SA Cruise News

Norwegian Spirit to cruise from Cape Town to the Med following Asia cancellation

Norwegian Cruise Line have announced what they will be doing with Norwegian Spirit in place of her Asian cruise season, which was cancelled last week due to the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic in the region.

Norwegian Spirit will instead reposition to the Mediterranean, cruising roundtrip from Athens on 7-night itineraries visiting up to eight ports, including Rhodes, Mykonos; Santorini and Corfu, Greece; Kusadasi and Istanbul, Turkey; Ashdod and Haifa, Israel; and Limassol, Cyprus.

Norwegian Spirit will still cruise from Rome to Dubai and then from Dubai to South Africa, but her itineraries in Asia have been replaced with the Med

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The new itineraries will also see Norwegian Spirit calling in Patmos and Volos, Greece, a first for any Norwegian Cruise Line ship.

Norwegian Spirit is fresh from a US $100 million month-plus long drydock that saw every public area and stateroom refreshed or upgraded, and was due to spend the summer cruising in Asia.

She was meant to sail from Dubai to Cape Town, and then across the Indian Ocean to Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China in March. However, the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic in the region has forced the line to cancel those plans.

“It is truly exciting to celebrate Norwegian Spirit’s sail out of drydock to incredible destinations following her significant renovation,” said Harry Sommer, President & CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line as the ship prepared for her cruise to Dubai.

The European cruise market is the second-largest in the world and a natural safe haven for the brand. According to Sommer, it is also the most natural alternative market in which to homeport the ship.

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“Europe is the number one destination for international arrivals, and we are very proud to position Norwegian Spirit for her first post-drydock season in this high-demand region,” he said.

“Our brand has been recognized 12 times in a row by the World Travel Awards as ‘Europe’s Leading Cruise Line’ and we are thrilled to offer our guests even more great itineraries in the region, allowing them to explore multiple destinations while unpacking only once,” he added.

Norwegian Cruise Line have not released itinerary information for Norwegian Spirit’s repositioning cruise from Cape Town to the Mediterranean, but have put her Mediterranean itineraries on sale.

It’s unclear whether Norwegian intends to sail the Cape Town to Athens voyage as a revenue-generating cruise or a ‘deadhead’ where the ship sails the repositioning voyage empty.

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