NORWEGIAN Cruise Line (NCL) has unveiled plans to resume cruise ship sailings in Asia and Australia next year, following a 13-year hiatus.
The cruise line will offer trips onboard the Norwegian Star from Asia to the Middle East with itineraries departing from Singapore, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Dubai, Sydney and Auckland.
Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line
Ports of call will include Phuket, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Mumbai, Goa and Colombo.
This will be the first time NCL will be sailing to the Persian Gulf and India.
Andy Stuart, CEO of NCL, revealed that the company is looking at two things with this comeback. “One of these is deploying a Norwegian ship to the Asian market, designed to serve our current focus markets of the US, the UK and Europe.
“It would be another deployment option for our passengers – we haven’t had a ship in this region since 2001,” he said in an interview with UK-based TTG Digital.
He added: “(Next) would be to deploy a ship in Asia, for the Asian market. It is an important region that we are not currently represented in as Norwegian Cruise Line.”
NCL remained coy when asked whether they would be placing any of their new ships – which are due in 2018 and 2019 – into the region, with Stuart saying, “we wouldn’t rule it out”.
He also admitted that NCL will have to customise any ship being placed in Asia to better suit the Asian market. “No decisions have been made yet,” he said.
Additional reporting by TTG Digital.