They’ve set up an office with 50 staff. They’ve take in-house lines like Regent Seven Seas and Oceania. But what everyone has been asking is: While Norwegian Cruise Lines have a homebased ship in Sydney?
Yes, the Norwegian Star is due here for a few weeks at the end of this year. But now, an investigation of the port listings carried out by website Cruise Critic shows the ship has 11 bookings at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal in 2017-18, suggesting she could be homeported for at least six months.
Last year, the line confirmed it would be sending the Norwegian Star to Australia and New Zealand for three sailings in January and February 2017. Now, it looks like she could be a frequent visitor.
A spokesperson told Cruise Passenger she could not confirm the Norwegian Star would be homeported in Australia, but said that she would be spending at least two months in Australia and the South Pacific after sailing around Europe in the northern hemisphere summer. She will then sail to destinations in Asia before heading to Australia.
A Norwegian ship presence in our waters will step up the expected battle between the line and Royal Caribbean, which is also increasing its presence in our waters.
The ship will operate 11- and 14-night sailings around the region in December and January, departing from Singapore and Hong Kong.
On January 16 2017 Norwegian Star will leave Hong Kong for a 21-night itinerary sailing through Vietnam, Singapore and Bali, before calling at several northern Australian ports en route to Sydney.
The Norwegian Star has six dining areas and another six specialty dining restaurants. Guests can dine in the Aqua Main Dining Room or try some Irish pub classics at O’Sheehans.
For specialty dining, there is the Moderno, a Brazilian steakhouse which serves skewers of slow roasted meat or the Le Bistro French Restaurant where the bouillabaisse – a seafood stew – is the signature dish.
There are also nine bars and lounges, spa and gym facilities, kids activities and plenty of entertainment. There are magicians and comedy routines, Elements, an exclusive NCL show as well as a White Hot Party.