Norwegian Spirit to Eastern Med for 2020 in Place of Asia

Norwegian Spirit
Norwegian Spirit with her new hull design.

In place of Asia, Norwegian Cruise Line announced the Spirit will now offer a season of seven-day voyages to the Greek Isles, Turkey, and Israel through Nov. 8, 2020.

Open for sale on Feb. 15, 2020, the new destination-rich itineraries, many which boast extended port times, will explore seven or eight ports in seven days, calling to destinations including Rhodes, Mykonos; Santorini and Corfu, Greece; Kusadasi and Istanbul, Turkey; Ashdod and Haifa, Israel; Limassol, Cyprus as well as two new ports of call for the brand, Patmos and Volos, Greece.

The ship is fresh from a $100 million month-plus long drydock.

“It is truly exciting to celebrate Norwegian Spirit’s sail out of drydock to incredible destinations following her significant renovation,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.

“Europe is the number one destination for international arrivals, and we are very proud to position Norwegian Spirit for her first post-drydock season in this high-demand region. Our brand has been recognized 12 times in a row by the World Travel Awards as ‘Europe’s Leading Cruise Line’ and we are thrilled to offer our guests even more great itineraries in the region, allowing them to explore multiple destinations while unpacking only once.”

Hamas rocket shrapnel lands on cruise ship

Debris and shrapnel from rockets that were fired by the extremist Palestinian group Hamas have reportedly landed on the deck of the German cruise liner AIDAdiva.

Hamas is believed not to have targeted the ship itself, but instead at various Israeli targets. Whilst in the air, the rockets were destroyed by Israeli Defence Forces.

Just as the 2000+ passenger ship was leaving the port, sirens begun to sounds warning Israeli cities of the imminent attack.

Despite shrapnel landing on the deck of the ship, there was no damage sustained and none of the crew or passengers were harmed. AIDAdiva is currently on a seven day cruise across the Mediterranean from Antalya to Turkey

Hamas responded by saying they fired the rockets to respond to “Zionist aggression”. This came shortly after accusing Israel of killing five of its fighters.

The Israel Military reported that its offensive was part of a campaign targeting Hamas militants.

Operating under the Carnival Coporation, AIDA Cruises caters primarily for German-speaking passengers.

“You are advised to exercise caution if travelling in the vicinity of Gaza, and to check and follow local security advice,” the FCO said.

Princess to have 45% of capacity in Europe next year

By Donna Tunney
Princess Cruises took the wraps off of its 2012 Europe program. The line will deploy seven ships, about 45% of its capacity, to the region next year with 125 departures and 57 itineraries.

Highlights include the European debut of the 3,100-passenger Caribbean Princess and a new 14-day Baltic Heritage itinerary, operating roundtrip from London with calls at Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Gdansk and Oslo.

Across the fleet, overnight port calls are featured in Turkey, Italy, Russia, Egypt and Israel. Two new ports will debut during the season — Korcula, Croatia, and Nessebar, Bulgaria, a UNESCO World Heritage Site