SA Cruise News

Norwegian Spirit to cruise from Cape Town, South Africa for first time in 2020

The newly refurbished Norwegian Spirit will cruise from Cape Town, South Africa in 2020, Norwegian Cruise Line has announced.

Following a previously scheduled bow-to-stern revitalisation in dry-dock, Norwegian Spirit will feature Cape Town as a key turnaround port on her repositioning cruise from Europe to Asia.

Norwegian Spirit will be home-ported seasonally in China during the summer of 2020 as Norwegian Cruise Line continues to expand its presence in the Chinese cruise market.


Norwegian Spirit will cruise from Cape Town in 2020 on her way to China.

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While most Asia-bound cruise ships transit the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean, and stop in Dubai en-route to the Far East, Norwegian Cruise Line will instead be sending Norwegian Spirit south via the tip of Africa.

Norwegian Spirit will be the final ship to undergo enhancements under the Norwegian Edge fleet refurbishment program, which aims to modernise and standardise features and amenities across the line’s fleet.

Details of the refit will be announced later in the year, but Norwegian Spirit will likely get refreshed staterooms, as well as new dining venues and public spaces.

Norwegian Sun, which is a similar size and age to Spirit, was refurbished earlier this month and all her staterooms were upgraded with smart televisions and USB ports, as well as new carpets, abstract artwork and select furniture.

Several dining outlets and public spaces were also renovated, including Cagney’s, La Cucina, Le Bistro, Teppanyaki, the Mandara Spa, Stardust Lounge Theatre, Splash Academy and more.


Main pool area aboard Norwegian Spirit.

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The ship also now features three new venues including Los Lobos Cantina, Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge.

Similar upgrades can be expected aboard Norwegian Spirit ahead of her first ever cruise to South Africa. In a nod to the Chinese cruise market, the casino is also likely to be enlarged aboard Norwegian Spirit.

Details of the cruise itinerary from Cape Town, including dates and prices, have also not yet been released, but Norwegian Cruise Line has said that the cruise from Cape Town to China will feature port calls in Mauritius, Seychelles and the Maldives, as well as India and Southeast Asia.


Norwegian Spirit is closer to ocean liner elegance than most NCL cruise ships (picture courtesy

The 2,016-passenger Norwegian Spirit will suit the tastes of the South African cruise market as she is one of the cruise line’s more traditional ships.

The interior décor is more mellow than over-the-top, leaning more toward ocean liner elegance than theme park at sea exuberance.

Despite this, she is still a sizeable ship, at 75,000-gross tons, and a 269m length. There are eight dining options, 11 bars and cafes, two lounges, a theatre, a casino and a spa.

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