NCL-Norwegian Epic becomes floating hotel at Port Marseille (France)

   September 11, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

The NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line's ship Norwegian Epic recently arrived at Port Marseille-Fos (France), marking the commencement of a warm reception for rugby fans converging on the city for the Rugby World Cup.

Operating at full capacity, the vessel has been chartered as a floating hotel, offering a unique solution to the accommodation shortage witnessed during this prominent sporting event.

With the Rugby World Cup weekend in full swing, most of Marseille's hotels have already reached their maximum occupancy levels. Recognizing this challenge well in advance, the concept of transforming the 19-deck Norwegian Epic (having 2114 staterooms) into a temporary hotel for event attendees was conceived more than two years ago by Infinity Sports Travel (ship charterer). The need for additional accommodations arose from the stark contrast between the mere 20,000 available beds in Marseille and the Velodrome Stadium's capacity to host 80,000 spectators.

In a strategic collaboration, NCL joined forces with Infinity Rugby to provide sports enthusiasts with an exceptional cruise experience centered around the Rugby World Cup France 2023. Serving as an Official Travel Authorized Agent for Rugby World Cup France 2023, Infinity Rugby secured exclusive access to this global sporting event and meticulously designed charter cruises tailored to coincide with the most pivotal matches.

These cruise packages, varying in duration from two to seven nights, include stopovers in captivating cities such as Barcelona and Naples while ensuring that guests are in Marseille for the crucial matchdays.

France is etching its name in history by hosting the Rugby World Cup entirely on home soil, spanning from September 8th to October 28th. Marseille, a city that previously played a significant role in hosting the 2007 Rugby World Cup, has been selected as one of the ten host cities for the 10th edition of this prestigious competition. The iconic Velodrome stadium in Marseille will set the stage for six matches, solidifying the city's reputation as a premier destination for rugby enthusiasts from around the globe.