Norwegian Cruise Line has announced plans to return to the Asian cruise market for the time in thirteen years, just days after the cruise line’s new president, Andy Stuart, touched upon plans to return to Asia during an interview at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany – where Norwegian’s latest ship, Norwegian Escape is currently under construction.
The planned expansion will see Norwegian’s Dawn-class cruise ship, Norwegian Star, offering sailings in South East Asia from 2016. The ship will be targeted at European, American and Australian passengers, and will sail from several ports including Istanbul, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai.
As part of the move, a handful of Norwegian cruises will depart Sydney and Auckland, whilst other itineraries will feature port calls in India and the Arabian Gulf for the first time – including an over night stay in Mumbai.
The news comes after a string of other cruise lines announced plans to beef up their capacity for the Asian cruise market, which has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Both Carnival Cruises and Royal Caribbean are among the lines looking to capitalise on the popularity of the Asian cruise market.
During the recent interview in Germany, Stuart commented that the biggest step for Norwegian Cruise Line would be the deployment of a ship in Asia aimed specifically at US, UK and European cruise passengers. He later went on to say that Norwegian hasn’t had a ship in the region since 2001.
Norwegian have yet to confirm exactly which itineraries will be sailing from Australia and New Zealand, but we will keep you updated with the latest developments as they happen.