NCL Announces Deployment Changes As Joy To Leave China For Alaska
Open Jaw, Kerry Sharpe
Norwegian Cruise Line has announced a variety of enhancements to its 2019 and 2020 itineraries to “leverage the strong global demand environment in highly sought after destinations,” according to a statement from the cruise line.
Norwegian Joywill join sister shipNorwegian Blisssailing seasonally in Alaska in summer 2019 and will offer Mexican Riviera and Panama Canal voyages in winter 2019/2020. Norwegian Pearlwill sail to Europe as the cruise line’s sixth ship in the region in summer 2019, whileNorwegian JadeandJewelwill expand Norwegian’s presence in Australasia in winter 2019/2020. Maintaining Norwegian Cruise Line’s commitment to serving the Chinese cruise market,Norwegian Spiritwill sail seasonally in China beginning summer 2020.
“The booming demand environment in our core markets around the world, coupled withNorwegian Bliss’ record-breaking performance, continue to exceed our expectations,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “As a result, we are leveraging the strategic benefits of our growing fleet to quickly seize sizable opportunities in over performing, unserved and underserved markets to meet the demands of our global customer base and drive higher returns for our shareholders.”
In addition toNorwegian Joy’s repositioning to Seattle in APR 2019 to offer seven-day voyages to Alaska, replacingNorwegian Pearland joiningNorwegian BlissandJewel, the ship will undergoapproximately $50 million in upgrades to enhance her features and bring her designs and offerings to be virtually identical toNorwegian Bliss.NorwegianJoy will complementBliss’ Alaska program and will cruise a variety of itineraries featuring Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Holkham Bay and Icy Strait Point. She will also call into Victoria, B.C.
“Norwegian Cruise Line expanded the Alaska cruise experience as the first line to sail to the state from Seattle over 24 years ago,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “I am extremely excited to further strengthen our presence in the region with the addition ofNorwegian Joy, sister ship toNorwegian Bliss, the most successful ship in our 51-year history. With $50 million in enhancements including the addition of a Starbucks store, as well as enhanced restaurant, bar and entertainment options,NorwegianJoy will be a welcome addition for guests looking to cruise on a world-class ship in one of the world’s most sought after destinations.”
Following her inaugural Alaska season,Norwegian Joywill sail to Los Angeles for a season of Mexican Riviera and Panama Canal voyages in winter 2019/2020. According to the company, this move will “mark a turning point in the historically underserved winter cruise market on the West Coast of the United States with the arrival of a premier, state-of-the-art cruise ship.”
Also in the summer 2019, the 2,400-passengerNorwegian Pearlwill deploy to Europe, furtherstrengthening the line’s seasonal European deployment to six ships. She will offer new itineraries from Amsterdam, and will also embark on a variety of Mediterranean sailings from Rome (Civitavecchia), Barcelona, and Venice.
With theJoy’sseasonal sailings in Los Angeles in winter 2019/2020, theNorwegian Jewel, which will be refurbished this fall, will return to Australia/New Zealand, Asia and the South Pacific for a third year of seasonal cruises from Honolulu, Papeete, Sydney, Auckland, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo (Yokohama).Whilethe 2,400-passengerNorwegian Jadewill offer a season of sailings throughout Southeast Asia departing from Singapore and Hong Kong in winter 2019/2020.
According to the company, the deployment ofNorwegian JewelandJadeto the region is aimed to take full advantage of the flourishing source market in Australia, which remains the world’s highest-penetrated cruise market and one of its most desirable destinations.
As previously mentioned,Norwegian Cruise Line will deploy the 2,000-passengerNorwegian Spiritseasonally to China beginning in summer 2020. Prior to her arrival, the ship will undergo a previously scheduled bow-to-stern revitalization as part of the Norwegian Edge fleet refurbishment program. In February 2020 her journey from Europe to Asia will feature several exclusive sailings with new calls for the cruise line, including South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles and Maldives.
Norwegian Joy’s new itineraries will be open for sale on 24JUL;PearlandJewel’s new itineraries will be on sale 31JUL; whileNorwegian JadeandSpirit’s new itineraries will be on sale 6AUG.
Kerry Sharpe Columnist
Having worked in travel for the last 16 years, Kerry has experience covering the industry as media, as well as being under its lens when she worked for Thomas Cook, TravelBrands and itravel2000. A new mom, Kerry recently returned to the workforce and when she’s not chasing after her daughter, you’ll see her out and about covering industry events alongside her new BFF Tina the Travel Agent.