from the USA, NCL revised all its scheduled itineraries visiting Cuban seaports. All planned departures beyond September 2 (2019) were auto-canceled. Cuba-visiting itineraries prior to September 2nd were modified to exclude Havana and visit other Caribbean ports - including in Bahamas (Great Stirrup Cay Island, Freeport, Nassau) and Florida (Key West)
According to the current Cuban law, US citizens of Cuban origin (born in Cuba) are not allowed to visit the island country (including on cruise vessels). Regardless of their US citizenship status, Cuba-born Americans were denied booking on itineraries visiting ports in Cuba. However, the situation changed in April 2016, after Carnival Corporation negotiated with the Cuban government for allowing ships with Cuban-born passengers, as such US citizens are allowed to visit the country on USA-Cuba charter flights. The Carnival-fathom line started Miami to Cuba voyages in May 2016.
Alaska Airlines offers regular nonstop flights to Havana from Los Angeles (California USA). An 80-min ling JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale (Florida) to Havana costs less than USD 100. Previously, air travel from the USA to Cuba was thought charter flights only.
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