NCL Announces Expansion to Asia

Norwegian Cruise Line announced that they will expand to the Asian market. It was speculated that the Star would be the one going over there and now it’s confirmed.

NCL is the latest line to join the ever expanding Asian market.

via NCL:

Norwegian Cruise Line today announced exciting and exotic new itineraries for the brand’s Fall/Winter 2016/2017 deployment, bringing the world to guests who want to explore new sights while experiencing the freedom and flexibility that only Norwegian Cruise Line can offer. Norwegian offers guests new destinations and new ports to choose from in 2016 and 2017, including cruises to Asia onboard Norwegian Star, with itineraries departing from Istanbul, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney and Auckland?marking the line’s return to the Asia and Australia regions for the first time since Norwegian Wind Fall/Winter 2001-2002 and first-ever visits to The Gulf and India. Norwegian Epic will continue to spend her summers in Europe and return to the US in the fall as Norwegian’s newest and largest ship to homeport in Port Canaveral, offering three-, four- and seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries. Exploring South America by sea will now be more accessible than ever with Norwegian, with a number of itineraries ranging in length from seven to 20 nights, with embarkations in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Norwegian Spirit will return to homeport in Europe year-round, sailing through the Eastern and Western Mediterranean with departures from Barcelona, Istanbul and Venice. In addition, Norwegian Jade will now sail seasonally in the winter months from Tampa to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, while Norwegian Jewel will sail two new 14-day Panama Canal sailings from Los Angeles and Miami in February 2016 and two in February 2017. Norwegian’s new itineraries will be available for booking later this month. Caribbean sailings will open on August 19 and all other destinations on August 24.

“We are truly excited to offer these incredible new itineraries to our guests, who now have the opportunity to explore areas of the globe that we haven’t called on in many years and some that we’ve never before visited,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian’s president and chief operating officer. “Norwegian is taking guests to their dream destinations, where they can indulge in new tastes, new cultures and new experiences, along with the flexibility to unpack once and the freedom to explore many distinct destinations during one vacation-of-a-lifetime.”

Asia and Australia
In the fall of 2016, Norwegian Cruise Line will cruise to the Far East for the first time since fall/winter 2001-2002, with the recently renovated Norwegian Star sailing to the region for several unique itineraries that also feature first-ever visits to The Gulf and India. Norwegian Star will continue to spend her summer 2016 months cruising the Baltic Capitals from Copenhagen, Denmark. After her journey through the Western Mediterranean, Norwegian Star will depart on October 31, 2016 from Istanbul on the brand’s first voyage to the Gulf region through the Suez Canal for a 20-day Eastern Mediterranean and The Gulf itinerary with stops in Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Rhodes, Greece; overnight in Haifa, Israel; Port Said, Sharm El Sheikh and Safaga, Egypt; Aqaba, Jordan; Salalah and Muscat, Oman; and an overnight in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

On November 20, 2016, Norwegian Star will sail a 21-day Journey to the East from Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Singapore, featuring the brand’s first visit to India with an overnight in Mumbai and stops in Goa (Mormugao), Mangalore and Kochi (Cochin). Additional ports of call include Fujairah and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Muscat and Khasab, Oman; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Phuket, Thailand; Penang, Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Malaysia; and Singapore.

Throughout December 2016 and January 2017, Norwegian Star will do a series of 11- and 14-day sailings in Southeast Asia, departing from Singapore and Hong Kong respectively. Norwegian Star’s 11-day Southeast Asia itineraries departing from Singapore on December 11, 2016 and January 5, 2017 feature ports of call in Ko Samui and an overnight in Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand; Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) and Nha Trang, Vietnam; Sanya and Hong Kong, China. Guests who sail on the ship’s 14-day Southeast Asia itinerary from Hong Kong on December 22, 2016 will celebrate the holidays with calls in Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Hanoi (Ha Long Bay), Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam; Sihanoukville, Cambodia; an overnight stay in Bangkok (Laem Chabang) and a day visit to Ko Samui, Thailand; and Singapore.

On January 16, 2017, Norwegian Star will sail a 21-day Southeast Asia and Australia itinerary from Hong Kong, China to Sydney, Australia. Ports of call include Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam; Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand; Singapore; Bali (Benoa) and Komodo, Indonesia; Darwin, Cairns, Airlie Beach, and Brisbane, Australia.

Norwegian Star will sail a 12-day Australia and New Zealand sailing on February 6, 2017 from Sydney, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand. Ports of call for this adventure down under include Melbourne and Burnie, Australia; and Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, Napier and Tauranga, New Zealand. Norwegian Star will also sail a 19-day Australia and New Zealand thrill-filled itinerary from Auckland, New Zealand to Singapore departing February 18, 2017. Ports of call include: Bay of Islands, New Zealand; Sydney, Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Cairns and Darwin, Australia; and Komodo and Bali (Benoa), Indonesia; and Kuala Lumpur (Port Kelang), Malaysia.

Norwegian Star will begin her journey back to the West with an 18-day Southeast Asia and India sailing from Singapore to Dubai, departing March 9, 2017. Ports of Call include Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), and Penang, Malaysia; Phuket, Thailand; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Kochi (Cochin), Mangalore, Mumbai and Goa (Mormugao), India; Muscat and Khasab, Oman; Fujairah and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Rounding out her season in the Far East will be a 20-day Eastern Mediterranean and The Gulf sailing from Dubai, United Arab Emirates through the Suez Canal to Venice, Italy departing March 27, 2017. Ports of call on this Western-bound journey include Fujairah, United Arab Emirates; Muscat and Salalah, Oman; Aqaba, Jordan; Safaga and Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; an overnight in Haifa, Israel; a stop in Iraklion, Crete, Greece; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and finally, an overnight stay in Venice, Italy.