Norwegian Cruise Line will boost its presence in Australia and New Zealand, with Norwegian Jewel returning for a third sailing season in 2019/2020 and Norwegian Jade cruising in Southeast Asia.

“It has been a momentous year for Norwegian Cruise Lines on the world stage, with the launch of Norwegian Bliss, followed by some of our most exciting new itinerary and ship build announcements to date,” said visiting president and CEO of NCL, Andy Stuart

“I am particularly excited that we have been able to further strengthen our presence in Australia and New Zealand region with the soon-to-be refurbished Norwegian Jewel now confirmed for a third local sailing season in 2019/2020 we well as Norwegian Jade homeporting out of Singapore and Hong Kong next year.”

Norwegian Jewel will return to cruise in Australia and New Zealand in November this year after a multi-million refurbishment and will debut a new entertainment show, Velvet.

Steve Odell, Senior Vice President Asian Pacific told Cruise Passenger the office he opened in Sydney three years ago had been a major boost for Norwegian, with the Jewel carrying one-third Australians, one-third Europeans and one-third Americans.

The 2400-passernger Norwegian Jade will offer new itineraries from Singapore and Hong Kong in the summer of 2019 calling at Phuket, Langkawi, Penang, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh and Ha Long Bay.

The Jade will also launch several new journeys through the Suez Canal and Indian Ocean calling at Greece, Israel, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Maldives, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The deployment of Norwegian Jewel and Jade in the region is to take full advantage of the flourishing source market in Australia which remains the world’s highest-penetrated cruise market.

“We are expanding capacity in Europe and Alaska, helped by the strong support from Australia,” Mr Stuart added.

He said that Australia is poised to beat the UK as the second biggest source market for the line after the US.

But more importantly, the increased presence meant more Australians flying to take Norwegian cruises in Europe, Hawaii and the US.

NCL is expanding its fleet with seven new ships including two Project Leonardo class vessels to be delivered in 2026 and 2027. The first Project Leonardo ship which can accommodate 3300 passengers will be launched in 2022, followed by a new build in 2023, 2024 and 2025.

The line will take delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore in spring next year which will cruise from Miami to Eastern Caribbean.

Norwegian Spirit will sail year-round in Asia in 2020.

The recently launched Norwegian Bliss will be joined by Norwegian Joy to sail seasonally in Alaska in 2019 and also offer sailings to the Mexican Riviera and Panama Canal in 2019/2020.

New itineraries on the Jewel and Jade are now open for sale.

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