Posted by: cruise2 | 14 December, 2011

Norwegian Announces Its 2013 Programme

by Kevin Griffin of The Cruise People writing in

Norwegian Cruise Line has just recently announced its 2013 programmes, which involve four ships being sent to Europe, three to Alaska, up from two, and  Norwegian Breakaway in her inaugural season boosting Norwegian’s capacity to Bermuda.

Norwegian will send four ships to Europe in 2013, the same as 2012.The 4,200-berth Norwegian Epic, 2,466-berth Norwegian Jade and 1,976-berth Norwegian Spirit, all scheduled to sail in the Mediterranean in 2012, will be back for summer 2013. But in the Baltic the 2,244-berth Norwegian Star will replace the 1,936-berth Norwegian Sun in 2013, bringing a 16% increase in capacity and freeing up Norwegian Sun to move back to the Alaska trade.

Norwegian’s largest ship, the Epic will return to the Mediterranean for the third year in a row with 7-night summer cruises from Barcelona, but on a revised itinerary. While she will continue to call at Marseille and Civitavecchia (for Rome), Naples and Livorno, she will call at Mallorca instead of Villefranche in 2013. Norwegian Jade will offer alternating 7-night Greek Isles and Adriatic, Greece and Turkey itineraries from Venice in 2013.

Norwegian Spirit will meanwhile sail one-way, 12-night Grand Mediterranean voyages between Barcelona and Venice, calling at nine ports in five countries.

Norwegian Star will offer 9-night Baltic cruises out of Copenhagen, with highlights including two full days in St. Petersburg and an afternoon cruise of the Stockholm Archipelago upon departure from Stockholm. One new feature will be a call at Helsingborg. The Star will also will offer one 14-night Norway, Iceland and Faroe Islands cruise out of Copenhagen in September 2013.

Two Norwegian ships will remain in Europe throughout the winter of 2013/2014. From October through April, Norwegian Jade will sail from Civitavecchia on a series of 10-night Eastern Mediterranean and 11-night Mediterranean and Holy Land voyages. And in late October, Norwegian Spirit will begin a series of twenty 9-night Canaries cruises.

With three ships scheduled to cruise to Alaska in 2013, Norwegian will offer added capacity, new land packages and a stop in a place no one has ever heard of called Hoonah.  Norwegian Sun will offer 7-day cruises between Vancouver and Whittier beginning in May 2013.

Sailing north through the Inside Passage, the Sun will visit Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier with stops in Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau. Southbound, the Sun will cruise a similar route with the addition of Sawyer Glacier and Icy Strait Point near Hoonah. Norwegian has not operated three ships in Alaska since 2009.

As the third ship to Alaska in 2013, the Sun will join the 2,376-berth Norwegian Jewel and the 2,394-passenger Norwegian Pearl.

The Jewel will sail 7-day Sawyer Glacier itineraries from Seattle, with a departure every Saturday. And the Pearl will sail 7-day Glacier Bay itineraries from Seattle on Sundays. Both ships will stop in the popular Inside Passage ports of Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan.

Norwegian chose Hoonah, a tender port, for Icy Strait Point, a new Alaska attraction. This village on Chichagof Island will offer passengers the opportunity to go whale watching, fishing, kayaking, learn about the Tlingit community and culture and shop for local crafts.

As well as adding a ship to the Alaska trade, Norwegian has reaffirmed its loyalty to Bermuda for the next two summer seasons.
The cruise line’s 2013 schedule will include forty-four cruises to Bermuda by two ships. Its newest ship, the 4,000-berth Norwegian Breakaway, will cruise to Bermuda twenty-two times from New York between May and October 2013, while the 2,476-berth Norwegian Dawn will undertake twenty-two Bermuda cruises from Boston.

Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer, was quoted as telling the Bermuda Sun: “Bermuda is a beautiful and desirable destination for cruisers. We are pleased to be continuing our commitment to the island with Norwegian Star and Norwegian Dawn making regular calls in 2012.

In 2013, we will bring our newest and one of our largest ships, Norwegian Breakaway, sailing from New York to Bermuda.  Having Norwegian Breakaway call in Bermuda for her inaugural season is a definite coup for Bermuda.”

Norwegian Breakaway will leave New York on Sundays and spend three full days in Bermuda, plus three days at sea. And Norwegian Dawn will return to Boston for the summer of 2013, departing on Fridays.

This year two ships, Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Gem, have visited Bermuda a total of forty-eight times and next year three ships, Norwegian Dawn, Star and Gem will cruise forty-eight times to Bermuda as well.  Norwegian Getaway will add substantial capacity in 2013, helping to offset the losses of Carnival, Princess and Holland America, which have all either cancelled their Bermuda programmes or cut them to the bone.

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