Norwegian Cruise Line will not have a ship based in Sydney to mark the start of the 2024/25 wave season. Instead, the line will deploy Norwegian Sun to debut in Brisbane and Melbourne in December 2024.

The line’s usual Sydney resident Norwegian Spirit has been chartered out and is not expected back in the Emerald City until late next year in time for the 2025/26 season. Norwegian Spirit is the oldest ship in NCL’s fleet.

Insiders say Sydney’s capacity problems mean the Australian market has to accept what’s left after larger ships like the new Prima class ships, which won’t go under Sydney Harbour Bridge but can’t find room at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, are deployed.

Norwegian has, in the past been a critic of the city’s inability to deliver more space for larger ships.

As US lines continue to deliver bigger ships into the market, Sydney runs the risk of missing out on newer vessels to Brisbane and Melbourne.

Change in deployment

The adjustment in NCL’s deployment of ships in Sydney is a departure for the brand which debuted Down Under in the Harbour City seven years ago in 2017.

The 1936-passenger Norwegian Sun will arrive in Sydney only on 15 January 2025 after cruising in New Zealand. She will berth in Sydney for one day before heading to Eden, Hobart, Burnie and Melbourne.

However, the Norwegian Sun will make her Australian debut in Brisbane and Melbourne on 18 and 21 December 2024 following an 18-day sailing in French Polynesia and South Pacific which departs Papeete on 3 December.

Norwegian Spirit arrives Down Under marking the brand's return to Australia after three years
Norwegian Spirit in Sydney

Norwegian Sun’s diverse sailings

“NCL’s 2024/25 Norwegian Sun season will offer departures from Melbourne and Cairns, inviting travellers to explore Australia’s diverse coastline and scenic wonders. The refreshed local offering includes diverse ports in Far North Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, giving guests even more options to explore Australia’s scenic wonders,” said Ben Angell, NCL VP and Managing Director, Asia Pacific.

The Sun will also launch a series of 14 cruises in the Asia Pacific region including three sailings between Cairns and Fiji. The season will also see NCL make its maiden visits to Port Douglas and Townsville, as well as offer its first dedicated one-way cruise between Bali and Cairns.

The atrium of the Norwegian Sun with staircase and elevator.
Norwegian Sun 2018 Refurbishments

Highlights of Norwegian Sun itineraries

  • 14-day South Pacific itinerary visiting Fiji, Vanuatu, Great Barrier Reef, Cairns to Lautoka
  • 14-day Lombok, Komodo, Great Barrier Reef, Bali to Cairns
  • 14-day French Polynesia, Fiji & Samoa, Lautoka to Papeete
  • 12-night Southeast Asian voyage between Singapore and Bali

For more information, click here or call NCL in Australia on 1300 255 200.