Norwegian Cruise Line has confirmed that it will be returning to South Africa for the 2023/24 cruise season, but with Norwegian Dawn set to replace Norwegian Jade, which homeported in Cape Town for 2022/23.
Norwegian Dawn will also stay longer in the South African market as a result of higher then expected demand, with the ship sailing a variety of Cape Town itineraries until March instead of February.
Norwegian Dawn’s debut in the South African cruise market will also include a first for the Middle East cruise market, as the ship will sail from Doha, Qatar, becoming the first Norwegian Cruise Line ship ever to do so.
On January 3rd, 2024, Norwegian Dawn will embark on a 17-day repositioning cruise to South Africa from Doha, Qatar to Mauritius. The itinerary includes calls in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar.
Norwegian Dawn will cruise from Mauritius to Cape Town on January 20th, 2024. The 12-night cruise will call in Pointe des Galets, Réunion; Fort Dauphin (Toalagnaro), Madagascar; Pomene and Maputo, Mozambique; Richard’s Bay; Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth); Mossel Bay and Cape Town.
The ship will then sail a 12-night roundtrip cruise from Cape Town on February 1st, 2024, visiting Mossel Bay, Richard’s Bay, Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), and Durban, in South Africa, and Luderitz, and Walvis Bay in Namibia.
On February 13th, 2024 she’ll depart Cape Town on a 12-night voyage to Mauritius again, following the same itinerary as before, but in reverse order, with a cruise of the same length then scheduled from Mauritius to Cape Town on February 25th, 2024.
This will be followed by another 12-night roundtrip cruise from Cape Town on March 20th, before Norwegian Dawn departs the city on her most extensive itinerary, a 21-night repositioning voyage from Cape Town to Barcelona, Spain.
The 21-day voyage along Africa’s west coast will visit ports in Namibia, Angola, São Tomé and Príncipe, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Senegal, Cape Verde, Canary Islands and Morocco.
“We are excited to offer our South African guests the opportunity to sail with NCL right from their doorstep and enjoy our unique ‘Freestyle Cruising’ philosophy without the need for long-haul travel and lengthy visa applications,” said Kevin Bubolz, VP & Managing Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Norwegian Cruise Line.
The cruise line’s commitmment to the South African cruise market will also have a significant impact for the domestic Western Cape economy.
“Cruise tourism generates R300 million in economic impact for the Western Cape and supports thousands of jobs in the province,” said Mireille Wenger, Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities.
“Positioning Cape Town as a homeport for international and local cruising is a key growth opportunity for our region, and we welcome NCL’s commitment to sailing out of Cape Town,” Wenger added.