Norwegian Jewel Set for Sydney Debut After Refit

Norwegian Jewel Pool Deck

Norwegian Cruise Line today announced the completion of the refurbishment of Norwegian Jewel as part of The Norwegian Edge program.

Following a two-week drydock in Singapore the Norwegian Jewel will debut in Sydney, Australia on Saturday, Dec. 1, showcasing refreshed venues, updated spaces, premier entertainment and redesigned staterooms, the company said.

The ship will spend her winter 2018 and spring 2019 seasons cruising from Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore, before joining Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy in Alaska for the summer.

“Norwegian Jewel’s complete renovation showcases our dedication to providing guests with quality experiences across the fleet and around the world,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.

“Not only are we revealing updated designs and accommodations throughout the ship, but guests will also enjoy new venues and three incredibly exciting shows, one of which premieres for the first time on Norwegian Jewel.”

Norwegian Jewel Pitstop

The Norwegian Jewel will feature two new shows – “Rock You Tonight,” and ship exclusive “Velvet.” The Australian musical “Velvet” makes its debut at sea with disco classics, a combination of circus acrobatics, cabaret and burlesque elements, and features the talented Brenda Edwards of “X Factor UK” as the lead, with “The Voice” finalist, Frenchie Davis to follow.

Nearly all dining, bar and lounge offerings on Norwegian Jewel were updated, and two new venues were opened – The Pit Stop and Bliss Ultra Lounge, replacing the Sky High Bar and FYZZ Cabaret Lounge, the company said. Drawing inspiration from the 1950’s, The Pit Stop is an all-American bar retrofitted with vintage license plates, gas station signage and other classic car elements of the era. The Bliss Ultra Lounge offers late-night entertainment in a modern and upscale setting, with more intimate seating options now available.

New Look Atrium

All 1,188 staterooms were upgraded with new televisions and USB outlets, as well as new carpet, artwork and furniture. The Haven by Norwegian received updates to the courtyard, additional cabanas on the sun deck and new finishes, carpets, tiles, drapes, artwork and furniture for all suites and villas. The ship also now has two new Haven Deluxe Owner’s Suites, at nearly 1,200 square feet and featuring large, 567-square-foot balconies, two private jacuzzies and accommodates up to four guests.

The Atrium has also been revitalized with an entirely refreshed look centred around a custom-design chandelier and includes updated flooring, refurbished reception and shore excursion desk areas, the addition of relaxed banquette seating and a large TV screen.

Hong Kong Opening Up Bigger Cruise Source Markets

World Dream in Hong Kong

Major development projects will help make it easy for cruise guests to get to their ships at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong.

New rail, bridge and road links will better connect Hong Kong with mainland China.

“The high-speed rail will bring 270 million people within a four-hour ride of Hong Kong, and will also allow pre- and post-tours to major attractions like Guilin,” said Jeff Bent, managing director, Worldwide Cruise Terminals, which runs Kai Tak.

In addition, the Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macao Bridge will open up more opportunities in conjunction with a cruise trip.

In June the port celebrated a major milestone as it marked a passenger record with 15,307 guests in a single day as the World Dream and Ovation of the Seas both docked, coinciding with the modern facility’s fifth year anniversary of being in operation.

That came just after a busy month of March, with six inaugural calls which saw the Viking Sun, Star Legend, Silver Discoverer, Columbus, Norwegian Jewel and Queen Elizabeth tie up at Kai Tak.

Traffic at Kai Tak will be slightly down year-over-year, with headwinds in North Asia, Bent said.

“South China has benefited from both a more diverse and sustainable distribution model, and increased attention to the Philippines’ newly-rediscovered port-of-call destinations for locally-based ships,” he said.

Near the terminal in Hong Kong, more land is set to be developed as road and other infrastructure improvements are expected to be conducted in the next year.

“Hong Kong has already met the government’s goals for passenger throughput in 2023,” Bent said, noting the just under one-million cruise guests the city served in 2017.

“For significant growth to happen, we need to help make the source market pie bigger. China has been the world’s largest outbound travel market for a number of years, but penetration for cruise is still only a fraction of a per cent. The better we grow the Chinese source market, the more the entire world will benefit.”

Norwegian Jewel Makes Inaugural Call in Shanghai

Norwegian Jewel in Shanghai

The Norwegian Jewel made its inaugural visit to Shanghai on March 24, docking at the Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal.

It also marked the first time the port hosted three ships.

Bridge Tour Aboard the Norwegian Jewel in Shanghai

Port officials and local government leaders welcomed the ship’s officers, with a traditional plaque ceremony taking place on the bridge.

The 2005-built ship sails in Alaska this coming summer.