NCL Norwegian Cruise Line

NCL Norwegian Cruise Line
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This page contains information on NCL cruises 2016, 2017 and 2018 itineraries. Compare here all the NCL Norwegian Cruise Line ships schedules as dates and prices. All NCL ships links here redirect to their complete cruise calendar, also featuring review of itineraries and sailing destinations.

NCL cruises 2016-2017-2018 itineraries

NEWS: In 2016 the NCL Norwegian company confirmed an investment of USD 525 million for fleetwide upgrades (of all cruise ships) for the period 2017-2018.

NEWS: For winter 2017-2018 season, NCL Jewel ship will be redeployed from USA-California to the Asia-South Pacific for departures from Australia and Singapore (starting Nov 2017). The new set of itineraries starts with the Alaska to Australia repositioning via Hawaii (Vancouver to Sydney, on Oct 3, 2017). The NCL Australian cruises are all seven round-trip itineraries from Sydney (5-day to Tasmania, plus a 9-day South Pacific Islands) and all ten 16-day Australia and New Zealand cruises (Nov 2017 through Feb 2018). Follows an 18-day Australia to Asia repositioning (Sydney to Singapore, on Feb 20, 2018. NCL Jewel’s Asian cruises will visit ports in Vietnam, Japan, China (incl Hong Kong), Singapore, South Korea.

NEWS: For 2017-2018 season, NCL Pearl ship will repositioned from Miami to NOLA (New Orleans Louisiana). The ship will operate on 7-8-9-day round-trip Western Caribbean cruises (between Oct 22, 2017 and April 1, 2018). NOLA itineraries will visit ports in Mexico (Cozumel, Costa Maya), Honduras (Roatan); Belize (Harvest Caye). Longer itineraries will additionally visit Grand Cayman and Guatemala (Santo Tomas de Castilla).

NEWS: For 2017-2018 season, NCL Dawn ship will be repositioned from New Orleans to Tampa Florida. Next the ship will be redeployed to San Juan Puerto Rico (Nov 12, 2017 through Jan 7, 2018) to operate on 7-10-11-day round-trip itineraries in the Southern Caribbean.

Listed below are all Norwegian Cruise Line ships schedules with dates and prices PP. In barckets are shown (Departure Ports, Year Built / Passenger Capacity / Cabins_total).

Note: Soon here will be added the review of the NCL cruise itinerary program, destinations and cruise ports (home-ports and ports of call).

  • (2013 / 4000 / 1440) Norwegian Breakaway (NYC New York)
  • (2015 / 4200 / 2206) Norwegian Escape (Eastern Caribbean from Miami)
  • (2002 / 2224 / 1478) Norwegian Dawn (Caribbean from Tampa Florida, Southern Caribbean from San Juan Puerto Rico)
  • (2010 / 4100 / 2979)  Norwegian Epic (Bahamas-Eastern-Western Caribbean from Port Canaveral)- all itineraries visit the NCL’s private island Great Stirrup Cay. In 2016 cruises in the Mediterranean Sea (Europe) leaving out of Barcelona, Marseille and Rome.
  • (2007 / 2394 / 1553) Norwegian Gem (Eastern Caribbean and New England-Canada from NYC New York)
  • (2014 / 4000 / 1440) Norwegian Getaway (Northern Europe, leaving from Amsterdam, Hamburg, Southampton, Caribbean from Miami)
  • (2006 / 2402 /1557) Norwegian Jade (Mediterranean/Venice-Rome)
  • (2005 / 2376 / 1544) Norwegian Jewel (Alaska from Seattle, Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles, Asia and Australia 2017-2018 from Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong)
  • (2017 / 4200 / 2206) Norwegian Joy (ex Norwegian Bliss) – Asia cruises in Asia leaving from China
  • (2006 / 2394 / 1553) Norwegian Pearl (Alaska from Seattle, 7-8-9-day Western Caribbean from New Orleans)
  • (1999 / 2004 / 1246) Norwegian Sky (Bahamas from Miami)
  • (2000 / 2018 / 1336) Norwegian Spirit (Mediterranean and Canary Islands from Barcelona)
  • (2001 / 2348 / 1483) Norwegian Star (Asia and Australia)
  • (2001 / 1936 / 1344) Norwegian Sun (Vancouver-Alaska, Caribbean from Miami and Tampa)
  • (2005 / 2138 / 1595) Pride of America (Hawaii cruise ship, 7-day itinerary, departures from Honolulu every Saturday)
  • NCL repositioning cruises (ship relocation itineraries))

The list of NCL cruise ship departure ports includes: Auckland NZBarcelonaBoston MA, CopenhagenHong KongHouston TXMarseilleMiami FLNew Orleans NOLA, San Diego CASan Francisco CASeattle WASingapore, Sydney AU, Tampa FL, Vancouver BCVenice.

All NCL cruise ships are either new or recently refurbished. As you can see from their list below, the oldest one (NCL Sky) is just 14 years old. NCL’s fleet is one of the world’s biggest and most innovative ones. All of the NCL ships are big (to really large), well-equipped, offering feature amenities and onboard activities, and sailing worldwide. Newest NCL ships boast up to 10 different restaurants and various dining options. Charging gratuities to the guests’ shipboard account is another no more worrying about cash and envelopes. Singles and honeymooners will find parties just for them, and everyone can enjoy dancing classes, culinary demonstrations and a perhaps even a fashion show. If you’d like to learn to snorkel, NCL’s Dive In program will teach you how, provide equipment, and bring to you excellent snorkel spots.

NCL Caribbean shore excursions

Follows an exemplary list with the names of themed NCL tours and excursions (sponsored ashore) by port:

  • Port Canaveral (Orlando) Florida – “Universal Studios” Park, Airboat, Kennedy Space Center
  • Bermuda – Night Snorkeling, Wildcat Tour & St. George’s, Railway Trail Bike & Beach
  • Great Stirrup Cay (private island) – snorkeling, parasailing, private villa rentals
  • Nassau – Discover Atlantis, Atlantis Aquaventure, Atlantis Dolphin Cay , Beach & Resort Day, Seahorse Sailing and Snorkeling, Jeep Tour, Blue Lagoon Island Beach Day
  • St Maarten – America’s Cup Regatta, Discover St. Maarten Dutch & French, Accessible Scenic City Tour
  • USVI/St Thomas – Best of St Thomas, Coral World Park and Butterfly Garden, St John Beach Escape, St John Catamaran Sailing and Snorkeling, Turtle Cove Power Snorkeling, Turtle Cove Catamaran Sailing and Snorkeling, Castaway Shipwreck Sailing and Snorkeling, Cas Cay Kayaking-Hikink-Snorkeling, St. John Island Tour
  • St Kitts – Scenic Rail, 4×4 Safari, “Best of St Kitts”
  • BVI/Tortola – Best of Tortola, Dolphin Encounter, Dolphin Swim, Tortola Party Tour, Catamaran Sailaway, Jost Van Dyke Escape, Island Beach Break, Norman Island Snorkeling, Tortola Canopy Tour & Scenic Drive, Town and Country Views, Virgin Gorda Baths and Snorkeling
  • Barbados – Island Drive, Scenic Drive, Monkey Encounter
  • Puerto Rico – San Juan (City Tour, Tour & Bacardi Distillery)
  • St Lucia – Island Splendor, Catamaran Cruise, “Caribbean Pirates Extravaganza”

NCL private island Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas)

Great Stirrup Cay is part of Berry Islands (Bahamas). The small island (size 250 acres) was purchased by Norwegian Cruise Lines in 1977 from Belcher Oil Company. Later it was developed into a private island exclusively for NCL cruise ship passengers. Below you can see the island’s map showing its best attractions and amenities.NCL private island Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas)

  • The island’s northern part has snorkeling areas and a surrounded by rocks sandy beach.
  • The island’s southern part has a helicopter field (signed “Great Stirrup Cay International Airport”) as part of a former US military installation for satellite tracking.
  • There is an original lighthouse (constructed in 1863).
  • The most common tree is the coconut palm, which milk and meat is used in most of the drink recipes.
  • As wildlife, the island has different varieties of lizards and land crabs, seagulls and sanderlings (waders / shorebirds).
  • Climate is tropical. Average temperatures are 75 F / 24 C (December-April) and 85–93 F / 29–34 C (May-November). Average sea water temperatures are 81–86 F / 27–30 C (May-November) and 77 F / 25 C (December-April).

In June 2016, NCL announced the company’s plans to do an extensive makeover of its Bahamian private island. The project is part of “The Norwegian Edge” (USD 400 million fleet renovation program) and includes adding new attractions, eateries, private villas, zip-line course, underwater sculpture garden, new lagoon, boardwalk (connecting the beach with the new entertainment complex). The Great Stirrup Cay’s new landscaping works alone will cost over USD 1 million.

  • The new zip-line course (length 1000 ft / 305 m) has 2 parallel lines.
  • The new underwater sculpture garden is a snorkeling / diving attraction (waterproof maps will be provided).
  • The half-mile (800 m) long boardwalk (connecting the beach with a new complex) is also a scenic walkway with shaded areas and rest stops with bench seating.
  • The half-acre sized new entertainment complex has sports facilities (basketball-volleyball courts, tennis tables), a stage for live performances, shaded picnic area, air-conditioned reception center (board games rentals, reservations, locker rooms), complimentary food bar.
  • Abaco Taco is a complimentary taco bar near the new complex.
  • LandShark Bar & Grill is another new (a la carte priced) eatery with indoor-outdoor seating.
  • All the island’s existing eateries and bars will be updated (decking, shaded areas, stools in all bars). Dining venues’ seating capacity will be increased by 50%. The current buffet restaurant will be redesigned and increased in seating capacity.
  • In the ship tendering area will be will added new lockers and restrooms.
  • The new Lagoon Retreat is an adults-only private beach area with its own restaurant, covered area, air-conditioned private villas (one 4-room Spa Villa, plus 22 villas). The lagoon complex will have a swim-up bar; dedicated to families shallow water beach area, play / picnic area, Silver Palm restaurant (complimentary, indoor-outdoor seating, rooftop terrace), private room (75 seats, used for private events, catering service).
  • The types of villas available for rent are Studios (2-4 people), 1-bedroom (4-6 people, with hot tub), 2-bedroom (10 people, with hot tub, 2 bathrooms). All villas are with an open-air terrace, en-suite bathroom, living room (dining area). Food and drink services are also offered. All villa rentals are price inclusive of air-conditioned shuttle transportation from the tender dock to Lagoon’s reception. The new Lagoon Retreat is available to “The Haven” and all suite cruise passengers, also for passengers with purchased on-land Mandara Spa treatments. A limited number of passes for all passengers are available for purchasing on each NCL Bahamas cruise with Great Stirrup Cay.
  • The island’s renovations and upgrades are scheduled for completion by 2017 January. The private villas will be available for 2017 summer.

NCL Norwegian Cruise Line

NCL Norwegian Cruise Line as brand is mostly associated with its “Freestyle Cruising” idea of sea travel vacation (firstly introduced in May 2000). This line started the NCL business in the so distant 1966, under the company name “Norwegian Caribbean Line” (also NCL cruise line, huh?).NCL Norwegian Cruise Ship Schedule COM

Best feature of NCl is the absolutely casual travel experience defined by the so innovative concept of no pre-set times foр meals, also no seating arrangements, and no formal dress code required. This revolutionary concept is the very reason why today NCL signifies freedom of choice cruise vacations – and flexibility.

NCL Norwegian is a privately owned company – and one of the top 3 most lucrative businesses for investment. The NCL cruise company as ownership/shares look like this: 12%  OF THE COMPANY IS publicly listed (NASDAQ), Genting Group is the biggest shareholder (43,4%), Apollo Management Investments is second (with 32,5%), while the 3rd largest investor TPG Capital owns 10,8% of the company. NCL is “responsible” for appr 8% of the profits in the total cruise travel market in the world.

NCL cruise company history

As mentioned above, NCL Norwegian Cruise Line was established in 1966 by Knut Kloster and Ted Arison (the founder of Carnival Cruise Lines). They started the business with one ms Sunward (ferry cruise ship) operating most cheap Caribbean cruise deals. When mr Arison founded CCL, mr Kloster continued by acquiring more passenger ships for the line’s Caribbean operations. The list of NCL Norwegian innovations starts even from those distant years:

  • NCL was the first to introduce cheap “flight and cruise” packages (under trademark “Cloud 9 Cruises”).
  • NCL was first to develop new Caribbean, cruise ports (Ocho Rios, Jamaica), and the first to offer the so called “Out Island Cruises”.
  • NCL was the first to introduce a 2-deck movie theater on a cruise ship, and so many others amazing innovations which are all now standards in the cruise industry.

NCL Norwegian Cruise Line became worldwide famous with the acquisition of the ms France Transatlantic liner in 1979, – refitted into a modern cruise ship and operating under the new name ms Norway. The US$100 mill ship refurbishment was a good decision. MS Norway was at her time the largest cruise ship in the world, and her extra space allowed by adding a huge variety of on-board entertainment options. MS Norway had an explosion accident in 2003 and NCL had to withdraw the ship from service (sold for scrap under the name SS Blue Lady at Alang, India in 2006). NCl Norwegian was also one of the first cruise lines expanding their businesses to other vacation regions besides the Caribbean – Hawaii, Bermuda, Alaska, and Europe. In the period from 1997 to 2001 NCL cruises were also departing from Australia under the brand name “Norwegian Capricorn Line” (another NCL abbreviation). The NLC’s subsidiary cruise company “Orient Lines” (founded 1991, operating the ms Marco Polo cruise ship) was acquired 1998. In 2000, NCL Norwegian itself became a subsidiary of Star Cruises (Asian line owned by Genting Group). 2002 was the special year when NCL Norwegian purchased the incomplete hull of the later named Pride of America cruise ship. In 2003 NCL lines announced the purchasing of two of the most famous US-flagged ocean liners – the SS United States and the SS Independence.

The NCL’s owner Star Cruises surprisingly announced in Aug 2007 selling half of the NCL for US$1 billion to the Apollo Global Management (a huge investment fund, also owner of the Oceania line). History continues with NCL announcing in Feb 2008 the withdrawal from service of the Pride of Aloha (Hawaii cruise ship, later renamed as Norwegian Sky).

“Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd” company encompasses the NCL line, also Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. As of 2014, the holding’s main shareholders are Genting Group (28%), Apollo Global Management (20%), and TPG Capital (7,9%). Starting in 2015, the NCL Holding makes a huge investment in Australia, opening in Sydney an office and a call centre and employing local staff. Since April 2016, local travel agencies (in Australia and New Zealand) will be selling NCL cruises. The company also opened sales offices in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong), India (Mumbai, New Delhi), Japan (Tokyo) and Singapore.

NCL cruise ships

  • NCL ships as design are very classy and comfortable. Each ship has a big list of themed dining venues – with up to 10 different restaurants. There are several most diverse dining options on board, including tapas, Teppanyaki, Italian and French cuisine, sushi bar menu.
  • Onboard gratuities are easily charge to the guests’ individual shipboard accounts.
  • Specifically organized Singles and Honeymooners onboard parties with themed activities on each sailing. Dancing classes, cooking demonstrations, fashion shows are another onboard entertainment hits.
  • Snorkeling classes by the line’s “Dive In” programme (equipment is provided).
  • Staterooms / cabins amenities. NCL ships offer an extensive choice of cabin grades, including the unique complex of Garden- and Courtyard Villas and their Deluxe Owners Suites. The NCL line’s “ship-within-a-ship” concept is another revolutionary idea – all these spacious suites have a whole private deck (exclusively for their occupants), featuring a sundeck, a swimming pool, a Gym area and butler service. Inside staterooms and the so special and “no single supplement cruise rates” special Solo cabins are another hits from all the NCL room categories.
  • Onboard service is highly attentive (there are even pool attendants to spray passengers taking a sunbath with Evian water!).
  • List of activities on Norwegian cruise ships includes: bowling, rock climbing,, Broadway-style show productions, some of the best casinos at sea, modern art auctions, various health and wellness enrichment programs. The NCL’s “Mandara Spa” is fleet-wide deal – Mandara is one of the world’s leading operators of more than 45 resort spas (both land- and ship-based).
  • Past Guests program is named “NCL Latitudes”) – special rates (lower pricing), perks and special members-only offers, including up to US$250 shipboard credit (the amount depends on cabin category). Booking NCL repositioning cruises (Transatlantic, Panama Canal, USA West Coastal, or select ships sailings) could even double your points.
  • NCL Kids Program is named “Kids Crew”. NCL Norwegian teamed up with Nickelodeon – the number 1 kids entertainment brand in the world. this is an NCL exclusive Nickelodeon deal for providing an year-round family fun activities on the NCL ships Jewel and Epic. The line’s youth counselors staff is carefully selected from major universities and renown organizations.
  • The NCL cruise line’s private island is the Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas). It is a destination reserved exclusively for NCL ships passengers. This special destination is an NCL exclusive port of call featuring great beaches, superb sea kayaking – and a WaveRunner (surf simulator). Other special deals here are the snorkeling classes, complimentary beach-side BBQ for lunch, and kids will enjoy the super fun at the 40 ft high (12 m) 175 ft long (53 m) “Hippo” – world’s largest inflatable waterslide installed there. Private cabanas rentals, parasailing, wave runner tours, Stingray encounters are just a few of all the special activities on this magical Bahamian private island resort.
  • NCL sells relatively inexpensive cruise deals – their brochure prices start at ~$140 PP per day (inclusive of port charges, airfare not included).
  • NCL ships are a great choice for first-timers in cruising, also for more active people, for travelers interested in theme cruises, and also for young families with kids. The big NCL ships’ main competition comes from the fleets of Carnival, Royal Caribbean and MSC.

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Norwegian Cruise Line refurbishments 2016-2017

Named “The Norwegian Edge”, NCL’s new fleet enhancement program (2016-2017) has budget of over USD 400 million. It includes fleet-wide ship refurbishments, private island upgrades, updated onboard culinary program and enhanced destination experiences.

Ship refurbishments

Ship revitalization projects are the biggest part of “The Norwegian Edge”. Cruise ship refurbishments started in October 2015 with Norwegian Epic, Followed Norwegian Gem in November 2015. Next scheduled for refurbishment in 2016 were the ships Pride of America, Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Dawn. For 2017 are scheduled the dry-docks for the ships Jade, Spirit , Sky and Pearl.

NCL adds new venues, does extensive restaurant makeovers (to La Cucina Italian, Cagney’s Steakhouse, Le Bistro French, Moderno Churrascaria Brazilia). Decors are changed in the onboard dining rooms and buffet restaurants. Most public spaces (including all lounges, bars, complimentary food outlets) receive new furniture and flooring, some are completely re-designed. Another upgrade is the shipwide Wi-Fi, installing interactive digital signage boards and wayfinders, new teak flooring of open decks, new carpeting in hallways and corridors, adding more shaded seating areas, private cabanas and lounge chairs on sundecks.

For detailed dry-dock refurbishment reviews by ship, see their corresponding pages at

Ship dining enhancements

On each of its ships NCL offers up to 28 dining options. In 2016 on all ships were introduced upgraded main dining room menus (complimentary) with added new (a la carte priced) menu items. The upgraded complimentary food menus offer more variety of appetizers, soups and salads, signature entrees, desserts. New are the seafood offerings (fresh grouper, shrimp ceviche, seared scallops).

Since January 31, 2016, NCL expanded the line’s specialty dining menus on Norwegian Escape and introduced them fleetwide. These new menus are of the at-fee restaurants Cagney’s Steakhouse, Le Bistro (French cuisine), La Cucina (Italian cuisine), Moderno Churrascaria (Brazilian Steakhouse) and Teppanyaki (sushi). Among the new menu choices are Bouillabaisse, pan-seared scallops and sea bass filet, veal medallions, antipasti, risotto, Osso Buco alla Milanese.

Private cruise destination enhancements

NCL Norwegian expanded the company’s plans for its Bahamian privately-owned island Great Stirrup Cay and the exclusive luxury resort destination Harvest Caye in Belize. The Harvest Caye port of call features a large-sized swimming pool, private beach, shallow lagoon (watersport activities), private cabanas available for rent, as well as a huge flora and fauna diversity.

Great Stirrup Cay was last enhanced in 2014 and by 2017 spring will feature several new offerings and amenities (for details see the island’s review above).

Our Norwegian Cruise Line 2016-2017 ships schedules show all sailing dates but also will allow you to compare NCL cruise prices per vessel. This way you’ll know all the ports and destinations the NCL ships are going to visit, and also for how much you can enjoy this pleasure. You rate and share all of our NCL cruise ships schedule pages by using the social buttons. Enjoy our absolutely free of charge information, and many and most happy sailings with the NCL Norwegian Cruise Line ships!