Norwegian Bliss entering Southampton, photo by Dave Jones
Norwegian Cruise Line will deploy an additional ship in Europe next summer.
The 2,394-passenger Norwegian Pearl will offer ex-Amsterdam itineraries and sailings from Rome, Barcelona and Venice, having spent the 2018 summer season sailing out of the US.
Pearl will join five other NCL vessels in Europe: Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Star and Norwegian Jade.
The sailings will go on sale on July 31, while Norwegian Jade and Spirit’s new 2019 programme will become available to sell on August 6.
NCL will deploy Norwegian Spirit in China from the summer of 2020, but next year it will operate ex-Southampton itineraries.
Nick Wilkinson, NCL’s vice president and managing director of UK & Ireland, said the decision was made in response to customer demand from Europe.
He said: “If you look at the robust demand environment around the world which was demonstrated by Norwegian Bliss – the best selling ship in our history – customers were booking nine, 12 and 18 months in advance.
“The message to the trade is this is our commitment to Europe. There are some great itineraries in the programme which gives agents more choice to offer their clients. The new home port in Amsterdam or Rome, for example.”
The 2,000 passenger-capacity Norwegian Spirit vessel will undergo a bow-to-stern revamp as part of the Norwegian Edge fleet refurbishment.
Spirit’s journey from Europe to Asia will feature sailings which include maiden calls for the line in South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles and the Maldives.
Jade will offer a season of sailings throughout south-east Asia, departing from Singapore and Hong Kong in winter 2019/20.
Ports of call include in-demand locations such as Phuket, Langkawi, Penang, Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Long Bay.
Frank Del Rio, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’s president and chief executive, said: “The booming demand environment in our core markets around the world, coupled with Norwegian Bliss’ record-breaking performance, continue to exceed our expectations.
“As a result, we are leveraging the strategic benefits of our growing fleet to quickly seize sizeable opportunities in overperforming, and unserved markets to meet the demands of our global customer base and drive higher returns for our shareholders.”