NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line returned to sailing in Australian waters after 3 years on December 21st, 2022 when its Norwegian Spirit ship departed from Sydney Harbour MSW with cruise passengers from 20+ different countries.
The vessel had undergone a US$100M refurbishment in 2020, the most expensive undertaken by the line. NCL Spirit will sail 8 voyages (beginning/ending at different ports) from December to March 2023 out of Sydney NSW and Auckland NZ, visiting destinations like NZ's Fiordland NP, Napier, Tauranga, and AU's Burnie Tasmania , Eden, Melbourne.
Among the NCL offerings is a destination-centric dining program that features local growers/suppliers, from barramundi to yogurt, veggies, wine, and more. Australian and New Zealand staples like Vegemite and Milo are on offer for Australian & New Zealand passengers.
Ben Angell, Vice President and Managing Director NCL, APAC said they were thrilled to finally welcome Norwegian Spirit to Australia - "she is well and truly worth the wait.”
“We know Australians love our contemporary, laidback style of cruising, as well as the outstanding value only an NCL cruise can offer. Importantly, we’re delighted to be part of an industry that contributes $5 billion to the Australian economy each year.”
Passengers on the first sailing will enjoy the opportunity to participate in a beach clean-up in Eden via a partnership with Take 3 for the Sea as part of the goal of the organization to remove 50M pieces of plastic from the oceans by 2025.
While in Sydney to welcome the cruise ship back to Australia, Harry Sommer said Australia and New Zealand were incredibly important markets for them, both as a source market and a destination, and they were committed to the region for the long term.
"I’m thrilled to be here in person to celebrate our return to Australia after a three-year hiatus, and to join the festivities as Norwegian Spirit spends an extended overnight visit in Sydney before she sets sail on her Christmas cruise tomorrow!”